Tribute to Retired Committee Member, Graham Cole
Former Committee Chairman, Graham Cole passed into the presence of his Lord on March 31st, 2020.
We express our sincere condolences to his wife, Pam, and the family at this time. Please remember them in your prayer.
I first met Graham when I visited his home fellowship for deputation meetings on behalf of the Mission. Although I didn’t know him very well, I was impressed by His love for the Lord, his love for God’s Word and his evangelistic zeal. I suggested to the Mission Committee that he should be invited to join the Committee and he was duly appointed in November 1992. His banking background was invaluable when it came to matters of finance. Graham became chairman in 2004 and held that position for many years, eventually retiring from the Committee in November 2015.
During those years of working with Graham, I came to value him more and more. It is difficult to speak too highly of Graham. All who worked with him held him in the very highest esteem. If I had to summarise his life and ministry in one phrase, it would be the character from Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, ‘Mr. Valiant for Truth’, for that seems a fitting description.
Any hint of compromise was totally foreign to Graham. He stood foursquare on the truth of God’s Word. He radiated his love for the Lord and was always eager to share the truths of the gospel with others. I saw him in action at Epsom Races and at Tower Hill in London, one of the sites where he preached fearlessly on many occasions. The gospel message he proclaimed was never in any way obscure. It was straight to the point – Heaven or Hell at the end of life’s journey, always centring on the cross.
Alongside his work with the Mission, Graham took a major role in the work of the Gospel Hall that he and Pam attended in Welling, being involved in leadership generally and in the children’s and young people’s work there for many, many years. One of his unique ministries was the visits he made to Bexleyheath Broadway late on Saturday nights where he would mingle with those coming out of the pubs and clubs and offer gospel tracts. He often suffered abuse and sometimes physical danger but nothing would deter him. He was set for, “The defence and confirmation of the gospel” (Philippians 1:7) that Paul spoke about. Again, that is how we shall remember Graham.
Mention must be made of his sense of humour. We were never in his company for long before laughter would be ringing out. So, we thank God for all our memories of Graham, knowing that he has been an outstanding example to us. We do pray for dear Pam and the other members of the family at this time of sadness, thinking particularly of the difficulties that the current restrictions are creating.
Alan J. Greenbank (Retired General Secretary)