“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psa 126:6).
On November 28, 2010, our beloved brother and honored servant of the Lord was called home to glory. To the many precious souls saved through his ministry he was truly their father in the faith. He had a special interest and care in their spiritual well-being. In his many years of service our brother was consistent in his labors for God and displayed unfailing conviction in the Word of God.
He was born into a godly home in 1929 where eternal realities were impressed upon him. At an early age he was brought to the Akron assembly. Born again by God’s grace at the age of 13, he was soon baptized and received into the fellowship of the assembly. As a young believer he was characterized by spiritual interest and care for others.
Together, he and his wife Anna Lou were determined to honor God in their home. God honored them with the joy of seeing their five children saved and living for God. Their home was always open to fellow believers and many enjoyed their hospitality.
His faithfulness and activity in the assembly were a priority. He was greatly helped in early days by fellow believers and appreciated the teaching and frequent visits of the late David Roy of Cleveland. As an overseer, he manifested a genuine care in visiting and feeding the saints, always consistent, always dependable. He had ability in his teaching ministry and manifested an exercise in gospel outreach work.
Another wrote this of him: “In 1959 he became exercised about having meetings in a housing project in a nearby community. I knew John as a lover of our Savior and of the souls of sinners. He preached a clear gospel. He knew no compromise when it came to God’s truth. He loved God’s people and held dear the church truths for which he stood. He was a faithful man and I never knew him to be discouraged or depressed. On the contrary, he was a great encourager to his fellow laborers. He will be missed by many, his fellow laborers, family, and many of his children in the faith. I hold dear his memory and the separation we feel will only be ‘Till He come. Marantha!’”
John was commended to full-time service in 1966. His letter of commendation, signed by seven brethren, was read at the funeral service.
The early days of service were marked by a pioneer spirit as he visited and preached in many towns and villages in Ohio. In those days, if he went to an assembly for gospel meetings, it was to a small and needy assembly. He had the ability to see need and pursue it. During the 44 years of gospel preaching, John labored with a large number of fellow servants. Also, he was always eager to encourage younger men with ability and exercise to “look on the fields.”
John was a careful student of the Scriptures and had a very analytical mind which enabled him to present truth in a clear and concise manner. While enjoying preaching the gospel and ministering to saints, perhaps he was at his best in a conversational Bible reading.
After 60 years of fellowship in the Akron assembly, John and Anna Lou felt the need to be close to Linn Manor in Marion, Iowa. They broke bread for the last time as residents of Akron on the last Lord’s Day of 2004. Before leaving us, while reminiscing on his gospel work, he spoke with deep joy of a long list of very fruitful gospel series when it pleased God to work mightily.
Our brother’s day of service is complete. If he could express one desire, it would be that others, whose hearts God has touched, would go forth to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ. Who will heed the call?