Ken Howard (1928-2012)
Ken Howard pastored a congregation in Farnborough, Hampshire, for 17 years and then became pastor at Stretham, near Ely in Cambridgeshire, from 1983 until his retirement in 1999. He served both churches while working firstly as an accountant and then as a personnel manager.
He was born on 21 December 1928 and orphaned at an early age. He was looked after by his aunt in Bermondsey, south east London.
When he was called up for National Service, he shot his Sergeant Major in the posterior during rifle practice. The young soldier blamed his glasses, which he said were made with the wrong prescription. Shortly after, he was transferred to the intelligence department!
While attending a London City Mission hall, he met Hilda, who later wrote, ‘On the occasion of our marriage the preacher gave us the text Proverbs 3:5-6: “In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths”. We have proved that in our life together’.
They spent 11 happy years at Otford in Kent, where Mr Howard became an elder of the local Strict Baptist Church. Tim, their son, arrived in 1969 and he married Marianne in 2004.
I first met Mr and Mrs Howard soon after I became pastor at Potton Baptist Church, Bedfordshire, in September 1986. For a year I was vice-president to Mr Howard, at the Association of Grace Baptist Churches (West Anglia).
We met once a month for prayer and then shared a meal together with our wives. I was impressed with his wisdom and godliness and came to value his fellowship and friendship.
I was also impressed with his commitment to the small cause at Stretham, even when the congregation dwindled before the church eventually closed.
He was a walking miracle! He had many health problems and attended Hinchingbrooke Hospital three days a week for dialysis. Eventually heaven’s door opened for him. He is now free from his suffering and reunited with his wife in the presence of the Saviour they loved.
A funeral service took place at Ramsey on Friday 4 May, followed by the interment at Stretham. Jonathan Chell, pastor at Salem, preached on Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 4:6-8.
Stan K. Evers