A Tribute to Paul Kember: Paul Kember and the St.Thomas Assembly

Wade Steers

Paul and Phyllis Kember came to the St.Thomas Assembly in 1997. They settled in West Lorne after Paul and Murray McCandless had a fruitful series in the gospel at West Lorne. Paul and Phyllis have been in fellowship in the St.Thomas Assembly for twenty years. Paul was most diligent in the gospel work to which God had called him. The Biblical phrase "until he find it" could be used to describe his work in many areas of southern Ontario.

Paul was faithful to the St.Thomas Assembly and always counted himself as one of the brethren, not seeking any special place. His manual talents were often applied to construction on the hall and the spring clean up if he was home. His timely ministry, help in Bible readings, and gospel messages and one-on-one counseling have affected many lives. He will be missed at the St.Thomas conference where for a number of years he made the announcements in a manner that the elders and saints appreciated.

Their home has always been open for assembly sings and other events which brought the people of God together.

During the past two years, Paul worked to visit literally hundreds of homes in the Straffordville area seeking to build up the small assembly there. He labored here with some of the Lord's servants who were able to assist. Three older brethren from the St.Thomas Assembly worked with Paul at the Aylmer Flea Market distributing thousands of texts, Seed Sowers and other gospel materials every Tuesday for the last two years . He pitched his gospel tent here in June of 1996 as well as 1997. There was some blessing in salvation.

For Paul, the summer of 1997 was most strenuous. He raised his tent in four different places. The meetings in three places were approximately three weeks. However, at Vienna, the tent was up for only three meetings. Although a short time, it was clear that an impact was made by God here. This session was an emotional time for me for the tent was on the very property where I had worked when I was in my late teens. I could only say, "To God be the Glory!"

At the end of the summer 1997, Paul confided in me that a most unusual event happened. The saints of the Straffordville Assembly had a dinner at a local restaurant in order to express their appreciation for his work for God. With tears in his eyes, an elder brother expressed the assembly's thankfulness to Paul and Phyllis. I watched this brother take the long walk up to the casket the day of the funeral and wondered what was passing through his mind.

Of course, much more could be said. Phyllis appreciates our prayers at this time and we can only say that Paul will be truly missed.

The Lord spoke to me in this way when I heard of Paul's sudden homecall and reflected on the thousands of homes he visited only to find no room for the Lord Jesus Christ: "Of whom the world was not worthy" (Hebrews 11:38).