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All articles in category People

News

April 2019
News > People > Obituaries

Dr Keith Small (1959-2018)

Dr Keith Small was one of the foremost Quar’an scholars of our time. His work on early manuscripts provoked new questions among secular and Islamic scholars alike. While at Dallas Theological Seminary, Keith read of Henry Martyn, and resolved to give his life to work among Muslims. He married Celeste Gardner in 1985, equally committed to the Muslim world, and they moved to the UK the following year, settling in Dewsbury. The family later moved to London while Keith completed a doctorate. Taking the earliest 21 Qur’anic manuscripts, he applied to them the same tools used for examining biblical manuscripts. His ground-breaking work showed that...

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March 2019
News > People > Obituaries

Megan Franklin (1981-2018)

London Christians are groaning mutely at a fearful providence that has humbled us all, particularly the family of Brad and Megan Franklin. Brad is an American pastor of St Giles Christian Mission in north London. He has six young children (all under thirteen years old) and his wife, Megan, was expecting their seventh. Three days after Christmas, Megan sustained a small cut, leading to a Group A Strep infection. Her brain swelled, causing catastrophic damage. Megan underwent a C-section and successfully gave birth to a sixth son, who is doing well. However, Megan did not recover from her infection and tragically passed away on 6th...

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March 2019
News > People > Obituaries

Douglas Dawson (1922-2019)

On 17 January, Douglas Dawson passed into glory. He had pastored several churches, including fellowships in Stretham, Borough Green and Leyton. Grace Baptist churches underwent much change during Douglas’ life. Along with Clifford Pond, Jack Hoad, John Appleby and Frank Ellis, Douglas played a pivotal role. Clifford, Jack and Douglas were leaders in the Metropolitan Association of Strict Baptist Churches at a critical time in the 1960s and 1970s. This coincided with a further liberalising of the Baptist Union. Many young preachers were unwilling to pursue ministry within the BU. Where could they turn? Strict Baptist churches offered help as Clifford and Douglas interviewed and...

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February 2019
News > People > Obituaries

Obituary: Reverend Timothy Alford 1933-2018

Rev Timothy Alford went to be with the Lord on 6th December 2018, aged 84. Raised in Colerne, Wiltshire, Timothy believed from an early age under the influence of his family and Colerne Evangelical Church. His pastor, Harry Matthews, brought Timothy to a turning point as he challenged him with Scripture. While still a teenager, he dedicated himself to serving God. For years, Timothy was heavily involved in child evangelism. During this time, he married his beloved wife, Pansy (also from Colerne). In the 1950s, Timothy was called to a pastorate at Saltford Evangelical Church, Somerset. While there, his two daughters, Sharon and Deborah, were...

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November 2018
News > People > Obituaries

Dr John R. de Witt (1935-2018)

John de Witt passed into glory on Sunday 30 September 2018. The funeral service was at First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC, with Dr Derek W. H. Thomas and Rev. David H. Lauten officiating. I met Dick in September 1961, when he took part in the opening exercises in Philadelphia of Westminster Theological Seminary’s academic year. He prayed for the almost 300 students, who were the sum total of the student body at that time. He had driven there from his first congregation, Sixth Reformed Church in Paterson, New Jersey. Pastor John Richard de Witt was the son of Gary and Elizabeth Petranella Van Vliet de Witt. A...

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Remembering Valerie Riches (1924-2018)

News

September 2018
News > People > Obituaries

Remembering Valerie Riches (1924-2018)

Valerie Riches, the founder president and former director of the Family Education Trust, died earlier this year, aged 93. When I was first introduced to Family and Youth Concern, as it was then known, in 1993, Valerie Riches had been labouring on behalf of the family and the welfare of children and young people for over 20 years. She was already over the normal age for retirement, yet such was her commitment and devotion she kept going.  When she eventually stood down from the daily running of the organisation, she maintained a keen interest in the work, serving as a trustee and founder president. Valerie...

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August 2018
News > People > Obituaries

OBITUARY: Ray Wilkie (1930–2018)

Leslie Raymond Wilkie, went to be with the Lord on 6 June 2018, after a short period of illness from cancer. He died peacefully at home, with his immediate family around him, who sang some of his favourite hymns as he was taken into his greater home. Ray, as he was called, was born in Bradford, in West Yorkshire, on 1 October 1930. He attended Sunbridge Road Mission with his parents and was a committed member of the Boys’ Brigade, swinging the mace in the Bradford battalion band. He was later apprenticed at English Electric and qualified as a draughtsman. In 1954, after completing two...

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July 2018
News > People > Obituaries

Obituary: Dr Theodore C. Danson

Dr Theodore C. Danson Smith of Edinburgh went to be with Christ on May 8th 2018, having been in hospital for some months. Theodore trusted the Saviour at five years of age, and went on to have a lifetime of Christian service until his health declined. He was manager of B. McCall Barbour Christian Books, Edinburgh for the whole of his working life. This took him to all four corners of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland for colporteurage. During his yearly travels, he also preached in local churches. Theo — as he was known — authored five Christian books, all of which were widely...

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April 2018
News > People > Obituaries

Obituary – Dick Saunders (1930-2018)

Dick Saunders, international evangelist, Bible teacher and pastor, died on 19 January 2018, aged 87. Richard (Dick) Stephen Saunders was born in Hailsham, East Sussex, on 16 July 1930, the son of a Strict Baptist lay pastor, Alfred Saunders. He grew up surrounded by the prayers and godly example of his parents, and trusted Christ as his own Saviour at the age of 18. Soon after his conversion, he married Betty (née Thomas). After the bitter disappointment of the loss of their second child, Dick made a fresh surrender of his life to Christ. Later, they joined an Open Brethren gospel hall in Hailsham, where...

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Article

April 2018
Obituaries

World-famous evangelist called home

Whether or not you agreed with his politics or inclusivist theology, nobody can deny that Billy Graham’s ministry was well known across many continents. Rev. Billy Graham’s passing on 21 February this year reignited international debate across all platforms over the measure and the message of the man. For some, he was a tireless campaigner for equality, social justice and the gospel. For others, he represented homophobia and bigotry, being known as a friend and adviser to disgraced former president Richard Nixon and refusing to back down on his anti-same-sex marriage stance. It is easy to dismiss both the lionising and the lambasting as simply...

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News

February 2018
News > People > Obituaries

Evangelist Dick Saunders 1930-2018

Dick Saunders, international ‘crusade’ and radio evangelist, Bible teacher and pastor, died 19 January, 2018 aged 87. Richard (‘Dick’) Stephen Saunders was born in Hailsham, East Sussex, on 16 July, 1930, the son of a Strict Baptist lay-pastor, Alfred Saunders. He grew up surrounded by the prayers and Godly example of his parents, and trusted Christ as his own Saviour at the age of 18. Soon after his conversion he married Betty (née Thomas). After the bitter disappointment of the loss of their second child, Dick made a fresh surrender of his life to Christ. Later they joined an Open Brethren Gospel Hall in Hailsham,...

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February 2018
News > People > Obituaries

Rev. Dr Eifion Evans (1931-2017)

Born in Cross Hands, Eifion trained as a pharmacist before entering theological training for the Presbyterian Church ministry. He ministered in Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Belfast and Abergavenny before returning to pharmacy in West Wales while continuing his preaching ministry and the encouraging of smaller fellowships. Like many Christians, I first met Eifion Evans through his books. When he is come, on the 1859 revival in Wales was the first book I read as a new Christian. It had a lasting impact on me. Eifion’s gift of writing church history with clarity, warmth and challenge was a rare one and his books leave a helpful legacy for...

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