A man of God has left our shores for a better land. On July 25, our highly esteemed brother in the Lord, Peter Henry Mathews, went to be with the Lord he loved and served. He was a faithful man and feared God above many. Born on September 7, 1922 and saved at age 15, he became a candidate for God’s use in the years that lay ahead. The Lord prepared him for future service as he related in his own testimony. A visiting aunt persuaded his parents to send him to technical school where he became an efficient builder. It was his trade and eagerness to be used of God that brought him, in 1962, to Newfoundland to help the brethren with building a new gospel hall at Parson’s Pond, and later with the building of the hall in Rocky Harbour. His workmanship demonstrated the man he was for he was meticulous in detail. His help with buildings became invaluable in many places, even assisting me in Red Bay when our house needed enlarging.
It was evident that the work in this province triggered a strong spiritual desire in him to use his life for God in the spread of the gospel and the help of God’s people. After much heart searching, he brought the family from Langley, BC to Newfoundland in 1963. The Lord opened a door for them to obtain a house but without the conveniences they had in BC. However, our brother, with his cherished wife Blanche and family, put up with many discomforts, to begin work for God.
It was my privilege to be alongside our brother Peter in gospel efforts and conference gatherings. He was simple but profound in his presentation of the truth and only eternity will manifest the results of his faithful handling of the Word of God.
The assembly in Rocky Harbour has been small and at times our brother would not leave unless help from other brethren was available. He ministered consistently both in his own assembly and the Parson’s Pond assembly to the north. Many assemblies, both in Newfoundland and Labrador, testify to the help received over the years. He was a man who never departed from the truth and principles of God’s Word. He was steadfast to the end and a tremendous example to the servants of God and others in this province. I was struck with words of James Montgomery in the passing of an aged, faithful servant of God. He wrote,
Servant of God, well done,
Rest from thy loved employ!
The battle fought, the victory won,
Enter thy Master’s joy.
The pains of death are past,
Labor and sorrow cease;
And life’s long warfare closed a last,
His soul is found in peace.
Soldier of Christ, well done!
Praise be thy new employ
And while eternal ages run,
Rest in thy Savior’s joy.