Douglas was born in the small village of Gleadles, South Yorkshire, a few days after the outbreak of World War I. He came to faith in Christ at the age of 22. His eyes were opened by the words of 1 John 5:12 – ‘He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life’.
Douglas taught in the Sunday school of his local Congregational church. However, his adherence to the doctrines of grace was not well received by some in the church. Eventually, he and four others were removed from fellowship because of their fidelity to these doctrines.
In God’s providence, Douglas found a home at the Sovereign Grace Mission in Sheffield where the doctrines of grace were upheld. This became his spiritual home for the rest of his life. It became Wycliffe Church, in which Douglas served as an elder for many years.
Douglas was highly gifted. An accomplished painter, his art adorns the walls in many Christian homes. His subjects would include anything from prototype supersonic jets to Scottish mountain landscapes. The children of Wycliffe Church would later recall Uncle Doug’s ceramic frog – so lifelike they thought it was real!
In art and sculpture, in teaching and in preaching, Douglas reached all manner of people. He also had a remarkable memory and understanding of the Scriptures.
He used these gifts, he says in Autobiography of a Yorkshire Christian, ‘to bear witness to God’s sovereign pleasure, power, and mercy in revealing himself in Christ Jesus, as the only Saviour of guilty, lost mankind… I hope my life will point others to depend on the same Saviour’.
Douglas reached many through his reformed preaching and his Bible studies with those of all ages and nationalities.
He was well-organised and supported by his devoted wife, Eileen. They hosted many people from the Faroe Islands who wanted to learn English so as to study the Scriptures better.
In later years, Douglas also hosted many Chinese students and preached regularly in a Chinese church. His love, warmth and compassion for people were evident to all who met him.
He leaves sweet memories of a man who followed Christ to the end of his 104-year life. He was a useful servant in the household of God but eagerly awaited the call home to be ‘with Christ, which is far better’.