About 130 people gathered on 25 February, from northwest England and further afield, to give thanks for the ministry of Phil Arthur at Grace Baptist Church, Lancaster. Phil will be having a six-month sabbatical and then continuing to serve the church in a part-time capacity.
For over 28 years Phil Arthur has been preaching, pastoring and serving the wider church with historical papers and as author of helpful books and commentaries. He has also been involved in the training of young men for pastoral ministry, both at London Seminary and in the Philippines. He has demonstrated practically the benefits of expository preaching, with his people being fed and instructed by messages consecutively through Bible books.
At his induction service in October 1988, Hywel Jones summed up his message with these words: ‘You will need help from God; you will have help from God’. Phil’s testimony was that both of these statements have proved true.
Tribute was paid by John Mollitt to Phil as a man who, like Stephen in the early church, was faithful to the Word of God, obedient to the call of God and steadfast in the work of God.
Phil, with the support of the church at Lancaster, was, under God, the means by which a gospel work at Ulverston began and ultimately became a fully functioning church. In the 1990s a pastors’ fraternal was started at Lancaster and many pastors have found this to be a tremendous encouragement and help.
Phil explained that, since he began as pastor, he aspired to be like Bunyan’s portrait of a gospel minister: ‘He had his eyes lifted up to heaven, the best of books was in his hand, the law of truth was written upon his lips, the world was behind his back. He stood as if he pleaded with men and a crown of gold did hang over his head’.
Many of us can see a real likeness between Phil and his ideal and are so thankful for his robust, down-to-earth Christianity.