Monday, February 6, 2012

Rev Arthur J.A. Rowland

On Monday 5th March 1973 the Rev Arthur J.A. Rowland passed into the presence of his Saviour after a long life spent serving Him. He had been involved in an incredibly wide range of Church and Missionary activities and his personal friendship and counsel had meant so much to so many individuals from every section of the community.
The service was conducted by the Pastor of the Cape Town Baptist Church, the Rev A.J. Erasmus, and among those who took part was the Rev A.S. Gilfillan, who represented the Baptist Union of Southern Africa, evangelical and civic leaders, representatives of the countless missionaries whom Arthur had befriended and the host of pupils whom he had taught in school and Sunday school, and upon whom he had left his mark, were all present to give thanks for a true and faithful friend.
The news of Arthur’s passing brought back to many minds, the momentous occasion, just less than two years previously, when this amazing old gentleman, still in possession of a remarkable vigour of mind and body, celebrated his one-hundredth birthday. It was an occasion which few who had any part in it will forget. As those who know him best reviewed his long life, beginning in that truly Christian home in Bronstone, Gloucestershire, where he had learned the Scriptures at his mother’s knee, and where, accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as personal saviour at the age of seventeen, he had begun a life of service for Him, it was Arthur’s Lord that all sought to glorify.
It is still thus that he would wish it – that all the glory would be his Master’s. In America and in the Czar’s palace in Russia, as a crafsman, and ultimately in South Africa as a woodwork teacher, firstly in Wellington and later in Cape Town, Arthur proved himself to be a workman for Christ, who needed not to be ashamed. At every opportunity he witnessed for his Saviour and, during the South African War, he volunteered as a Scripture Reader among the troops at the front.
The death of his wife, the former Miss Annie Janisch, daughter of the late H.R. Janisch, Governor of Saint Helena, in 1915, laid upon him the responsibility of rearing a young family alone. He proved to be a wonderful father, for he was, in his home, and in the Sunday Schools at Wale Street and Jarvis street, indeed a friend of the children. He superintended the Wale Street Baptist Sunday School for no less than forty years.
The Rev Arthur J.A. Rowland's practical Christianity knew no boundaries – to the rich, to the poor, of every race, he sought to give a helping hand in Christ’s Name. He was actively associated too, with a number of extra-denominational Christian organisations.
Written by: Syd Hudson-Reed

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