Memorial: Tribute to John Norris

Norman Crawford

We have lost a dear friend and fellow worker in the homecall of John Norris on May 10, 1999. Our sympathies go out to Mrs. Norris, her two sons and two daughters, their spouses and 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Few men have manifested the spirit of the Lord who said, "I am meek and lowly in heart," as fully as John Norris. He displayed the meekness and gentleness of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:1), yet he was strong in faith, and had the courage to stand firmly for convictions that the Word of God gave him. For 10 years, he was a pastor in a denomination, but for 55 years of his life, he and Mrs. Norris held firmly to assembly principles that they learned on their knees with an open Bible before them.

John was saved when he was ten years old through Pentecostal Christians. In 1944 he married Margaret who was a true help meet to him for almost 55 years. Having learned the truth of gathering alone in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, during the first year of their marriage, they asked for fellowship in the Wellington Street assembly in Ballymena, N. Ireland. They were gladly received and very soon brother Norris was encouraged by Mr. David Craig to join him in Gospel work. Commended by the assembly, he gave himself to full time service. Preaching with David Craig, Charles Fleming, Leonard Mullan and other brethren, they saw a number of precious souls saved in Ireland.

In 1956, our brother and sister moved to Canada where for many years they have been a rich blessing. Our brother was an able minister of the Word of God. Much gospel work was done on the Canadian Prairies. Preaching with other brethren, brother Norris had fruitful meetings in Brandon, Portage and Roseisle, Manitoba and in Taylorside and Glen Ewan Saskatchewan.

In 1974, Mr. A. W. Joyce asked John to take over as treasurer of the Truth and Tidings. Mr. and Mrs. Norris looked after the subscriptions for a number of years. He became coeditor of the magazine early in 1975 and because Mr. Joyce was in failing health, the work of editing fell on brother Norris. His own health failed, so that in January, 1979, he became an honorary editor.

On May 13, his funeral at Sault Ste. Marie was very large. Norman Crawford spoke in the funeral home and Timothy Kember gave a brief message at the grave. Tom McNeill of the Ballymena assembly, whose wife was saved through brother Norris, gave a brief tribute. David Nicholson, a son in law, gave a warmhearted tribute from the family.