Tribute to Gordon Reager

William Oliver

Gordon N. Reager of Longport, NJ went to heaven on July 9, 1996, age 88. Our dear brother was saved at the age of 15, on March 31, 1923, at a Manchester, CT Easter conference under the preaching of William Armstrong. His own language about that experience was, "For the first time I realized that I was completely lost...So in childlike simplicity, I simply believed that Christ died for me. I was saved through the beautiful text in 1 Peter 2:24, 'Who His own self bear our sins in His own body on the tree.'" In August of that year, he was baptized and received into the assembly in Hartford.

In the summers of 1927 and 1928 he obtained a leave of absence and shared in the tent with Mr. Joseph Pearson in Concord, NH. In spring of 1929 he was commended to the work of the Lord from the Hartford and Manchester assemblies and joined Mr. Charles Keller in the Gospel in Lewistown, PA.

After five years of labouring with older men he went to Atlanta, GA and in 1935 he and Robert Crawford had 23 weeks of tent meetings in Brookhaven, a suburb of Atlanta. An assembly was formed as a result of those meetings.

In 1945, the Lord brought together Gordon Reager and Paul Plubell. By gift and disposition, they were exactly suited to work together. In ten happy years of gospel meetings, God mightily used them in the salvation of many souls in places such as Toronto, Hamilton and Midland, Ontario. They also saw God working in New Jersey and New England. In 1955, they preached in the King's Hall in Bangor, N. Ireland with as many as 700 people present every night. Many of us can remember the power with which these dear men preached.

In 1937, brother Reager married Mae Young of Bryn Mawr who was all that a preacher's wife should be to her husband, often enduring hardships and laboring faithfully to win souls and help believers. In 1951 they returned to Bryn Mawr where they moved to be closer to their daughter and met with the saints in the Olney assembly.

After fifty years of marriage, Mae was called home in June, 1990 and this proved a great loss to Gordon. For the past two years he lived with the saints in Longport who, with his daughter and husband and two grand children, sorrow but not as those that have no hope. A large company gathered to pay tribute to him at the funeral. The following poem was printed in the memorial

His stewardship now is ended,
His conflicts all are o'er,
Now rests God's noble servant
On yonder heavenly shore.

He lived to please His Saviour
It cost him to obey;
He was Christlike in behaviour
With his eye upon that day.

He waits in heavenly glory
For that day, long since foretold,
When together with the Saviour
We shall walk the street of gold.

We'll take the torch that he laid down,
And live for God alone.
The world may have its withering crown,
While heaven will be our Home.

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