The purpose of this article is to illustrate the truth of Hebrews 13:7 by the life and labor of our beloved brother Alexander Joyce who went to be with the Lord on December 20th, 2006. As a young believer, I had the great blessing of sitting under the gospel preaching and the godly teaching of Mr. Albert Joyce, Alex’s father. Few men that I have known had his level of gift both as an evangelist and a teacher. His convictions from the Scriptures were a great heritage for his family and those who his “faith followed.”
Alex was saved at thirteen through John 5:24. At fifteen he was baptized and received into the Highfield Road assembly in Toronto. I have known Alex and have had a close association with him through 65 years.
He was a godly example to his own family, and with his wife, Lois, raised his family to honor God, His Word, and God’s assembly. The family’s confession is, “Most importantly, he lived Christ before us, which left a deeper impression than anything else.”
A careful reading of 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9 will show that godliness in the home, in personal and public life are necessary for an elder who is to lead, teach, and exhort in an assembly. We saw a pattern of simple obedience to the Word of God in all the life and work of our beloved brother. He loved the assembly that meets on Stark Road in Livonia, Michigan, and devoted his time and energy to it. He left enduring marks on it by his example and teaching.
Micah 6:8 was exemplified in his life: “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” In the requirements for an elder in 1 Timothy 3:6, there is a warning about being “lifted up with pride.” Let me illustrate how opposite brother Joyce was to boasting or pride. One night, I was invited to a General Motors meeting where people who worked in engineering and development were being honored. Alex Joyce was given credit for, either on his own or as the head of a research team, developing as many as twelve items, especially in the robotic painting booths, for which the company was given patents. I was amazed because in all the years I knew him, I never heard a word of boasting from him.
Titus 1:9 tells us that an elder must “hold fast the faithful Word as he hath been taught that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and convince” others. An assembly cannot rise higher than its elders. We thank God for the humility, faithfulness, and godly example of our dear brother.