March 21, 2007

Welcome home, thou good and faithful servant!

It would only be fitting for me to here acknowledge the passing of a man whom the Lord used in many ways to impact this organization, The Banner of Truth. Mervyn T. Barter served as General Manager of The Banner of Truth Trust for twenty-seven years. Mr. Barter was ushered into the presence of the Lord that he so dearly loved earlier this week. What follows is a note from the late Ernest Reisinger, a long-serving Trustee of the Banner, that was written when Mr. Barter retired from his position with the Banner.
"'This tribute is meant to express my sincere and deepest respect, gratitude and commendation to Mervyn, not only for his devoted service, but as a person with a gracious spirit. The most diffcult thing about writing this is that I need the gift of exclusion. How can I put twenty-seven years of fond memories in a small capsule? The Atlantic Ocean will not fit in a tea cup.
These memories take me back to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 23 March 1972. This is the date that I interviewed Mervyn for the position of General Business Manager for the world-wide work of publishing Reformed Christian literature. I have a vivid memory of some of my thoughts on that occasion. During my years in the construction business I conducted hundreds of such interviews. One lesson I learned in those years was that some who had a lot 'in the window' soon proved that they did not have much 'on the shelf'. With Mervyn it was the opposite. He did not have everything 'in the window' but for twenty-seven years he has proved over and over to have a lot 'on the shelf'.
I have thanked God many times that I strongly recommended him without reservation. My memories also take me back to golden hours of Christian fellowship in prayer and in the Scriptures - precious times indeed.
Mervyn has served Banner very, very well, and in serving Banner he has served our great Creator in publishing His truth to all the earth. Through this, lives have been changed; churches have been changed; preachers have been changed; all by the power of those 'twenty-six soldiers' used by Banner. Mervyn has had no small part in this great work. Behind all that I have said about Mervyn Barter and Banner of Truth, I know that the Trustees all want to say: 'To God be the glory! Great things He has done!'
I will close this tribute with some words appropriate to Mervyn from Ruth 2:12: "The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge." '

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