Report of Sis. Opal Wilson’s Death – Obituary

(Faith & Victory : Nov. 1964)

Opal WilsonIt is with sad hearts for our loss that we acknowledge the departure from this world of our dear Sister Opal Wilson from the mission field in Nigeria, Africa. On Sept. 19 a telegram was received from Bro. Ostis B. Wilson that his wife was very sick. This urgent request for prayer for her healing was phoned to several congregations across the country. About three days later another telegram came to this office from Bro. Wilson that Sister Opal was critically ill. The church here and abroad went into fasting and prayer for her recovery. The Lord heard those petitions and saw those tears. Yet God in His infinite wisdom declined to answer in the way that we desired, and called her to eternal rest from her earthly labors at 10 p. m., Sept. 24 after a number of days with pneumonia fever. She and Bro. Wilson had gotten wet in a heavy rain, from which she took pneumonia.

This is the second missionary to Nigeria to depart this life this year. Bro. David Madden passed on April 28, just a few days after returning to the States. Such occurrences we do not fully understand and we may be inclined to question why, but we must ever remember that God is still God and that we are just His children and He can do as He pleases with His own. Even as Jesus prayed to His Father in the garden of Gethsemane, “Not my will, but thine be done,” so we must humbly submit to His decrees and willingly trust His infinite wisdom.

The statement, “Death does not denote defeat,” written recently in this paper by a missionary, still remains true. Death is that doorway through which every child of God must pass in order to obtain that final and complete victory.

As each faithful warrior lays down his armor on the mission field, may the church at large respond to the challenge and fill every vacant place with a score of volunteers. It is no time to retreat or give up the fight, but we must review and renew our consecration and redouble our efforts for the cause of Christ. In past ages the church has waxed valiant amidst adversities, and it must not fail now!

When word was received in this country that Sister Opal Wilson was at rest with the Lord, words of sympathy and offers to help in any way possible to get her body flown back to California for burial began to pour in from saints, relatives and friends. As the financial arrangements were being made, Bro. Wilson was involved in the very slow and trying process, with delay after delay, in order to get the body prepared and flown to Los Angeles. Eventually he arrived about noon, and the body some hours later, at the Los Angeles airport on Friday, Oct. 2. There he was met by a large group of sympathizing saints and relatives.

This writer, as well as a number of other out-of­state individuals, was constrained by love and mutual concern to make the trip to California to render whatever comfort and aid we could to the bereaved family. The many flowers and the large attendance at the funeral spoke eloquently of the place which Sister Opal held in the hearts of all who knew her.

As we carried her earthly tabernacle to its resting place on the green hillside, we knew that Sister Opal possessed a “building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Cor. 5:1).

-Lawrence Pruitt

Sis. Opal Wilson’s Obituary

(Faith & Victory : Nov. 1964)

Opal Beatrice (Alexander) Wilson was born November 13, 1905 at Violet, Oklahoma and departed this life September 24, 1964 from the mission field in Eastern Nigeria, Africa at the age of 58 years, 10 months and 11 days.

On March 31, 1929 she was united in marriage with Ostis B. Wilson at Shawnee, Oklahoma. To this union three children were born, one daughter and two sons.

In March of 1931 she and her husband moved to Clovis, New Mexico where they pastored the congregation of the Church of God until January 1934. Then they moved to Anthony, Kansas where they had the oversight of the church until June of 1943. In June of 1943 she and her husband moved to California where she became the pastor of the Church of God congregation which was then holding its services on Perlita Ave. in Los Angeles. This congregation later moved its place of worship to Osborne Place in Pacoima and she continued the pastorship of this congregation until the time of her death.

Opal was constantly reaching out for greater and higher things in the spiritual realm and was possessed of a missionary zeal and vision which was constantly looking out upon far horizons. She often lamented over the lack of the missionary zeal and spirit on the part of so many of the church. She carried a great and constant burden for the progress and expansion of the church and the work of God and for the spiritual stability of the saints. These themes were predominant in many of her sermons and much of her preaching.

She had a keen interest in the poor and underprivileged peoples of the earth and was much of the time “chewing at the bits,” to use a homely expression, to be able to go and impart to them the benefits of the gospel of Christ. She had an avid interest in mission work wherever it was being carried on and was possessed of a restless spirit to go and participate in that kind of work herself.

God finally granted her this privilege in June of this year to go and to be active in missionary work on the mission field in Eastern Nigeria, Africa and she grasped the opportunity with joy and anticipation. She, with her husband, arrived at their station on this mission field on the 13th day of August of this year. She entered into her work there with zest and zeal and with keen interest and anticipation. She loved her work and was happy and contented in this place. She very quickly came to love dearly the people with whom she worked and they loved her.

But this was not to continue long. God had other things in mind for her. At the end of about five weeks she was stricken with a severe illness and about nine days later God called her unto Himself to reap the reward of all her labors in this life. She went with courage and confidence, testifying that she was ready to go and was willing to go if that was what God wanted. Her husband asked her different times during her illness if she was glad she had come, and she affirmed to the very end that she surely was.

She dearly loved her children and was much concerned continually about their way of life and that they give their hearts and lives to God and love and serve Him. Often in her praying she was heard to say, “Oh God, one more time I bring my children and lay them on the altar before you that you may save their souls at any cost.” Those prayers are silenced now, but may God in His own way and time pour them all out where they belong and bring them to pass.

She is survived by her husband, Ostis B. Wilson, 12312 Osborne Place, Pacoima, Calif.; one daughter, Mrs. Wilda Adams, Panorama City, Calif.; two sons, George W. Wilson of the U. S. Air Force and Weldon Wilson, Los Angeles, Calif.; three sisters, Mrs. Myrtle Sutton, Fresno, Calif., Mrs. Lois Miller, Lake Charles, La., and Mrs. Ruth Mason, Pomona, Calif.; four brothers, James J. Alexander, Yorba Linda, Calif., R. F. Alexander, Rich­mond, Calif., Guy Alexander, Pencil Bluff, Arkansas, and Ruel L. Alexander of Wynnewood, Okla.; four grandchil­dren, a number of nephews and nieces, other relatives, and many saints.

Funeral services were conducted by Bro. Ira Stover and Sister La Vern Manuel on Oct. 5 in the chapel of the Forest Lawn of the Hills (Hollywood Hills) and her earthly house was laid to rest nearby to await the general resurrection at the last day.

Letter of Appreciation – Bro. Ostis Wilson

(Faith & Victory : Nov. 1964)

Pacoima, Calif. (Oct. 13)

To all the dear saints and our friends scattered abroad, greetings:

My heart is melted within me for the love that all the saints across the country and our friends here and there have shown toward me and my deceased wife in the last few days. I can say as Paul did when an unusual token of love had been shown toward him by the saints at one time: “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of us hath flourished again.” Love has been shown toward us on numerous occasions before, but now it has not only been shown in an ordinary way but in a very extraordinary measure and has flourished abundantly.

Then Paul continues to say: “But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received. . . the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.” This Scripture has certainly been fulfilled in this case and I am abundantly full because the money has continued to come in from saints all across the country until there is actually a surplus for the need.

Paul continues on to say: “But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” And again he says, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”

Then finally he said: “For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God.” This scripture has also been fulfilled in this case because many thanksgivings have gone up from my heart to God for this show of the love of the saints and our friends toward us. And I earnestly pray for God’s rich blessings upon everyone who had any part in this.

My children also have been made to wonder at this liberal show of love toward us and extend their heart­felt thanks and appreciation to every contributor. Let us pray for them that their hearts may be broken by such manifestations of love even more than by the loss of their mother and that the goodness of God will lead them all to repentance and to the foot of the cross of Christ.

Yours in the service of the Master,

-Ostis B. Wilson and family

In Loving Memory

(Faith & Victory : Nov. 1964)

God, in His great love and wisdom, has called our dear Sister Opal Wilson from labor to reward. As a fellow laborer and minister of the gospel, we have suffered a great loss, but it is her eternal gain where she is resting from her labors, yet her works will follow on.

Sister Opal lived for this day–working, toiling, sacrificing, and giving of her talents and time with a zeal and courage commendable to all. She had a real missionary spirit and burning desire to get the gospel to the poor and needy about her. She loved the cause of God, and no task was too small or too great for her to put her whole heart into it with a faith backed up by prayer and laboring with her own hands to see it accomplished.

When the call came for help in Nigeria, Africa, she accepted the challenge, desiring to carry the gospel to the hungry souls of that land. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Sister Opal gave her life for others, a true soldier of the cross. She was a devoted wife and mother, working side by side with her husband, Bro. O. B. Wilson, preaching the gospel at home and abroad. While Bro. Wilson’s calling was more evangelistic, she was the pastor of the Los Angeles, Calif. congregation (which later moved to Pacoima) for more than twenty years.

We have personally been very closely associated with Bro. and Sister Wilson for the last twenty-one years and will feel this loss very keenly, and can say as a minister of the gospel we have lost a very precious and valuable minister from our midst. May God help us each one to be faithful unto death when we, too, will receive a crown of life.

Our deepest sympathy is extended to Bro. Wilson and the family. May God bless and give you strength in this time of sorrow. With courage may you look forward to that day of reunion where there will be no more parting, but we will be forever with the Lord.

“Brother, dear, never fear, we shall triumph at last, if we trust in the Word He has given. When our trials and toils, and our weepings are past, we shall meet in that home up in heaven. Let us pray for each other, nor faint by the way in this sad world of sorrow and care. For that Home is so bright, and is almost in sight, and I trust in my heart” we’ll meet up there.

-Ira D. Stover


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