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David Streater (1933-2017)

May 2017 | by Barry Shucksmith

On 24 March this year, a service of thanksgiving for the life of Rev. David Arthur Streater was held at Bethany Baptist Church, Mumbles, Wales.

The church was packed to capacity for the occasion. The service was led by the pastor, Rev. Mike Leaves. Prayers were taken by David’s son-in-law, Rev. Dr Dick Seed, a missionary in Kenya.

The gospel-centred sermon, requested by the deceased, was preached by Dr Barry Shucksmith, former Oak Hill College student and, for over half a century, a ministerial friend.

The service had been prepared by David before his death and included the hearty singing of three hymns: ‘My hope is built on nothing less’, ‘Christ the Lord is risen today’ and ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine’. The Musical Memories Choir (a dementia day club group, to which David belonged) sang a beautiful and emotional rendering, in Welsh, of Calon Lan.

After national service in the British army and his conversion, David was greatly helped by the biblical ministry of Prebendary Dick Lucas of St Helen’s Bishopsgate. He attended Oak Hill Theological College in the 1960s, and was ordained in the Chichester diocese in 1968.

While serving for 15 years in the Church of England in South Africa, he ministered at Fort Victoria, Zimbabwe, and founded the George Whitefield House, Cape Town. While there, he trained many now in Christian work for the Lord.

On returning to the UK in 1986, he held a number of parish appointments, but is best remembered for his work as director of Church Society. This was during difficult years of theological ferment, the 1990s, and he was often called upon for wise counsel and conservative evangelical contributions to media and churches, wrestling with such issues as the coronation oath, ecumenism, feminism and sexuality.

David remained a Reformed and conservative evangelical all his life, and in retirement found the spiritual support of Bethany Baptist Church exemplary. He is survived by his wife Valerie, and their five children, Caroline, Jacqui, Mark, James and Paul.

Barry Shucksmith

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