Tribute: Albert McShane

Norman Turkington

When starting my apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker, I never thought it would lead to a friendship with Mr. Albert McShane for the rest of my life. He himself worked in the same place and was a first class tradesman with few equals. Shortly after getting to know him, he spoke to me about salvation and quoted the words of Matthew 6:33, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." Little did he know the effect his words had upon me that day, and while I didn't get saved until sometime later, I never could get away from his words and the way in which they were spoken. At the age of thirty, he joined with Mr. William McCracken in full time service for the Lord, preaching with him for ten years and seeing many souls saved. In 1955, Albert, as he was affectionately known by many, was joined by Mr. Alec Lyttle, and for another nine years they had fruitful times together. In the autumn of 1964 he asked me to join him at Whitehouse for an effort in the gospel. During the meetings he took ill and needed heart surgery, from which he recovered and was ready for preaching again in early 1966.

At that time the Lord had been exercising my heart about serving Him in the gospel, but I never thought about Mr. McShane asking me to join him. For almost fourteen years we labored together in halls, both permanent and portable, and often in the tent, during which years we had fifty spells of meetings and had the joy of seeing many saved. It was a pleasure and an education to labor with our dear brother who was a most unselfish man. His preaching was simple yet weighty and he was never given to lightness on the platform. He had a tremendous mind and the art of making difficult passages sound simple. Few could equal his ability to handle Bible readings, and for many years he took charge of one of the readings at the Lurgan conference. Mr. McShane had a true shepherd's heart. He loved the sheep because he loved the Shepherd, and times without number he refreshed them with his ministry at conferences.

It is difficult to imagine assembly life in Northern Ireland without him. Truly a great man and a prince has been taken from us. We thank God upon every remembrance of him and are thankful also for the writings he has left us, as he was a master with his pen.

Enid, his dear partner, has been left a lonely widow and it would be nice to remember her in prayer with her daughter, son and grandchildren.