Peter Mathews – Tribute (1)

These words by J. N. Darby describe the desire of our dear departed brother.

When Peter was eight years old the Mathews’ family came to Langley, BC from Buxton, Derbyshire, England in 1930. At the age of 15 he came to know the Lord Jesus as his personal Savior in cottage meetings held in his father’s house. Since salvation’s day, Mr. Mathews had a desire to serve the Lord he loved. While his initial exercise was for Indonesia, his sensitivity and obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit brought him, in 1962, to Newfoundland where he applied his carpentry trade in the building of the Gospel Hall in Parsons Pond. With the evident leading of the Lord, Mr. Mathews, with his wife Blanche and five children (one to come later), returned to NL in 1963, with the commendation of the Langley Assembly. Since that time his labor for the Lord in these parts has been a “labor of love.”

Abraham’s analysis of his own life is reflected in his words to the sons of Heth: “I am a stranger and a sojourner among you.” However, we, and others who have labored with brother Mathews, are compelled to respond, “Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us” (Gen 23:3-6). He was a God-fearing man who conducted himself with humble dignity as he ministered to the saints. His presence was appreciated at every conference he attended. Following a minor stroke two years ago, he graciously recognized his limitations, and though unable to take much public part, his presence always gave weight to the gathering.

Brother Mathews could ably preach the gospel, but excelled in the application of OT types and shadows while expounding NT truths. In earlier years he particularly loved to exalt the person of Christ with ministry from a well-proportioned model of the Tabernacle and its furniture. Until this past year, brother Mathews edited the Focus magazine which is circulated among the saints in Newfoundland. He wrote much himself and encouraged many local brethren to contribute.

He was a faithful supporter of the Lord’s work in other lands. It was a rare occasion at a prayer and Bible reading in Rocky Harbour that a letter was not read from a local full-time worker or worker abroad. Saints, local and abroad, have stated upon the passing of Mr. Mathews that only they and the Lord know how much he has done for them over the years. A verse of Scripture most fitting would be, “Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren and to strangers.”