Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mr Benjamin Vincent Bartholomew

Mr Bartholomew architected Lambert Road Baptist Church
Benjamin Vincent Bartholomew was the recipient of some of the highest honours in his profession of architecture, and was first Secretary and later President of the Natal Society of Artists. His professional skill as well as his devotion is to be seen in a number of Baptist Church buildings which are his on-going memorials – eg, he designed the original church of which he was a founder member. He designed the manse, the Memorial Hall, the new church and was also architect for the new all-age Sunday school buildings at Lambert Road.
It was in the field of Christian endeavour that Mr. Bartholomew, known to many as “Uncle Ben” found his deepest joy and satisfaction. For over thirty years he was Secretary of the Durban and District Sunday School Union. In 1918, he founded the Durban City Mission, now known as “The People’s Church”. His interests were wide and for many years he was the chairman of the Bible Union Training College for African ministers at Sweetwaters, in addition to taking a practical interest in all Missionary enterprise.
He was a foundation member of the Lambert Road Baptist Church, a life deacon of the Church and Superintendent of it’s Sunday School from 1913 to 1950. On retiring to Kloof he played a major part in the establishment of the Baptist Church at Hillcrest, contributing generously to it’s needs and serving on it’s Diaconate up to the time of his death.
In all his activities he was ably supported by his wife during their 55 years of happy married life.
In a tribute in the “Natal Mercury” the writer said , “To have known him was an honour; to have had his warm handshake before the start of Christian Fellowship is something that will remain when other virtues, perhaps, have faded with the years”. Of B V Bartholomew it surely can be said “The memory of the just is blessed”. Many, during their life-time, have given thanks for the helping hand extended to them by “Uncle Ben”. and all who knew him give thanks for one who has “fought a good fight”, finished the course and kept the faith”. We have no doubt that he will “receive the crown of righteousness at that day”, from his Lord whom he loved and sought to serve faithfully throughout his life.
Written by: Syd Hudson-Reed

No comments:

Post a Comment