Wednesday, 29 March 2017


This afternoon I met Mr Rowland Todd, an elderly, ninety five year old gentleman, from the Shankill Road, giving out Christian booklets in High Street, Holywood. The booklet he gave me was: 'Heaven- Home of many Mansions' , written by another Belfast man, the late Ernest Allen- an evangelist I had met over thirty years ago. Today I was privileged to hear a little of Mr Todd's story. He described to me how, at the tender age of fourteen, he had been arrested and sent to Borstal for three years, then on his release in 1940, he immediately joined up to fight for king and country in the Second World War. When the war ended he got married and in 1952 he gave his life to the Lord shortly after seeing the text on a Brethren church notice board, which read: 'Prepare to meet your God'. He told me that when he saw it, he said to himself: I survived the war and now God is going to take me. With the help of his wife he asked God to save his soul and make him a follower of Christ. Later he went on to become a Pentecostal pastor on the Shankill Road in Belfast. Though retired from being a Pastor many years ago,at ninety five years old, he still tramps the streets giving out tracts and proclaiming the love of Christ to lost sinners. I salute such a man who, to use his own words, would consider himself a deserter if he were to stop going out into the highways and byways. In our short conversation he often referred to the Lord as the Captain of his salvation.The testimony of this old Christian soldier reminded me of the hymn of Charles Wesley which very obviously typifies his life.
1.A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.
2.To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill:
Oh, may it all my powers engage
To do my Master’s will!
3.Arm me with jealous care,
As in Thy sight to live;
And O Thy servant, Lord, prepare
A strict account to give!
4.Help me to watch and pray,
And on Thyself rely,
Assured, if I my trust betray,
I shall forever die.

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