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Ray McCabe (1930–2014)

February 2015

On 28 November 2014, missionary Ray McCabe went to be with the Lord, aged 84, after a battle with cancer. Ray and his wife Nel had been in the Govanhill Free Church of Scotland congregation since he came to Glasgow to work with Christian Witness to Israel (CWI).

Mr McCabe had served as Scottish Secretary for Christian Witness to Israel (CWI) since the 1960s, only being replaced in January 2014, after many years of service.

Speaking at the remembrance service at Govanhill, where Mr McCabe had been an elder, Mike Moore, former general secretary for CWI, said, ‘In my life, two men have influenced me more than any others. Both were missionaries to the Jewish people. Both served the Lord with CWI. One was Ernest Lloyd; the other was Ray McCabe.

‘There were certain things about Mr McCabe that stood out to me. One was his evident godliness. He belonged to the Scotland of Patrick Fairburn, John “Rabbi” Duncan and Robert Murray M’Cheyne. He lived in their books, imbibed their thinking and emulated their piety. He spoke and wrote their language of devotion to God.

‘I was also impressed by Ray’s scrupulous honesty. If I made the least mistake in any factual detail when editing one of his articles for the CWI Herald, he would let me know’.

Before starting what was a pioneer work in Glasgow, then home to 15,000 Jewish people, Mr McCabe and his Dutch wife Nel — whom he met at a Scottish country dance before they were converted and called to the ministry — spent six months in London’s East End at the Gilead Medical Mission. This is where Mr Lloyd had started his own ministry some 30 years before.

After serving briefly in Manchester, Liverpool and then Leeds, they commenced what would be their life’s work in Glasgow. Mr Moore added: ‘Mr McCabe was a trainer of missionaries. Several CWI workers were introduced to the work of sharing Jesus with Jewish people under his wise tutelage.

‘His life was dedicated to bringing hope to the Jewish people of Glasgow; the hope that he had; the hope of sins forgiven and eternal life, through the supreme Jew, the Messiah of Israel, in whose presence Ray now rests from all his labours’.

Ray is survived by his wife Nel, and three sons, Duncan, Murray and Gavin.


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