William E. (Bill) Craig (1924-1991)
Bill Craig was a well known figure amongst the saints for many years as a teacher of the Word of God in assemblies gathered to the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ throughout the United Kingdom and elsewhere. He was born in 1924, and born again at the age of 15 in Wellmeadow Gospel Hall, Paisley, Scotland under the preaching of Mr Edward Rankine (Ireland). Shortly afterwards he was baptised and received into the fellowship of the above assembly where he continued for 42 years. His last ten years were spent in happy fellowship in the assembly which meets at the Gospel Hall in Barrhead near Glasgow.
He was conscripted to Military Service in 1942 and became a physical training instructor in the Army. In 1944, he was so badly wounded in Normandy that he was left to die. The late Alastair Robertson of the Abernethy assembly, who was in the Medical Corps, saw him and took him to the field hospital where after treatment he began to recover. Later, he was brought to a hospital in Cardiff for convalescence. While standing there with the help of two crutches, he first met Mr William Trew, who was a regular visitor at the hospital. Bill was preaching the gospel to a ward of wounded soldiers at this first encounter!
In early times after the war, Bill formed a close friendship with the Leckie family and often visited their home in Airdrie. On such occasions Bill and Albert would sit with Mr. Leckie senior and discuss the Scriptures. Those evenings often ended with Bill catching the last bus back to Glasgow! They were formative times for both young men in laying a basis of knowledge and understanding of the sacred text. The fruit of such study was seen in the subsequent teaching ministry of both of them. Bill Craig's friendship with Albert Leckie last throughout the remainder of his life and culminated in his speaking at brother Albert's funeral in 1988.
As the years progressed it was clear that our brother had become not only an interested reader of the Word of God but also a careful student of its truth. He loved ministry of the Word and Bible Readings and was never happier than sitting in some house discussing a passage of Scripture. He was always courteous to people but this did not in any way prevent him from taking a different view in looking at the meaning of passage. On occasion he would throw some controversial issue into the conversation then sit back and listen to the various responses. In his own ministry he obviously enjoyed dealing with such sections as the upper room ministry of Lord Jesus in John 13-17, or some aspect of Ephesian truth as well as that of the epistle to the Hebrews. He would also take up aspects of the Levitical Offerings as they portray person and work of Christ and the ministry on such matters was presented in a heart-warming way. He was a preacher easy to listen to. Our brother was not a prolific writer, although a little appeared from his pen in the Believer's Magazine.
Bill Craig always made a substantial and helpful contribution to the local assembly where he was in permanent fellowship. Apart from being away for preaching commitments, he would be present at all the assembly gatherings. His ministry was with a view to strengthening the truth of the local assembly in the minds and hearts of the saints and this was done not only by his teaching of these subjects but also by his example.
In obituary, in the Believer's Magazine it was stated "In the assembly he was a faithful shepherd, ever mindful of the need of the Lord's people from the very elderly to the very young. An index of the help our brother gave locally is seen in present progress of some of the younger men who had contact with him in their earlier years. Brother Craig's shepherd care was not restricted to those in his own assembly. He was in general an excellent visitor of the sick with a word of comfort and cheer to all".
Our brother never married and seemed content to use his greater freedom from domestic responsibilities to engage in undisrupted service for the Lord. He lived with his parents until both were taken to be with the Lord and was very kind and helpful to them until the end. Bill Craig was one of a number of gifted brethren in Scotland who were well known in local assemblies throughout the British Isles as ministering brethren, yet they maintained normal employment throughout life. He was for many years the Managing Director of the Company he worked for, yet despite such responsibility, he travelled throughout the UK at weekends, teaching and preaching the Word of God. Our brother was always immaculate and dignified, and his charm and generous personality endeared him to his many friends. It was at the end of a period of ministry in the assembly at Wallingford, Oxfordshire, that our brother was taken home to be with the Lord on the night of 2 October 1991.
All messages by William Craig, All messages in English
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