Biography - George Wilson

Biography - George Wilson

J. Boyd Nicholson

“… Tomorrow is the new moon; and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty” 1 Samuel 20:18.

Born in Belfast, Ireland, forty seven years ago, George Wilson was led to the Lord as a young man and associated himself with Christians who meet at Victoria Hall in that city. As a carpenter by trade he was employed for some years at the Harland and Wolff shipyards.

Brother George had a lively interest in the work among the children and he, with brother George Gunning now of St. Catharines, Ontario, carried on a children’s work in Old Park Assembly in Belfast. His interest in the young led him into work with the youth of the area. He was greatly interested in a Saturday night meeting for the young where four to five hundred regularly attended.

Though a comparatively young man, his help was sought in the work of the oversight in the large assembly at Victoria Hall. There is no doubt that this training and experience affected his ministry in the years that were to follow.

In 1947, brother George left Ireland for Canada, and through the instrumentality of the late brother Norman Bailey of Niagara Falls, Ontario, settled in that city. His wife, Mary, and family, Valerie, and Edmund, followed him in December of the same year.

The following year, he used his skill as a carpenter to build a home for his family where they resided.

Following his arrival in this country he was in fellowship with the saints at Wilmott Street in Niagara Falls, Ontario, where his help and ministry were deeply appreciated.

For many years brother George had been exercised about devoting his full time to the preaching of the Word. About twelve years ago this exercise became “a divine necessity,” and he sought the fellowship of his brethren in this regard. One of his brethren recalls that there had certainly been a Christ exalting character about his ministry.

The brethren, whose fellowship he had enjoyed in Ireland at Victoria Hall, joined heartily with those at Niagara Falls, and our beloved brother left his secular vocation to serve the Lord and His people in a larger sphere.

As previously mentioned, the early years of experience in Ireland where he sought to shepherd the flock, left their mark upon the man and his ministry. He was indeed a man with the heart of a shepherd. Many were the lonely hearts, and many were the sick and sorrowing who knew the comforting softness of his voice, and the cheer of his ready smile.

His service took him to many parts, but perhaps where he will be missed most for his ministry will be the Manitoulin Island, where he laboured often with brother Robert Booth, and the assemblies in Virginia, where he often visited alone.

There are many places where his comforting and exhortive ministry will be missed, but the test of a man’s ministry is often in proportion to his acceptance in his own home area. Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, and the assemblies near at hand will feel the lack of his warm ministry. It was always good to see him appear at a prayer meeting, unexpectedly, when the Lord used His servant to pass on a “wee” word that so often met a felt need.

The writer recalls with pleasure the many times brother George called him, as a standing arrangement, when he was home, and over a bite of lunch share a richer feast, as some fresh truth discovered would be mutually enjoyed.

One such occasion found the writer passing through somewhat of a storm in the life, and on seeking a word of help from our brother, he simply quoted two portions from the 77th Psalm that have never been forgotten, “Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary” (V13), and “Thy way is in the sea…” (V19).

This was typical of our brother for if he excelled in any area of ministry it was in the sick room, the house of mourning and to those in special need.

He was a man of a tender spirit and a man of peace. There is no doubt that he carried to the last, scars inflicted by thoughtless critics who did not know the kind of a heart that beat within.

It is supposed that somewhere in this beloved brother, that by reason of the old nature in which we all share, he also partook of the flaws, failures and faults we all can find so readily within ourselves, but these, whatever they may have been, are locked in the hearts of those who loved him best.

He took sick while sharing a series of meetings with brother Bob Booth in Philadelphia. God was blessing, but it was obvious that brother George was not at all well. He returned home, and after a brief but tragic and trying time the Lord called His servant from his ambassadorship in a foreign clime, to a place of rest where today he beholds the countenance of the Beloved One he sought to exalt and to serve faithfully here.

At the funeral Brother Bob Booth had the sad but precious privilege of bringing the message from the Scripture in Revelation, “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” (14:13). It was obvious to all that the Lord was upholding our brother as he brought the message.

On December 12, 1962, the elders of the assembly at Wilmott Street bore the remains to their place, until the trumpet shall sound and we shall all be re-united, garbed in immortality… forever with the Lord… “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

J. B. N.