“The beauty of old men is the grey head” Proverbs 20:29
Uncle Arnold, as he was affectionately known to saints in our area, wore a crown of white hair with dignity. And with his white hair came valued wisdom.
Having come to reside at Elim Homes about 10 years ago, he and his wife Kay were in the fellowship of the Waubaushene assembly. Because of his age, he traveled much less for meetings, so we received tremendous blessing through his faithful attendance. He certainly had a unique way in the Bible Readings, as well as in his preaching. He could say things concisely and make hard things simple. He would often say, “God is a no-nonsense God.” And when it came to preaching, Uncle Arnold was a no-nonsense preacher. He looked earnestly at his audience and warned sinners of the awful consequences of dying without a Savior.
He loved the Lord’s people and had a shepherd’s heart, as testified by the countless letters he wrote over the years. Many of those letters were to young believers in whom he took a special interest. He never sought place in the assembly. If something displeased him, he would, if necessary, speak to responsible men privately. He loved the Scriptures and preferred to read them rather than a lot of commentaries. Many will remember that he frequently said, “Christian, read your Bible,” and sometimes would add, “And be sure and read what it says.” After the Breaking of Bread, he would often rise to read the Scriptures and preface his timely message with, “I just saw this for the first time as I was reading this week, and I want to share it with you.” Of course it always amazed us that this man was still finding new, fresh, and helpful things at 90+ years of age. Uncle Arnold meditated on the Scriptures. As a result, it can be said of him that he walked with God.
God, eternity, the ages to come, and creation were some of his favorite subjects when he preached. He seemed to have the ability to think on his feet. He had a way with words and phrases and loved to get the believers to expand their minds and ask questions. He had already thought about most of these questions, so he usually had an answer waiting. He was a good listener in the audience and an encourager of some of us younger, less-gifted men. He would often come to the speaker after a meeting and say, “I really enjoyed that.”
Being the gentleman that he was, he loved and cared for his wife who was very faithful to him. His only regret about dying was that he would leave her alone.
He loved nature in all its forms, beauty, and wonder because it reminded him of an all-wise Creator. A local brother spoke once on the expression, “But God.” It impressed Uncle Arnold so much that he had a text made with those two words. When he woke up in the morning, they greeted him each day from the foot of his bed.
His health was good until just a few weeks before his passing. With typical vigor and humility, he took great pleasure in helping out the maintenance man at Elim Homes. Those who are at Elim Homes feel his loss keenly, as we also do in the assembly. At the prayer meeting following his passing, the whole assembly wept.
The 450 people who attended his funeral testify to the esteem in which he was held. Our dear brother is now enjoying his Lord and Master and the glory of heaven. It seems he was never far away from it.