Death of Bro. David Madden – Obituary

(Faith & Victory : June 1964)

David MaddenPictured is Bro. David Madden standing with Bro. B. U. Etuk, the native minister and superintendent of the Church of God Mission, and taken the first part of April in front of Bro. Etuk’s home in Nigeria, West Africa, where Bro. Madden labored very strenuously in missionary work from March 28 to April 10.

As we write these lines, our hearts are heavy because of the loss that you and all of us –the Church of God—have sustained in the passing of our first American missionary to Nigeria, our beloved Bro. David Madden who so recently faithfully labored there under very trying circumstances. A few days after his arrival back home at Tulsa, Okla. On April 12, he took his bed with what was posthumously described as malaria. The ministers and saints were called for prayer, some of whom remained with him to the end. Though many prayers ascended in his behalf, the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, called him Home on April 28. We may often wonder why, yet we humbly bow our heads and hearts in submission to God’s will, sorrowing not as those who have no hope of seeing him again, for Bro. David is there now on that eternal blissful shore awaiting the Homecoming of all the faithful pilgrims. (His obituary appears elsewhere in this issue.)

Bro. Madden felt burdened of the Lord to make this missionary trip, which was the first personal contact from the Church here with the native Church of God Mission in Nigeria. Because of his sudden illness on returning home, he was unable to make a full report to the Church on his labors and investigation, but those close to him were informed of the highlights and sidelights of his experiences. His consuming interest was the Nigerian mission field.

May his passing create in the Church a greater vision, zeal and fervency of Spirit to meet the challenge of the great foreign mission fields! May each of us redouble our efforts, grasp and carry onward the soul-saving gospel torch which Bro. David laid down. We in turn will reap that eternal reward if we faint or fail not, and what would be a greater memorial tribute to Bro. David Madden than to make certain, under God’s blessings and direction, the establishment of a permanent mission as a base for the evangelization of the 40,000,000 people of Nigeria, which is the native and original home of our American colored people?

Under date of April 15 a letter was received from Bro. B. U. Etuk in which he enclosed the picture shown herewith. Then under date of April 29 Bro. Etuk’s field secretary, Bro. Friday F. Ekpo, wrote a typewritten report of their activities for the months of March and April which is too long to publish in the space available. Included in this report is an interesting record of Bro. Madden’s visit to the headquarters’ chapel, and the visits and services held at all the outlying stations, the farthest away from the headquarters being about 30 miles. Bro. Madden and Bro. Ekpo traveled together on these visits in the Volkswagen car which is owned by the mission. The following epilogue is written in this report by the secretary who was Bro. Madden’s traveling companion and interpreter:

“We all hope Bro. David has enjoyed his short trip and 13 days’ stay with us. He quickly adapted himself to local conditions, and for this I am particularly happy. He comported himself with Christian dignity and felt (could it be outwardly?) himself at home. We all will miss him, and being his closest here, I will miss him most. Let us all hope Bro. And Sister Wilson will be like Bro. David.”

Another letter was received from Bro, Etuk under date of April 30, a part of which reads: “We were not unaware of Bro. David’s feelings that several of our teachings were quite different from yours-and that was and still is the reason why we wanted someone from you to come and get us out from this mess. . . of irregularities. We have no doubt that Bro. And Sister Wilson’s stay will be well for us. We are happy to hear that they will start from there by ship in about five weeks’ time.”

Bro. Etuk also writes that they have started construction of a permanent-type addition to their headquarters’ chapel, which is their No.1 project. They are appealing to the Church here in America for funds for this building, and hope, by the blessings of the Lord, to complete it in three months.
In response to Bro. Etuk’s request for more literature, we mailed him 26 lbs. Of tracts and books just recently.

With regrets we mailed a letter to Bro. Etuk on May 1 informing him of Bro. David’s passing. This, likewise, will be shocking news to them. Up to this date of May 24 we have had no reply, but we expect it any day.

Under date of May 16 Bro. Ostis Wilson informs us by letter, that they do not yet have their visas for going to Nigeria, and as long as they do not have it in their hand they cannot make definite announcements in regard to their trip. They cannot tell when it will be forthcoming or whether there may yet be more details to be worked out. If it does not come through soon, it would seem quite certain that they could not make the schedule announced in the last issue of the paper to leave New York City by ship on June 9.

Above all, pray fervently for the home and foreign missionary work and workers. The Lord will not be unmindful of our work of faith and labor of love in His cause.

–Lawrence Pruitt

Bro. David Madden’s Obituary

(Faith & Victory : June 1964)

David Calvin Madden, the son of Clyde and Minnie Madden, was born August 3,1926 at Oklahoma City, OK and departed this life on April 28, 1964 at Tulsa, OK after a short illness at the home of his brother, Richard. His age was 37 years, eight months and 25 days.

A number of years ago David was saved in the Church of God and called to the gospel work, holding to the truth which he learned from his faithful sainted mother who preceded him to the glory World about 20 years ago. In his illness he stood true to God in all points to the end, trusting the Lord completely. After his passing, the medical examiner determined that he died as a result of malaria.

He leaves to mourn his passing his father, Clyde, of Shawnee, Okla., two sisters, Mrs. Mary Lou Tison, Laticia Madden, both of Shawnee, Okla.; five brothers, Richard and Donald of Tulsa, Okla., Clyde, Jr., Wichita, Kansas, M. J., Tecumseh, Okla., John, Stilwell, Okla., many other relatives and a host of saints and friends around the world.

The funeral services were held at the Smith Funeral Home, Sapulpa, Okla., with Bros. Ira Stover, Archie Souder and Ostis Wilson officiating, and interment was in the Greenhill Memorial Gardens, Sapulpa. Texts used in the sermon: Isaiah 14:27; 57:1.

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