A Tribute to John Frith

Mr. John Frith passed into the presence of the Lord on November 23, 1999 at the age of 82. The funeral was well attended which bespoke the esteem in which he was held. After a history of his life and labours was given, John Abernethy spoke a word of comfort and gospel, and John Fairfield gave a fitting word at the graveside. He leaves behind his dear wife Elizabeth, six children, 14 grandchildren, two greatgrandchildren, one brother, and five sisters.

Mr. Frith was saved as a boy of almost 14, during meetings held in the Fairview Gospel Hall, Vancouver in 1931 under the preaching of Mr. Herb Harris and Mr. James Rae.

His young life soon bore fruit for God. As a young man, his interest in the gospel blossomed. He was involved in Sunday School work and went on summer gospel excursions with like-minded brethren into the interior of British Columbia. He married Elizabeth Mercer in 1945. Although he had a successful career in the building industry, he had an exercise for the gospel, and was influenced by men who visited Vancouver such as Mr. William Williams, Mr. Sidney Saword, and Mr. Eddie Fairfield. Finally, he responded to the call of God to go forth with the gospel.

John and Elizabeth were commended by the Cedar Cottage Assembly to the grace of God for full time service in Venezuela in 1948. They spent a short time in Puerto Cabello, acquired a working knowledge of the language, and then were led to make their home in Duaca where they lived until 1992. Our brother shared much with us about his labours, but forty-four years in Venezuela would require a book to be written; his record is in heaven.

The Friths were often separated for long periods of time for the sake of the family At home, our brother was always active and shared with brethren in a number of gospel series in the homeland when souls were saved.

In 1992, John had to return to Vancouver permanently because of his failing health. He suffered in body with much patience and the Lord gave him further opportunity for service in this area. He never spoke without making reference to Venezuela where he had learned God, and where it was evident his heart still remained. “I commend you to God and the Word of His grace,” was his constant prayer for the loved ones he has left behind, for his children in the faith, and for the assemblies that he laboured amongst.

When we consider how God used him, we are reminded of Isaiah’s words, “Behold I and the children whom the Lord hath given me” as a testimony to his faith and confidence in God. What a reward for such a servant to hear the Lord’s commendation, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

Please pray for Elizabeth, who was a true helpmeet for him in his service, and for the family.

Weep not that their toils are over,
weep not that their race is run;
God grant we may rest as calmly,
when our work like theirs is done!
‘Til then we would yield with
gladness our treasures to Him to keep,
And rejoice in the sweet assurance,
He giveth His loved ones sleep.