In the home call of Arthur Shearman, the assemblies have lost a ‘brother indeed’. His longstanding commitment to a very broad range of the Lord’s work throughout his life made him a beloved brother and fellow labourer to so many. Arthur was not just a participator but an initiator and encourager of such work, and we have a heritage of ongoing spiritual activities as a result. Quiet and unassuming as he seemed, Arthur was a powerful influence for good amongst the saints and many of us owe to him much that influenced our early as well as later spiritual lives.
Born and educated in Gloucester, he left school at fourteen, known as ‘a bit of a lad’. Never one to stand still, however, he immediately set about enhancing his education and life’s work. He joined Nicks and Co, a firm that imported and processed timber for the building trade, and stayed with them until retiring at the age of seventy. He found it easy to mix with people and, putting them at ease, establishing firm and lasting relationships with all he met. At the age of fourteen, he trusted Christ as his Saviour, was baptized, and was received into fellowship in the assembly meeting at Ebenezer Gospel Hall, King’s Square, in Gloucester. It was a ‘Faith for Life’ and he never looked back on his commitment to Christ.
Whilst working for Nicks, he passed his driving test and commenced a lifelong love for his cars, beginning with his beloved Morris Minor 1000. During his lunch breaks he used the time to study the scriptures and pray. This laid the foundations of his very fluent gift to preach and teach the word of God.
In April 1947, he married Rae, and settled into family life in Hucclecote. Through children’s meetings they held in their home, the assembly work at Hillview commenced. It has since flourished into a fruitful work for the Lord in the area. As a result of having to move to Worcester for work, Arthur and Rae joined Charles Street assembly, where they were fully engaged in children’s and youth work. By now, a recognised Conference speaker, he travelled widely, but never liked to ‘stay away’! The new work on the large housing estate in the Warndon area of Worcester developed and Arthur was fully involved, acting as Sunday school superintendent and secretary for fifty years. At one time, the children’s work reached to a crowded ninety-nine pupils.
Arthur always had a very full diary. Listing his many involvements demonstrates the extent to which he is so worthy of his epitaph, ‘Not here, gone to another meeting!’ Besides his constant Conference and mid-week ministry meetings, he developed Area Youth Meetings, a Prayer Fellowship Group, and Counties Work Liaison Groups and he had a hand in local village evangelism projects. He wrote most of the Gleaners Advanced Study Notes for the Postal Bible Educational Services, as also many helpful articles expounding scripture.
Arthur loved books and his collection outgrew most of the storage space in his home. One of his first loves was the work of Precious Seed Magazine and he served on the Trust for forty years. He joined in 1966 becoming Reports Editor in 1977 and also handling past issues requests. Ultimately, he served as Ministry Articles Editor from 2000 to 2002. Under his editorship, the magazine blossomed into the full colour, larger print, version it is today.
Beyond all this, Arthur was a ‘genuine man’. He loved people, caring deeply, and was a constant visitor, with kindly face and cheeky smile. He loved music, and was a gifted pianist. Deeply missed as a dear husband, father and grandfather, we thank God for this remarkable and devoted servant of His that we were blessed to have and know.