Tribute: Timothy Kember

Photo of Mr. Timothy KemberOn Saturday, February 13, 2021, our esteemed brother and fellow servant, Timothy Kember, was called home to be with the Lord.

The words from 2 Timothy 4:7-8 are a fitting summation of his life: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.”[1]

We miss many of our brethren who have been taken from us in the past few years, “who have spoken unto [us] the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation [i.e., manner of life]” (Heb 13:7).

Born in 1921 in Sarnia, Ontario, into a family of 11 children, Timothy was the last surviving member of this family. At the age of 14, during a series of gospel meetings held by Lorne McBain and Robert Crawford, he trusted Christ, appreciating the words of Romans 5:6: “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” In 1946, he and Mary Turnbull were married and enjoyed 74 years together. They were commended to the work of the Lord by the Sarnia Gospel Hall in 1948 and moved to Prince Edward County. He joined in to help G.P. Taylor, who had been doing gospel work in the area, and saw an assembly planted in Picton in 1950.

His exercise was to take the gospel into small towns and villages, visiting house to house, making contacts and inviting people to cottage meetings. In addition to Prince Edward County, places where he laboured included Maberly, Henderson, Arden, Cross Lake, Brockville, Peterborough and Blind River. He had a real gift in visiting with people and talking to them about their souls, and this continued all through his life. I had the privilege of working with him over a number of years in the gospel, and I value highly the time we spent over the Scriptures and in prayer, and the many practical lessons he taught me.

Timothy was truly a Christian gentleman who lived a life of consistency, integrity, honesty and generosity. Throughout his long life of nearly 100 years, he was cheerful, happy, faithful and God-fearing. All the Lord’s people can take a lesson from his God-pleasing example.

We will miss his presence and help in the assembly here in Picton. He was a true overseer and shepherd. The last time he and Mary were out to our assembly meetings was March 2020, before COVID-19 caused us to close our meetings.

Timothy leaves behind his wife Mary and seven children: Elisabeth (Desmond) Norris, Rachel (Don) Mazerolle, Alan (Rhonda) Kember, Anne Kember, Lucy (Bruce) Brundage, Aaron (Suzanne) Kember, and Ken (Janet) Kember; 17 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren. The funeral was taken by his sons Alan, Aaron and Ken Kember.

[1] All Scripture quotations in this tribute are from the KJV.