Ernest Lloyd (1913-2010)
On Wednesday 23 December, 97-year-old Jewish missionary Ernest Lloyd passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord.
Mr Lloyd lived through the reigns of five monarchs and under more than 20 different prime ministers. He experienced two world wars and saw the decline of the British Empire, as well as the establishment of the state of Israel.
At the age of five, he was abandoned to the care of the Naomi Home for Women and Children, run by the Barbican Mission to the Jews. Life was hard for Jews in the years of the First World War and, like many other Jewish children, he suffered frequent taunts and even stoning.
In his late teens, following intense intellectual, spiritual and emotional inner conflict, Mr Lloyd became convinced that Jesus was the Messiah foretold by the ancient Hebrew prophets. In 1933 he commenced his life’s work with the British Society for the Propagation of the Gospel among the Jews.
In August 1937 he married Jessie McGowan; the door to their flat in London’s Muswell Hill was always open to visitors.
The mission changed its name twice: in 1965, the British Society for the Evangelisation of the Jews became the International Society for the Evangelisation of the Jews; and, after uniting with the Barbican Mission to the Jews in 1976, became Christian Witness to Israel (CWI).
In his 70 years of missionary service, Ernest Lloyd travelled more than a million miles by land, sea and air and preached more than 200,000 times in 20 countries.
He also served on the councils of CWI (in an honorary capacity), the International Messianic Jewish Alliance, the British Messianic Jewish Alliance and the Spanish Gospel Mission. The number of Jews and Gentiles who were saved and encouraged through his ministry, either directly or indirectly, is incalculable.
Mr Lloyd never owned his own home, never learned to drive, nor learned another language; and he never sent an email. But in his role as an evangelist one of his qualities was seen most clearly – an almost infinite patience enabled him to suffer being rebuffed time after time in his efforts to lead his ‘kinsmen according to the flesh’ to the Messiah.
He is survived by his two sons. ‘And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them’ (Revelation 14:13).
General Secretary Christian Witness to Israel