Memorial: Douglas Howard

Albert Hull

My associations with our esteemed brother Mr. Howard especially in his later years have been most precious and profitable. My acquaintance with the Howard family goes back to the early sixties, when we arrived in Nova Scotia. We appreciated very much our brother’s fervency in the gospel and his unique ministry, which was original and profitable to the Lord’s people. However it was not until later that we became true friends and fellow-laborers. To share in the funeral service of this beloved servant of the Lord was a high honor indeed. His passing to the glory leaves us the weaker and gives a challenge to younger men to take up the baton of the gospel. The passing to the glory of a number of the servants of the Lord in recent years has left a great void, and becomes a great challenge to the assemblies. I would confess limitations in writing this article relative to Mr. Doug Howard, as many would have closer ties with our brother’s life and labors than myself. The words of Acts 4:36 & 11:24, concerning Barnabas (son of consolation) a Levite, "for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith" come to mind.

As a soldier he never wavered in his zeal for the gospel, he fought a good contest, always ready to speak out the message he loved so dearly. He was marked by courtesy, compassion, courage and conviction. He never wearied in relating the story of how, when and where God saved him. He loved the Lord, the Lord’s people and the place of His Name (2 Tim 4:7).

As a servant, he washed the feet of the saints. Kind in disposition and helpful to all the saints, he touched many hearts and was loved for the humble service he willingly rendered to the Lord’s people. The Amherst assembly profited greatly from his devoted and consistent and appreciated help. He was a good man and a gracious man. Some of his sayings are remembered. One of these, "a man (he) that hath friends must show himself friendly" (Prov. 18:24).

As a soul winner he was well known and many will rise to call him blessed. With his wife Muriel, they sowed in the gospel, with sacrifice, fervency and love. The writer recalls joining our brother fifteen years ago, in a gospel series in Moncton. The meetings were well attended and we had a very memorable series. Somehow there was an affinity struck with this older servant of the Lord, which remained until our final farewell. In the later years we corresponded and it was a joy to read his letters of cheer and encouragement. He will be missed by the saints and most of all by his lifelong partner, Muriel. We remember all the family and we are assured it is only until He comes (Proverbs 11:31).


He left us suddenly, without one sigh,
Left for the realms of glory, ne’er to die
Called to His Lord and Master his work was done
He is now beholding Christ, God’s blessed Son.

He slipped away without a parting word,
None heard the silent summons of His Lord.
Footfall of angels reached to mortal ear
When for his ransomed soul those hosts drew near.

Those messengers from scenes of purest light
Swept quietly though the silence of the night,
To bear the treasure, bought with precious blood,
Up through the heavens, up to that blest abode.

Can this be death? Ah, no, ‘tis but a change,
Which none but the Almighty can arrange;
The one we loved has just gone on before,
We’ll meet again where partings are no more.

Then let the silent teardrops freely flow.
God in His bottle treasures these, we know.
Each one of these shall shine like jewels rare,
Then let them fall, for none shall fall up there.

‘Tis just "good-night" dear brother, not "good-bye,"
Morn of reunion quickly draweth nigh,
Morn, what a tearless morning that will be,
When face to face our Saviour we shall see.

‘Tis one more link above, one less beneath,
These ties so dear, yea stronger than grim death,
Will join once more and form an endless chain
Ne’er to be snapt by death’s rude hand again.

Thus we today in glorious triumph stand,
Assured our times are in the nailed-pierced hand;
And soon we’ll meet where sorrow is unknown,
To sing redemption’s song around the Throne.

-A. Hull