The Lay Witness Movement pays Tribute to Errol Johnston
Sometimes we forget that among God’s greatest gifts are the people He brings our way and gives to us as friends. In that sense Errol Johnston was one of the greatest gifts with which God blessed the Lay Witness Movement. Errol arrived on the scene in the early 1980s when Wilson Doran was seeking to share the leadership of the new entity that was Irish Lay Witness. He saw that involvement as a sacred trust and served faithfully for some thirty years leading and taking part in countless weekend missions.
Although he had a busy and successful accountancy business it was clear that his real heart lay in preaching the Gospel. There was always something incredibly natural about seeing Errol standing on a platform or in a pulpit sharing a word from scripture and pressing home the challenge of following Christ. He loved God and he loved people. His life’s aim was to grow ever closer to Jesus and to lead others in that direction also. It was in that spirit that, together with Elsie, he served with MMS in Papua New Guinea, that he threw himself into the wider work of the Boys Brigade and that he supported the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Association.
No-one could ever accuse Errol Johnston of flitting about between churches. Together he and Elsie gave themselves unstintingly to the work of Warrenpoint Methodist and were fiercely loyal to it despite the fact that after they moved to Newry their membership involved travelling considerable distances. They travelled even
further when, immediately on retirement, Errol felt the leading of God to go to serve the Methodist church in Killarney for a couple of productive and fruitful years. He was ever responsive to the call of God.
In Lay Witness Errol was greatly loved. He had an open easy manner with people which made him an ideal team leader. He was good at encouraging and bringing in new witnesses and he had a faith and trust in God that was infectious. No-one ever doubted Errol Johnston’s sincerity or conviction. It shone from him and it left its mark on the people who heard him.
Errol stepped down from his active leadership role in 2008. His last Lay Witness weekend was in November 2010 but he was always interested to hear reports of recent weekend missions. He has left behind an example of the sort of faith and commitment that is undiminished by advancing years. We send our love to Elsie, his beloved wife of over fifty years, to his sons Malcolm and Derek and to all the family circle.
“If our fellowship below in Jesus be so sweet, what heights of rapture shall we know when round His throne we meet”.
LWM October 2016