F. W. Schwartz
“It has been nice being with you, but I feel that I must go. I sure enjoyed the day at Waverley. The Lord’s people there are appreciative of ministry.”
“Come again soon, Will; you are always welcome.”
Our visit together of a few days in Midland, after the annual meeting of Food for the Flock Inc. had ended. Little did Will and I think that in a few weeks a friendship dating back to 1927 would also close.
On January 13, 1973, the Lord called our beloved brother, F. William Schwartz, directly home from active service. He now rests from his labours and his works do follow him. In a letter written that very morning to his home assembly in Detroit, he says, “By the grace of God I am permitted to remain active which is what an old fellow really needs to be — more or less! They say that we need three things as we get older: 1) Need to know that we are loved. 2) Need to be able to feel that we are not useless and 3) Need some activity suited to our capacities. All these are present in my case! And many other mercies!”
Brother Schwartz was born in Philadelphia in 1893, but when only a little boy of three years he was taken to Montreal, Canada. There he received his early education in a Roman Catholic school. On Sundays he attended, at one time or another, the Sunday Schools of three different denominations. In each he was given the impression that one could be right with God by keeping the ten commandments and by a life of high morality.
The death of a companion, along with some sound biblical teaching he had received, produced conviction of sin and fear of its eternal consequences. The more he tried to get right with the Lord, the more was his conscience stirred, plunging him into despair. When 13 years of age, he found Christ through a sermon preached on the words, “It is finished.”
After his marriage in 1917 he remained in Montreal for a few years, but in 1924 he moved back to the United States, this time to Detroit where he fellowshipped with the assembly in Central Gospel Hall. In 1927 that assembly heartily commended him to the work of the Lord.
At the Detroit Christian Conference in the fall of 1927 we were introduced the one to the other by the late T. D. W. Muir. The conference being concluded, we went together to Flint and Bay City, Michigan. In both cities we conducted meetings. Although these were the only series of meetings we ever conducted together, we have kept in touch with one another ever since.
Brother Schwartz spent many of his earlier years in gospel work, preaching in tents in Quebec, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, etc. He held series of gospel meetings in school houses, rented premises and among small assemblies. In more recent years he was engaged more in Bible ministry in both his home area and farther afield.
In September 1967 the Lord removed our brother’s kind and gracious life companion, Elizabeth. He submitted readily to the will of the Lord. Notwithstanding he greatly missed the warmth and intimacy, the understanding and sharing, of his beloved wife. Although lonesome, he was never forlorn. To him spiritual and assembly activities were the antidote for loneliness, so he kept occupied.
Brother Schwartz became associated with Food for the Flock, Inc. in 1955. Faithfully each year as the annual meeting approached, he went to Toronto, Ontario, to assist the Charter Treasurer of the Corporation, Ormer G. C. Sprunt. His experiences as an accountant enabled him to prepare the financial statement and to interpret its items at the meeting. He was highly esteemed by us all. We loved him for himself as well as for the services he rendered. He is now at home with the Lord. He rests from his labour. As was said to David, so might it be said to Will Schwartz, “Thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty.”
Friendships and fellowships here have been ended to be renewed soon before the Throne of God and of the Lamb.
A Personal Tribute
As we have often stated, our home has been open to the Lord’s servants for over fifty years. Among the most worthy to visit us, were the esteemed brethren Thomas Wilkie and F. William Schwartz. Both are now at home with the Lord.
During their life their services were most helpful in the publication of Ministry in Focus. Their counsel was invaluable.
William Schwartz was a brother beloved. It was a pleasure to my wife and myself to welcome him on his visits. He counted our home his when in our area. Many were the happy occasions we enjoyed talking together of the things of the Lord and the welfare of His beloved people.
He provided both spiritual and literal assistance in preparing the annual financial statement of Food for the Flock Inc.
We greatly miss him! Our prayers are for his two daughters and their families in their bereavement.
—Ormer G. C. Sprunt