Tributes to Paul Kember: Person to Person – Paul’s Personal Touch

These are extracts from comments written by assembly believers who were touched by our brother Paul’s life. They show the consistency of his exercise and the many results of hisinfluence. Many more could be written by some still not saved and by others saved through his labors, but not yet in assembly fellowship.

1967: In Paul’s Sunday School class, eternal truths were made real to me because the person that explained them was real. In 1972, Paul wanted the Sunday School to grow. He made a white chart with 150 as the magic number. Week by week the red line climbed from 60 until it finally stood at 143, still the record for our Sunday School.

A few days after I had been saved in 1981, I was in agony, wondering if I was really saved. Paul drove up to spend the day with me. In a quiet way, he brought me through the Scriptures to the assurance that I really had divine life.

The last time I visited door-to-door with Paul was in 1986. As we warmed up after that cold day, I asked Paul how he could stand such rejection day after day. He looked off in the distance and did not reply for a few moments. Finally he said, “Once you’ve seen a soul saved doing this kind of work, you’re forever changed. Somewhere out there is a person who is truly looking for God. I’m looking for that person. That is why I can handle so much rejection.”

1975: Paul gave me my first study Bible after I was saved. Paul and Phyllis invited me into their home and showed me what loving Christian hospitality was all about. At our last conference, he encouraged us to be fishers of men and told us that if we were, we would never regret it.

1978: Paul knew he had the most important message in the world and he wanted the whole world to know it. I will never forget the day he came to my door with the gospel. I didn’t trust anything he said. He left me a Bible to read. During another visit, I asked him, “Why would you spend your time knocking on doors talking to people about getting saved?” He asked, “If you were driving down the road and saw my house on fire, would you stop and help me get out of the house?” I had to admit I would. He said, “Well, I know from God’s Word that all are sinners and on their way to hell. I’m just trying to make them see their danger and get to safety.” Paul visited me again and again, always convincing me from the Word of God. One day it dawned on me that the Bible said I had to be born again. I realized I had no hope of heaven. That’s when I became anxious about salvation. Soon I got light from the Scripture, but lacked assurance. Paul came to the door again and asked if I was still reading the Bible. I told him my experience, and he took me back to God’s Word, where I received assurance of salvation.

After I was saved the long haul with my husband began. During four long years, Paul never gave up. He came and he came and he came. He was never upset. He always wanted to show my husband the way to the Man he loved so dearly. Finally, my husband received salvation. Paul was overjoyed. Like so many more, my husband and I are Paul’s story.

1980: Paul contacted my sister through her husband’s brother who attended gospel tent meetings. Soon he was having meetings in her home and I unwillingly attended. Paul touched my heart telling me, “I’m praying for you.” I could tell from the look in his eyes and the way that he said it, that he was genuinely concerned about my soul. One day, he visited me at home and spoke so highly of Christ that I was ashamed. Here was a man who truly appreciated the death of Christ, yet I had left Christ totally out of my life. Some time later, alone in my room, I was saved. Several members of our family were also saved that year. Paul didn’t leave us to ourselves. He helped in Bible studies, teaching us about baptism, the assembly and living a life for God and before others. In a word, Paul was Christ-like: always a smile, always a kind word, always an encouragement.

1987: Paul and Al Christopherson came to visit us after they heard we had been studying with the “Jehovah Witnesses.” Paul had such a way about him. He was sure of what he was saying and supported it with Scripture. I probably would not have accepted what he said from anyone else whom I had met just 10 minutes before! After showing me Romans 3 and other passages, he asked if I knew if I was going to heaven. I thought we wouldn’t know until we died. He asked if he could kindly tell me something. When I agreed, he told me that if I didn’t know where I was going, I was going to Hell. There was something real about Paul that made me take him seriously. Although never to a gospel meeting, I was saved a couple of days later.

Paul later came to visit our area. He rode the bailer with us and helped us fix it. Part of the reason he did this was that we were bailing in a field next to my husband’s grandmother. He took the opportunity to talk with her about salvation.

1995: Paul had this gentle “in your face” approach to delivering the gospel to individuals. Five minutes after I met him he told me I was going to Hell. Believe it or not, I was not offended because, through God’s Word, he offered me a way out of this predicament. He didn’t mince words. He offered himself freely to see us through this time.

1997: Paul was a big help to me in bringing me to gospel meetings and helping me to understand the Word of God. As a result, I found everlasting life on November 27, 1997 (two days after Paul’s injury).