A Tribute to Oswald L. MacLeod

A personal appreciation of our late brother, by an elder in the Hickory, North Carolina assembly.

The annals of history will never hear the name Oswald L. MacLeod, but to all who had the privilege of knowing our esteemed brother, he must be placed among the top of the list of chief men among the assemblies.

I was an infant when he held me in his hands in 1933, and though exact words cannot be remembered, we were told his comments were regarding a “little sinner.” Fortunately, he held me in his prayers until I was saved under his preaching 17 years later. We’ve witnessed our brother’s example as a man who walked with God all these years.

It would take a volume of print to record all his work in the Hickory area: store buildings, tent efforts, the portable building built under his tent in my father’s backyard, and door to door visitation. Few could appreciate his early efforts which were carried on in almost poverty conditions. But he and his first wife, Sarah Jane, persevered relying on the Lord’s own words, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” The result is the current assembly gathered to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ in Hickory, N.C.

Oswald MacLeod had a few reference books, but his main source of wisdom and knowledge came from one volume of 66 books called the Bible. You could depend on the answer he gave to any question you asked because it was always based on scriptural teaching. His mind was a treasure of spiritual things, and I regret that I did not spend more time with him to increase my own knowledge.

He yearned to go home to see the Lord and often asked, “Why did the Lord take ‘so and so’ and leave me here when I am so useless? The Lord was not through with our brother. In his 97th year, he pointed a nurse to the Lord, and he was a testimony in the Kingsport home where he passed quietly into the Lord’s presence.

In 2 Samuel 17, Brazillai brought David material needs stating, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.” Our brother understood the need to bring spiritual food and water with him to feed the believers in the desert land where we wait till the Lord’s return.

When we consider his character and teaching, there can be none left to fill his shoes. James 1:17 reminds us of the Father of lights, “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Our brother was so like the Lord himself we can indeed say of him that there was no variableness. He was always the same, consistent in all his ways. We can also add, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”