Tribute: Albert McShane

Image in the article

It was with a great sense of loss that many heard of the home call of our beloved brother Albert McShane, on May 20th 2002.

Mr. McShane was born in a rural district about three miles from Lurgan. After his conversion in January 1929, he was received into the assembly at Kilmore which was small and very weak. Thankfully the Lord blessed his work locally so that when, after his marriage, he moved to be in fellowship in the Lurgan assembly, the assembly at Kilmore had grown considerably.

His full time preaching career began in 1944 when he joined Mr. William McCracken of whom he often spoke with evident affection. This proved to be a fruitful partnership for as long as Mr. McCrackens health allowed, extending into the early fifties. After some time he then became associated with Mr. Alec Lyttle with whom he spent a number of years faithful service in the gospel. This was followed by a period with Mr. Norman Turkington and then, in recent years, by a partnership with Mr. David Gilliland, who continued with him to the end.

He loved the gospel ever stressing the need for assemblies to keep active in the gospel if they were to be preserved spiritually and expand numerically. In ministry he could handle difficult and obscure topics in a way which made them accessible to the ordinary listener. Many who heard him hundreds of times can never recall hearing him repeat a message. He ever seemed to be able to have a message suitable to an occasion. This was true of his conference addresses and especially evident in the many fitting messages he delivered at funeral services. His material was presented in a format and with a forcefulness which riveted it on the memory of his hearers, often leaving indelible impressions.

Particularly gifted for conducting Bible readings Mr. McShane, for the past 35 years, took a leading part in many conference Bible readings, especially the readings at Lurgan conference. Most influential in this realm was his work in the Saturday evening reading in Lurgan for which he was responsible for almost 53 years. There are many who can testify to the great help they received from the clear and comprehensive exposition given at this meeting.

While he loved to be at home, his labors were also known in England, Scotland, Wales, Canada, USA, Australia, and New Zealand. A further extension of his ministry came through his writings. He had a fruitful pen and many have profited from his commentaries on books of both Old and New Testaments as well as numerous articles in assembly magazines spanning the years and covering a wide range of Scriptural subjects.

Nowhere will the loss be more keenly felt than in the home. Prayer will be valued by the family and especially by his widow, Mrs. McShane, who shared many sacrifices in fellowship with her husband and was fully behind him in his work for the Lord over these many years. Those who witnessed the weakness of those final weeks are grateful that his sickness is over. However, in a higher sphere, his service continues for “His servants shall serve Him” Rev 22:3. This, Albert McShane did so devotedly on earth and will continue to do in eternity.