Tribute: Oswald MacLeod (4)

William Oliver

Hast thou considered My servant?

On reflection of the life of our dear brother Oswald I can almost hear Heaven say MY SERVANT. His commitment to serve the Lord began with an exercise in his sixteenth year when his dying brother encouraged him to preach the Gospel. That exercise was developed over a lifetime with an earnest interest in souls. In his life of service, he was a man of conviction, carefulness, compassion and concern. This was displayed to saved and unsaved.

Not wanting to repeat what he has written himself regarding his call and highlights of his service I just want to note that He was commended by the Bryn Mawr assembly in 1928 and whenever he returned he always spoke of coming "home." He had observed his wife Sarah Jane Beattie when living in Bryn Mawr and returned in late 1932 to marry her. They enjoyed 58 years of united, faithful service.

The early days of the 1930ís found Oswald living in North Carolina and busy in the Gospel. These years were not easy as the country was in the great depression. Fellowship was sparse and needs were often great. But on he ploughed. He was determined with his wife to share with others whatever the Lord provided for them. Over the years many servants of the Lord, younger and older, could attest to the liberal remembrance of their need supplied by Oswald and Sarah.

The war years forced changes and a relocation to Dayton, Ohio from where he branched out with the Gospel. In 1949, when things had returned to normalcy, they moved back to Hickory to continue again in the work of Gospel pioneering in the area. The Lord blessed those years of labor and an assembly was formed and built up.

Oswald was not forward but he was fitted for the need at hand. He was content to serve among few or many. His ministry revealed the thoughts of a man enjoying the truth of God received through the Word. His knowledge of the word was wonderful and present with him right through his public service. His presence at a conference added character to the ministry and provided you with food for thought.

I think one great feature of Oswald and Sarah and later Gertrude was that they would go out of the way to visit the people of God, some older, some sick, some discouraged. Also there were unsaved ones he kept in contact with, expecting to see them saved. He made time to visit, a practice that we would do well to emulate. He drove long miles to be with the Christians. And yet after a long drive, coming into your house he came as if it was just a short journey. He maintained a even temperament and was a true gentleman, considerate and interested in you personally. He displayed the character of Christ. Like Caleb of old it can be said "he wholly followed the Lord." I think you can agree with me that Heavenís statement can be well applied to Oswald, "MY SERVANT."

Oswald will be greatly missed, but for him it is absent from the body and present with the Lord. His wife Gertrude shared with him for the last eight years and faithfully and lovingly cared for him to the moment of his homecall. "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."