Tribute: Oswald MacLeod (4)

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With a strong physique, his back straight and shoulders squared, our brother traveled extensively and served the Lord and His people tirelessly until the Fall of 1997. For most of the rest of his time, he hoped to return to active service, but continued, when able, to help in the Hickory assembly.

It isnt likely that our paths ever cross the path of another believer that there is not some lasting impression made upon us, but there are a few people whose influence has had a tremendous impact on me. Among others, Mr. Lorne McBain, Mr. Sydney Maxwell, Mr. Albert Joyce and most definitely, Mr. Oswald MacLeod have made a great difference in my life.

My first memories of Mr. MacLeod go back more than 60 years. It was as a gifted and powerful gospel preacher that I first knew him. He belonged to a generation of men who were first and foremost soul winners. They never retired from gospel work, but kept at it as long as they had the physical ability to preach nightly. Even when no longer able to engage in gospel series, our beloved Oswald kept a keen interest in all the gospel efforts on this continent and further afield and prayed for the work and workers by name every day. Many precious souls are now in Heaven or on their way there who are the fruit of his prayers, tears and labor. “For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people were added unto the Lord” (Acts 11:24).

He also had deep convictions as to what constituted a scripturalyl gathered assembly. Throughout his 74 years of labor for God and His people, he ever lent his support to servants and assemblies where there was a genuine effort to be guided alone by the Word of God. We ever looked to him as a diligent student of Scripture, a spiritual mentor, and a wise counselor and guide. One message stands out in my mind from a Detroit conference in 1943. He spoke about the secret of greatness for God in the Old and New Testament. The measure of the greatness of these men and women was the measure in which they were like Christ. Oswald was Christlike. Yes, we looked to him, but it is touching to remember that even God looks to such a man; “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word” (Isaiah 66:2). The assembly at Hickory, NC and other assemblies over which he had a profound influence bear testimony to the character of this humble servant of God.

We have thanked God many times for the present Mrs. MacLeod who we believe was sent from God to love, care for, and support dear Oswald during the last nine years of his life. For many years, Mr. MacLeod spoke to me about taking part in his funeral. I will always regret the fact that I was not there. A powerful winter storm shut down the airports in our part of the country, and my flight was cancelled.

He has gone above to his heavenly home, but we will never forget him and will ever seek to emulate his ways that were in Christ. “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb 13:7-8).