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OBITUARY.

REV. J. W. KEMP DEAD. LEADING BAPTIST MINISTER. FERVENT EVANGELIST. The death of the Rev. Joseph William Kemp, which occurred this morning, has robbed tho cause of Christianity, and the Baptist Church in particular, of one who throughout his forty adult years had exercised a great influence in the communities in which he lived, first in Scotland, later in the United States and Canada, and finally in New Zealand. Mr. Kemp was (50 yeare of age, and had been pastor of tho Auckland Baptist Tabernacle for thirteen years. His end came after a long illness. Born in Hull in 1872, Mr. Kemp was the second eldest in a family of six. 'Before he was ten years of age his father was drowned while on duty ae a policeman, and his mother died .some 18 months later. After his schooldays ho left. Hull for Bridlington, hoping to earn his livelihood there, but as he was leaving a friend presented him with a Bible, with the text, "He that believeth not is condemned already,", written in the fly-leaf. This k< dto his spiritual conversion, and in September, ISSS, he joined the Presbyterian Church. The visit of Mr. J. M. Seroggic to the Wesleyan Church marked an epoch in Mr. Kemp's career. He had then been converted about two years. He started Sunday school work, and open-air and lodge-house meetings, and at the of 20 entered the Bible Training Institute, Glasgow. He received the ordinance of baptism at the hands of the Rev. Edward Last, of Cambridge Street Baptist Church, Glasgow. For about six months he took up evangelistic work in the cities and towns of Scotland, after which he conducted work for the Ayrshire Christian Union in that country for IS months. In 1897 he took up the pastorate of the Kelso Baptist Church, and under his leadership the membership increased considerably, and other organisations were greatly revived. Revival in Edinburgh. The following year he was married to Miss W. Binnie, of his church. He then ministered at the Hawick Baptist Church for three and a half years, after which he accepted an invitation to the Charlotte Chapel, Edinburgh, where he began his ministry in 1002. The unfavourable condition of the congregation there was plainly set before him. The

very difficulty and -well-nigh hopelessness of the task of reviving the chapel were attractions to Mr. Kemp. In the years from 1905 to 1907 literally hundreds were converted to God at the chalpel services. Many people v were added to the church membership, and the influence of the revival swept over Scotland. A new church, necessarily more commodious and better equipped to suit the larger work, was opened free of debt in 1912, and was the largest Baptist Church in Scotland. Hundreds gathered weekly to the Bible study class which Mr. Kemp inaugurated. The "Back to the Bible" course conducted in "The Life of Faith" paper reached all over the world, and many thousands were enrolled as students. These special duties, together with the Church work, did not hinder him from taking evangelistic campaigns all over the country and sharing in convention work.

In New York,

He accepted a call to the Calvary Baptist Church, New York, in 1915. After four years of arduous labour in the United States and Canada, where his services were much sought after for Bible conference and inter-denomina-tional work, his health collapsed, and for twelve months he was in a serious state of nervous prostration. Returning to England for a rest, he received a call to one Auckland Baptist Tabernacle, the invitation being conveyed to him by Mr. W. E. Bush, who was then on a visit to London.

In Auckland Mr. Kemp made his ministry an unqualified success. The membership of the Baptist Tabernacle rose to a thousand, and his morning and evening services always drew large congregations. Ho was d great leader in evangelical work generally. Having been trained at a Bible institute, he conceived the idea of forming such a body in Auckland. It wae duly formed, and it has had an average number of 60 students. Through this institute 30 students have gone to different mission fields.

An All-absorbing Faith,

Those who knew him slightly were often surprised to learn that he was not a narrow denominationalist. Ho once said, "I would not cross Queen Street to make a Baptist, but I would go a long way if thereby I could win someone to the side of Christ." Although his faith was stern and all-absorbing,

he believed that religion was a thing of joy and,happiness, and when charged that the Tabernacle services were overbright and lacking in dignity, he replied, '"Religion is more than dignity—there is dignity in a graveyard, but little evidence of life." He made religion the prevailing and mastering idea of his life, a life that was strikingly free of self-seeking and'vanity. Few, even_ in. his own church, knew that before he came to Auckland he was offered, and refused, one of the most influential and wealthy Presfyterian pulpits in Canada. Mr. Kemp was a president of the New Zealand Baptist Union, and an ardent supporter of all denominational work, especially of the New Zealand Baptist College, of which he was continuously a. director. He leaves a widow, a son, Mr. John D. Kemp, and one daughter, Miss' Mary Kemp.

The practice of the United Choirs for tiro Baptist Conference 3'as been postponed until Tuesday week owing to the deatli of Mr, Kemp.

MR. JAMES McKINSTRY.

An old colonist, Mr, Janice McKinstry died on September .'5 at life homo, Hunua Road, Papakura,' aged 77. He was born near Glasgow and arrived in Xcw Zealand with hid parents when he was nine yearn of age. Later he worked on farms at Hunua and Pongo, then bought a property on the Hunua Road, about two a half miles from Papakura. where he lived until hi* death. Mr. and Mrs. McKinstry celebrated the golden anniversary of their wedding two and a half years ago. The only son was killed during the war. There aro three daughters, Mrs. H. Costsey, of Dr.ury; Mrs. A. Cossey, of Opahekc, and Mrs. Andrew Johnston, of Papakura.

SERGEANT REUBEN STEWART.

As a result of war disabilities, Serjeant Reuben Stewart died in Southland, and was buried with military honours on September 1. Tlie "Southland Times" states: "Sergeant Stewart was a son of the late Sir. and Mrs. James Stewart, Pomona Road. He received his education at the South School, and after leaving school ho was employed by Mr. S. Craig, late proprietor of the Craig Printing Company. On the outbreak of war lie was one of the first to enlist, and was posted to the Main Body, Otajro Mounted Rifles, with the rank of sergeant. He had had considerable service with the old Southland Mounted Volunteers as trumpeter. He served throughout the Gallipoli campaign, and was seriously wounded in France whilst serving with the N.Z.F.A. in 1917. The late Sergeant Stewart was recognised as a very courageous soldier. For conspicuous bravery in the field, besides being several times mentioned in dispatches, ho was awarded the highest French decoration for a non-commissioned officer, the Medaillo Militaire. This was presented to him in Paris by the. President of the French Republic."

MR. JAMES HENRY LAWSON.

A former employee of the Auckland City Council for over a score of years, Mr. James Henry Lawson, died on August 30. He was born in Ponsonby CO years ago, and was a League football enthusiast and was vice-chairman of Richmond Club. His funeral at Waikumeto was largely attended, over 20 cars following the hearse. Amongst the floral emblems forwarded was o"ne from his comrades on the staff of the City Council. Deceased is survived by Mrs. Lawson and the fol-owing children: — Messrs. Fred, William, James, Enieist, Herbert and Henry Lawson, Miss D. Lawson and Mis. E». Wakh.

MR. ALBERT NEWCOMB.

A resident of Auckland for about 30 years, Mr. Albert Xewcomb, of Marama Avenue, Epsom, died on September 3, aged 71. Ho was a brother of the late Mr. Xeville Xewcomb and of' Mr. Stanley Xewcoml), of Mount Eden. Born 'at Stamford, Lincolnshire, Mr. Albeit Xewcomb was afterwards an officer of P. and 0. vessels trading to India. Later he wae in business in Tientsin, China, at the time of the Boxer trouble. Coming to Auckland, Mr. Xewcomb started business ae a general merchant. He is survived by his widow and two daughters, Mrs. L. Rudd and Miss P. Xewcomb.

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

OBITUARY., Auckland Star, Volume LXIV, Issue 208, 4 September 1933

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1,415

OBITUARY. Auckland Star, Volume LXIV, Issue 208, 4 September 1933

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