Harold Crowter (1924-2011)
Harold Crowter was first and foremost a preacher of the gospel, sent out to preach by Rehoboth Chapel, Coventry, in 1954, and serving many Strict Baptist churches until late in life.
He was the pastor for 32 years at Ebenezer, Old Hill, in the West Midlands, remaining happily in membership after retirement. He was a dear Christian friend to many and a loving husband for 56 years to Mary, who steadfastly served the Lord with him.
A man saturated in the Word of God, and a man of prayer, Harold walked closely with the Lord. Aware of the battle within his own sinful heart, it led him to exult in the grace of God.
He was given a rock-like faith, and his life illustrated the effectiveness of putting on the whole armour of God. He inherited a gracious and loving disposition, an eloquent way in prayer and preaching, and a perceptiveness which helped him so often to say exactly what was needed.
Harold was a convinced Calvinist. Never only theoretical, he spoke of things which he had tasted and felt, and his ministry was rooted in human and spiritual experience.
A large man, described as a gentle giant, and a large character — out of the pulpit, he had a rich humour — with lively conversation and memorable stories for all ages.
Living as a teenager through the Coventry blitz, three years in the barrack room on National Service, and then a successful few years in industry until he entered Christian ministry, Harold had an understanding of the Christian life in this world.
Deep unhappiness gave him insight into the broken hearted; critical illness gave him empathy with the sick and dying; living in financial dependence on the Lord for himself and his family led to many amazing experiences of God’s providence.
He preached, prayed and counselled from the heart. Having left school at 15, he regretted his lack of formal education, but natural intelligence helped, and he educated himself, with a voracious appetite for commentaries, the Puritans, Banner books, the counsel of godly men and women; and he had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Bible.
God opened his eyes to the sole authority of the Bible and freed him to appreciate the true work of the Holy Spirit wherever he found it. Though used in the conversion of many, perhaps his main service was to encourage God’s people, for whom he had a warm, sympathetic and practical love.
Harold’s last illness, with liver cancer, was a remarkable experience for those who had contact with him. ‘My bed is my pulpit now’, he said; and so it was. The prospect of death held no fear, as the doorway to heaven, and he could scarcely wait!
On 19 February 2011, surrounded at home by his family, the trumpets sounded for him on the other side. His funeral was held on 5 March 2011, at Ebenezer, and the committal at Cave Adullam Church, Blackheath. Over 300 bore testimony to the goodness of God in the life of his much loved servant.