Other Co Laborers In Christ

Faithful Laborers

“Now we are asking you, brethren, to perceive those who are toiling among you …

and to deem them exceedingly distinguished in love, because of their work.” (1 Thess.5:12)

In 1965, Ernest Knoch wrote, rehearsing the life and career of his father, A. E. Knoch:

“In those early days, there were many, both locally and in distant places, who helped my father with the various phases of the preparation work on the Concordant Version, for the details were so many that they could never be handled by any one man alone. Some of those who helped locally were Melville Dozier (Superintendent of Schools in Los Angeles), J. H. Breckenridge, (Attorney for the Irvine Ranch) who helped with any legal problems, C. P. Wilcox of Long Beach, Horace M. Conrad of South Pasadena, who did the proofreading, Mrs. Gibson and Mrs. Walker, who prepared the slips for the card index system, Dr. Emma Lucas (first woman physician in New York), Earl Taber, Vi E. Olin, Edna Parr, Dr. and Mrs. W. S. Bagley. Pastor George L. Rogers of Almont, Michigan, served as the expert on the Greek verb, and he later moved to Los Angeles, where he also did some work with type, and spoke at the local meeting. Brother David Mann also spoke at the meeting, and corresponded. Later, Frank Neil Pohorlak (now Dr. Pohorlak) came and worked at headquarters for some time. Helpers at a distance whose names I can remember are, Alexander Thomson of Scotland, whose indefatigable service was invaluable in the early days, Edward H. Clayton of England, who still serves as our advisor in translation matters, Ben Bredimus and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kirk of Seattle. Adlai Loudy, a Christian minister, became much interested, and wrote a book and a number of booklets, some of which we still publish. F. H. Robison and Walter H. Bundy were others who contributed articles and helped in other ways. Undoubtedly there were others, whose names I have forgotten.”

Karl Taber, Vi E. Olin, Edna Parr, Dr. and Mrs. W. S. Bagley. Pastor George L. Rogers of Almont, Michigan, served as the expert on the Greek verb, and he later moved to Los Angeles, where he also did some work with type, and spoke at the local meeting. Brother David Mann also spoke at the meeting, and corresponded. Later, Frank Neil Pohorlak (now Dr. Pohorlak) came and worked at headquarters for some time. Helpers at a distance whose names I can remember are, Alexander Thomson of Scotland, whose indefatigable service was invaluable in the early days, Edward H. Clayton of England, who still serves as our advisor in translation matters, Ben Bredimus and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kirk of Seattle. Adlai Loudy, a Christian minister, became much interested, and wrote a book and a number of booklets, some of which we still publish. F. H. Robison and Walter H. Bundy were others who contributed articles and helped in other ways. Undoubtedly there were others, whose names I have forgotten.”

The following is a selection of obituaries of individuals who have played a significant role in the work of the Concordant Publishing Concern. These have been extracted from the pages of Unsearchable Riches magazine, and they appear in chronological order.

1929 Alan Burns
1932 Fredrick Homer Robison
1948 James Edwin Shakespeare
1957 William Mealand
1966 Alexander Thomson
1972 Edward Henry Clayton
1973 Herman Vogel
1974 Joseph E. Kirk
1974 Edgar G. Jones
1985 Adlai Loudy
1991 John Henry Essex
1991 Ernest Oliver Knoch
2022 James Robert Coram

1929     Alan Burns (      -1929)

Alan Burns was born in Philadelphia, Pa., but spent his youth in Ireland, where he was associated with the Salvation Army and the Plymouth Brethren. At about twenty-one years of age, he went to New York City.

Being, an earnest seeker after truth and a student of the Scriptures, he became interested in the teaching of Dr. Bullinger, and strongly attracted to V. Gelesnoff, when he began his ministry in New York. Bro. Gelesnoff considered him the best gospel preacher he had ever heard.

With the help of a few friends, who did the printing, Brother Burns started Grace and Glory, a little magazine which gave promise of much good. For lack of support, it languished and soon ceased, to be followed, not long afterwards, by UNSEARCHABLE RICHES, which virtually took its place.

Brother Burns became a valued contributor to the earlier volumes of our magazine. His series on "The Doctrine of Creation" will be recalled by our older readers. The logical and powerful introductory articles in "All in All" are by his pen. "The Rich Man and Lazarus" was so much better than my own on this subject that I withdrew in its favor. "The Unexpected in John's Gospel" is a gem of spiritual insight. As his burden became heavier he wrote less. We were continually receiving letters urging us to have more from Brother Burns.

About seven years ago he was happily married. The union was blessed with three children. This last winter he had a severe case of pneumonia, from which he failed to recover. He fell asleep on January 8, 1929, at his home in Philadelphia.

Beloved brother! Our Lord has closed your eyes in death. Soon He will open them to see the One for Whom they long! Your labor is o'er, your reward is near. Until then, good night!

1932     Fredrik Homer Robison (1885-1932)

F. H. ROBISON, the only son of Mr. and Mrs. James A. Robison, of Oakland, California, was born February 3, 1885, at Greenwood, Indiana, and it was there that he spent his youth, graduating from high school at the age of fourteen. It was about this time that God touched his heart and he became a believer, affiliating with the Disciples of Christ. Gratitude to God filled him with a desire to dispense the gospel. He entered Franklin College to continue his education and there further displayed an aptitude for languages in the study of New Testament Greek.

Being a gifted student, an earnest seeker after truth, he loved the Word and soon advanced beyond the average, being compelled to look for independent doors of opportunity. Problems presented themselves for solution. Finally, he decided to leave the place of his birth. He went to Canada and took out a claim in the Rainy River district of Ontario. He resided there about one year, teaching part-time and part-time employed in the immigration service. He returned to Indiana in 1904 and entered Butler College in Indianapolis, remaining there until the opening of Winona Technical Institute, also in Indianapolis, and enrolled there as a student of lithography that he might be equipped not only for his present need, but to have the knowledge of a trade, for use in the missionary field. It was his purpose to carry the gospel to Japan independently.

With a year's instruction at the John Herrin Art Institute in Indianapolis and some knowledge of chemistry to his credit, he made splendid progress and in less than two years accepted a position as poster artist in one of the largest lithographing houses in the United States, located at Cleveland, Ohio. He became one of their foremen in charge of artists. It was while in this position that he pursued the reading of Pastor Russell's works, having become slightly interested during his sojourn in Canada. During all this time his linguistic talents were being exercised more or less in the attainment of a knowledge of Spanish, French, and German, as well as New Testament Greek. After reading Pastor Russell's works, he employed a Japanese friend to translate some of the literature into Japanese, still thinking of the foreign mission field, but later abandoned this to become a home missionary, as a colporteur for Pastor Russell's works.

After about one year in this new field of endeavor, he prepared for secretarial service and was called to the headquarters of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, then located in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. It was there that he met Miss Almeta Nation, to whom he was married in 1909. He became private secretary to Pastor Russell and held that position until after the Society's offices were transferred to Brooklyn, New York, in 1909, when he was made secretary in charge of the foreign work.

As private secretary to Pastor Russell, he accompanied him on a trip around the world with a committee sent to investigate foreign missions. Japan was one of the places visited.

As secretary, of the foreign work he had a good opportunity for pursuing the study of languages and could translate twenty-three in all, giving discourses in German, Greek, and English. He made week-end pilgrimages in and about New York City, addressing both public and private gatherings.

While acting as secretary to Pastor Russell, he was handed a copy of Dr. Bullinger's Apocalypse to read and report the gist of its contents. In response to an inquiry by Pastor Russell after reading, he replied "Dr. Bullinger seems to think that the book of Revelation is for the Jew." Pastor Russell replied, "He may be right."

When the first installment of the CONCORDANT VERSION was issued it fell into the hands of members of the Society, and several called the attention of Headquarters to it. As the plates of the Emphatic Diaglott were worn out, they were looking for something to replace it, and Brother Robison was delegated to call on the Concordant Publishing Concern in Los Angeles, with a view to placing it on the Society's list of literature. When he came it was immediately explained to him that the CONCORDANT VERSION could not, in any way, be changed to suit the views of the Society, but must be held strictly to the facts in the original. At this, his face brightened with a radiant smile, as he replied, "That is just what we want!" So it was arranged that a special edition should be published for their use, without notes of any kind. During the ensuing visit as he had presented Brother Knoch with a copy of a small volume on the Revelation, he was given a copy of Dr. Bullinger's book on The Chief Musician. This was chosen because it was of a neutral character, so that he should not be able to say that he had been unduly influenced during his visit. But he was not at all sectarian, and he became much interested in Dr. Bullinger's writings, echoes of which appeared in his articles in the Watchtower. He became vitally concerned with the CONCORDANT VERSION and suggested that we call the notations above the line superlinear, and those below sublinear, in order to avoid the confusion which interlinear was causing. As he became more and more interested in the truth, his position became precarious. At last, he sent a characteristic postcard, announcing the crisis which severed his relations with the International Bible Students Association.

Brother Robison was one of four men designated in the will of Pastor Russell to be co-editors of the Watch Tower, the official organ of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. He held this position until the spring of 1922 when he resigned and went to Washington, D.C., to accept secular work as a commercial artist in the art department of the Washington Post. He afterwards served the government and later became art director for the American Automobile Association, with headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Brother Robison was never a "Russellite" nor a "Societyite." It was because of this that his opportunities to serve on the editorial staff of the Watch Tower were cut short and he was compelled to seek new fields of endeavor.

After resigning from his commission as co-editor of the Watch Tower and elder of the New York congregation, in response to many inquiries as to why he left the Society, he published in blanket form his reasons therefor. He also wrote "Are Bride and Body Identical?" published by the Concordant Publishing Concern, which has been circulated quite widely among those who have had International Bible Students Association teaching, and some very helpful articles from his pen have appeared in UNSEARCHABLE RICHES. Many have been enlightened as a result of his ministry and among them are former readers of the Watch Tower who are now rejoicing in the truths recently recovered by means of the CONCORDANT VERSION.

Brother Robison conducted an independent Bible study class in Washington, D.C., sponsored by some of his friends. He also served on the faculty of the Columbia Bible Training School, conducting studies in the life and epistles of Saint Paul until returning to New York to seek employment in the fall of 1931. The current business depression took its toll in unusual demands on the splendid vitality that had been his for so many years. The Commercial Art Service in New York City, by whom Brother Robison was employed, made contracts for more rush work than was their custom under normal conditions. So many jobs of a nature requiring long hours and continuous application were faithfully executed by our beloved brother that the strain was too great for his already overtaxed heart. He contracted a heavy cold while on a job of the nature just mentioned, and because no one in his office understood it sufficiently well to carry it to a successful completion, he got up out of bed to return to the task. He finished it so that delivery could be made on scheduled time. It cost him his life.

In this last effort of Brother Robison is revealed one of his characteristics. He was honest, conscientious, and faithful in any task assigned him even at great inconvenience to himself. It was his endeavor to "do all things as unto the Lord." One of his favorite poems was, "Not I but Christ."

Another one of his characteristics, which so few possess, was magnanimity. He was sympathetic. The things in others that often pained his sensitive nature were endured patiently. Often he would be heard to remark about such people: "Well, what can we expect? They have not got it to give." Those who knew him intimately appreciated his friendship. Friendships meant much to him. He was a lover of children. His sense of humor was keen and will be remembered by many.

Pneumonia and pleurisy developed, and after six days and nights of suffering, Brother Robison fell asleep. His faithful wife, an osteopathic physician, gave him constant attention, and she has been very brave. A service was arranged for six o'clock p.m. Sunday, April 17 (the same day), and, although the opportunity for notifying his friends was limited, a number of beautiful floral offerings were received, and those in attendance were sufficient to comfortably fill the undertaking parlors. The response of these friends to the needs of Sister Robison in her sorrow was greatly admired and appreciated. The following day the body was shipped to Indianapolis accompanied by Sister Robison, where it was taken to Greenwood.

After services in the Christian Church, attended by his parents and other near relatives and friends, he was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in a most beautiful spot, with the birds he loved so much singing overhead, not far from where he and his sister used to play.

Good night, dear brother, your work here must have been finished. While you are resting we will console ourselves with the blessed thought that our communion has only been commenced. This is not the end. Your splendid powers will yet find congenial exercise in the service of your Lord, quite unhampered by the hindrances that fetter all who are faithful in His service. Your sympathies will be satisfied by seeing all the barriers between those you love broken down. We have not lost you but for a brief and weary night, and we will meet again in the morning. So we will not say goodbye, but good night, knowing that you are asleep in the care of Him Who will not fail to wake you, in immortal glory, when He comes to call His own.

1948     James Edwin Shakespeare (1869-1948)

James Edwin Shakespeare, traveling agent for our work, and enthusiastic advocate of the Concordant Version for the past twenty years or more, was stricken with a heart attack on May 28th, in Sawtelle, California, where he was spending the winter. He was taken to the U. S. Veterans Hospital, where he died on Sunday, May 30th, at 11:50 A.M.

His many friends all over the U.S.A. will be missing his cheery presence as he passed through, always eager to tell of His Lord and of the many precious truths he had learned through a study of the Concordant Version. There is no question but that he did more than any other one man to make the Version known. He was fearless in presenting it even in Theological Seminaries where many might have been timid, knowing in advance that they would not be welcome. He was able to place it in many libraries in this way.

Brother Shakespeare was born in Central City, Iowa, on October 29th, 1869, and was married to Cora Horman of Chicago on June 7th, 1905. His home was in Normal, Illinois, where his wife and married daughters, Mrs. Ester Rensberger and Mrs. Lois Harris, are now living. Another daughter, Mrs. Edith Merkle, lives in North Manchester, Indiana. The funeral was held in Normal on Saturday, June 5th, at Beck's Memorial Home. It was conducted by Bro. Charles Williams of Normal. Mrs. Shakespeare's nephew sang two of Bro. Shakespeare's favorite songs, “The Love of God” and “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” Mr. Will Shelper of Home Sweet Home Mission spoke of our brother's work at the mission, and led in prayer. At Bro. Shakespeare's request, Spanish American War Veterans had charge of the service at the cemetery.

Bro. Shakespeare had not been feeling as well as usual during the last week of his life, but had continued his work. He had visited with his friends, Mr. and Mrs. O. Gordon Pickett in Pasadena, where I had taken him on Wednesday. On Thursday morning I took him back to where he could catch the bus for Sawtelle. He was on the job, for he sold a copy of the Complete Edition of the Version that evening, and spent the time in talking of the Scriptures to a small group in the Pickett home. He planned to return home the following Wednesday.

Although our brother will not be personally presenting the truth any longer, his influence will go on, for he had set up a fund to be used to perpetuate the publication of his tracts, which will be done. Distribution will be from this office. Anyone desiring to assist in the distribution work is invited to write for a supply.


1957     William Mealand (1873-1957)

It is with genuine regret that we must inform our readers of the passing of our beloved brother in the Lord, William Mealand, of Birmingham, England, on Sunday, October 6, 1957, at the age of 84.

Brother Mealand is probably best remembered by our readers for his long series of devotional articles which appeared in Unsearchable Riches for more than twenty years. A number of these articles have been reprinted in pamphlet form, including “When God is All in All” and “Life in God,” which are still available from the publishers. He was also quite active in recent years in his service to the young people who read “Grace and Truth” magazine, published by our friends in New York City, in which he conducted the Children's Corner, and contributed many other helpful articles.

In addition to his constant and faithful witness for his Lord in his own locality, he was frequently called upon to act as a speaker at the United Gatherings held by the brethren in England. Moreover, by way of his dedicated pen, he enjoyed an extended ministry which reached into the far corners of the earth.

A faithful friend and correspondent of the compiler of the Concordant Version, he was a constant source of inspiration and enlightenment to those with whom he came in contact. In a letter written a few years back, he reflects on the nearness of the Lord's return, which he was anxiously awaiting. He said in this same letter, “Still, how true, that our salvation is nearer, ever nearer, than when we believed, that grand and full salvation for which we ardently long.”

Therefore, although we shall miss the sweet fellowship of our dear brother, we rejoice that his long years of faithful witnessing and service are at last finished, and there is now reserved for him, as Paul assures us in his final letter, “a wreath of righteousness, which the Lord, the just Judge, will be paying” to all those, like our Brother Mealand, who love His advent.

1966     Alexander Thomson (1889-1966)

We have received a letter from Sister Helen Thomson, dated April 15, 1966, which reads in part as follows:

I have to thank you for your most kind letter and the magazine enclosure.I am sorry to convey to you the news that Alexander died yesterday at 10:30 a.m. He had a long weary illness, and it is a comfort that he is now at rest. He was kept under sedation the last week, and he passed away in his sleep, quietly and peacefully. When he awakes, he will be where he longed to be, with his Lord, and with the saints among whom and for whom he laboured so ungrudgingly. All differences with your dear father will be forgotten when he meets him in the beloved presence of Him Whom they both served so well.”

The following biography of Bro. Thomson's career has been supplied by his long-time friend and co-editor of The Differentiator:

Alexander Thomson was born on the 19th of December, 1889, at the village of Corstorphine, now a part of Greater Edinburgh, the Capital of Scotland. In his twenty-first year, his life and outlook were transformed completely by God's grace through the mission of a visiting evangelist.

He began to pursue the systematic study of the Scriptures; and he was unusually able in painstaking research into the amassing of accurate detail, with the endless checking, comparison, and cross-references involved. This special talent was in due course applied to the 1930 edition of the Concordant Version, in harmony with its expressed aim to go to the very limits of fidelity in translating the word of God into English.” He found an urgent need for the revision forecast on page 54 of the Introduction, but some others could not bring themselves to receive such a notion.

About this, there is nothing novel. When the truth came through Jesus Christ, there were few who would not believe some of it; but most refused to believe all. The Apostle Peter ran into trouble similarly, and so did the Apostle Paul. The Reformation failed to come to full fruition because the majority refused to go the whole way. And now those who lacked the equipment to see in the 1930 CV more than half a dozen faults which have any degree of seriousness (which faults they never troubled to specify publicly) turned on A. T. and rent him, because he perceived the faults and had the honesty and courage to say what they were. The objectors had some of the truth; and there is no doubt that they honestly thought they were defending the truth against an enemy. All schisms start that way!

Yet A. T. was completely vindicated by the inclusion of many of his corrections in the 1944 revision of the CV, but his enemies were never able to admit that they had been blind, and the schism which developed in Britain seems to be unbridgeable. (I have no first-hand knowledge of what happened elsewhere). A.T.'s offense was his perpetual willingness to investigate fresh ideas. For him truth came first; and considerations such as popularity, prestige, and following the easy way were never in the running at all.

To him belongs the credit of realizing that even a perfect translation is in practice worthless unless properly used. Perhaps some of his critics realized this. Indeed, a very large proportion of the errors which have been refuted in The Differentiator from time to time could have been perceived to be errors even if the CV had never existed. This startling fact shows how wise A.T. was in maintaining a balanced attitude instead of concentrating on the problems of translation and allowing exposition to be neglected. To this we owe his masterpiece: the splendid series of articles Who is our God?” He made other very important contributions to our understanding of Scripture. On that account alone, the men who ostracized him have only themselves to thank for what they have missed. -- R. B. WITHERS

Bro. Thompson's untiring and unselfish labors were invaluable in the compilation of the Concordant Version, and they have left an undying impression on the accuracy and value of that work.

A strange fact, of which I had not previously been aware, is the fact that his birthday fell on the same day as that of my father, A. E. Knoch--December 19th. And the two men were singularly alike in their unflinching stand for the truth as they saw it, and in their untiring effort to ferret it out from the Word of God. Both were unselfishly devoted to their task. And yet, they did not always agree. But the Lord used them both in the compilation of the Concordant Version, and both will undoubtedly receive reward in no small measure for their unstinting labors, in that day.

Good night, dear brother, until we meet in the morning!


1972     Edward Henry Clayton (1887-1972)

It is with sorrowing hearts that we announce the death of our faithful co-worker and brother Edward H. Clayton of Mansfield, Nottingham, England, on Tuesday morning, August 22, at the age of 85. His close association with our late brother A. E. Knoch dated from the very earliest days of the Concern, and from the first day on he labored tirelessly and with great enthusiasm for the progress of the truth. His special attention was in the field of the Greek and Hebrew languages, an area which occupied his interest for approximately 60 years. During all the final days of ill health, which lasted over a year, his intensive research into God's Word continued. And his only complaint came when he had to relinquish some of these responsibilities.

He had been the manager of a steelworks plant in Sheffield for 43 years, having been born and educated in that town where he resided most of his life. He and his wife, May, had moved to Mansfield eight years ago. For many years he had been the leader of the Sheffield Concordant Class and had been a frequent speaker at the United Gatherings in England.

His loss will be felt by many. This includes his wife, who survives him and to whom we extend our deepest sympathy. It includes the many brethren in the British Isles who sat under his teaching and benefited from his ministry. It also includes all of us at the Concordant Publishing Concern, for we can hardly account for our debt to his patient assistance and wise counsel through the years. And it includes those many readers of this magazine who have never met him in the flesh, but who have profited so much from his writings, the first article appearing as early as 1925.

In recent months he sent us the final chapters for his exposition of Isaiah, a series of studies which we will bring to completion in the year ahead. Some final work on certain Old Testament books was also mailed to us this last spring as the period of his dissolution approached. it is difficult for us to describe the meticulous care of his work and to picture the extent of the drudgery involved. But perhaps the following extract from a letter he wrote to Bro. A.E.K., dated August 12, 1946, will give some indication:

I have today been enabled to conclude the work on the Hebrew sublinear, and am posting Daniel which is the concluding part. I bow my knee to thank God for the grace which claimed me and led me to undertake such a task. Will you also join my thankfulness to Him Who is the Father of our Saviour and Master?

It is over 15 years since this work was commenced: to be precise it was in June 1931 that you and I sat together in a room of Bro. Cock's home discussing the Hebrew work: We looked at Psalm 1 of the tentative CV translation. From this, the program developed into the production of this sub-linear. To effect it I made out over 5000 slips for the analysis of the vocabulary, and I estimate that the treatment of the Vade Mecum entailed at least 30,000 slips. And now I am at the end. But this is only a beginning: the real work for me lies ahead!”

Services were held in the Mansfield cemetery chapel on August 25. A brief message was given by his longtime friend, Brother Edgar G. Jones, based on 1 Corinthians 15:19-28. The following thoughts are from that message:

Perhaps as much as most of you I have been privileged to have had intimate fellowship with our brother and sister for many years, and there are many things I would say as to the value of that fellowship as it developed from the first day until now. To watch Bro. Clayton's attention to the truth of God has indeed been a notable experience. Much remains with us as a constant reminder of his devotion to the task which had dominated his life, daily, and we constantly give thanks for every reminder that we still have of his labors.

Let us remember that the God presented in 1 Corinthians 15 is tendering faith to all in raising His Son from among the dead. This is the God our brother worshipped and Whom he knew as being great and glorious. He rejoiced in a gospel that moved out and far beyond that of creed and ritual and ordinance, for he rejoiced in the truth as stated in 1 Timothy 1:11, 'the evangel of the glory of the happy God' with which Paul was entrusted.

The supremacy of God, this is our brother's testimony for you this day, and my prayer is added in the words of Romans 15:13. 'Now may the God of expectation be filling you with all joy and peace in believing.'

How good it is to come to such a realization of God and His purpose. Thus is our faith, and thus was our brother's, and in its light and truth we continue our sojourning and waiting till He come (1 Thess.4:17,18; 2 Thess.2:16,17).”

A wreath of red roses was given on behalf of all who love the Concordant Version. This bore the appropriate words, “Qualified, an unashamed worker, correctly cutting the word of truth, with very deep gratitude for your labor of love.”

1973     Herman Vogel (1880-1973)

Bro. Vogel passed away early in March 1973, at the age of 93. He had been the printer of this magazine ever since about 1915, and the printing is still done in his shop, now run by his sons and daughters. He worked with A. E. Knoch, founder of Unsearchable Riches, at a printing establishment in Los Angeles, and they were both fired for refusing to buy war bonds during the first world war. So Bro. Vogel purchased the printing department of the Pacific Novelty Company, and the name was changed to Quadricolor Press. Most of our books were printed there, including the voluminous Complete Edition of the Concordant Version, completed late in 1930.

Always interested in the things of consequence, Bro. Vogel was especially zealous for the spread of the truth of universal reconciliation, and gave away thousands of booklets on that subject.

He had never retired, and was able to work at the shop until sometime in January. His wife died many years ago. He was blessed with a long life, though not an easy one. But he enjoyed his work, and was fortunate to have his family associated with him in it.

Good night, dear brother, 'til He come. E.O.K.

1974     Joseph E. Kirk (1904-1974)

Though we sorrow not as others sorrow who have no expectation, it is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our co-laborer and long-time friend, Joseph E. Kirk, of Montclair, California, on June 4 at the age of 70. From his earliest years even until the day of his death, he strove fervently and honestly to honor his Lord and His Word above all else. Like Paul, he felt it were woe to him if he should not be bringing the evangel (1 Cor.9:16), and whenever God opened up truth to him, he devoted himself fully to its proclamation. Perhaps uppermost in Brother Kirk's heart was the faithful and welcome saying that God is the Saviour of all mankind (1 Tim.4:9,10).

Through ministries in Seattle, Washington; and in Oakland and Los Angeles, California; and by way of radio broadcasts and more recently through publications, Bro. Kirk continued to herald the Word. He founded the "Saviour of All Fellowship" and also took over the work of "Scripture Studies Concern," both endeavors centering on the publication of tracts and books on scriptural themes. At the time of his death, he was working on a booklet concerned with such important subjects as soul, spirit, death, resurrection, and immortality.

The titles of some of his tracts give us a good insight into the approach he took in his ministry: "Will All who Die in Adam be made Alive in Christ?" "Will God save All or only Some?" "What is Salvation?" "God's Purpose in Creation," "Facts from the Scriptures concerning Death."

He is survived by his wife, Edna, a daughter and grandson, three brothers, and one sister. We are glad to know that the work he has been doing will be continued, the Lord willing, and hope to cooperate toward this end in any way we are able. We can supply a list of publications which he handled to anyone requesting it, and we trust that these publications can be widely distributed to God's glory.

We say goodbye to a dear brother, but only for a season, until we all stand together in our Lord's presence in that day, remembering this passage from Bro. Kirk's favorite portion of Scripture: "Yet now Christ has been roused from among the dead, the Firstfruit of those who are reposing" (1 Cor.15:20).

1974     Edgar Gerald Jones (1894-1974)

It is with deep sorrow that we have to record the passing on June 23 of our brother E. G. Jones, of Mansfield Woodhouse, Notts., England, after several months of suffering. He was aged 80.

Our brother had for many years been a stalwart upholder of the truth of God as proclaimed in the Scriptures. From 1961 until 1972, he was the English Agent for the Concordant Publishing Concern, and in this capacity conducted an extensive written ministry among the friends in the British Isles. He was also a frequent speaker at United Gatherings in Britain.

By profession, he was a Medical Herbalist, Osteopath, and Naturopath and was well known in Mansfield and further afield for the sympathetic help that he had given to many who had come to him with their ailments. In words that were quoted at his funeral, he served his God and his generation well.

A service was held at Mansfield Woodhouse on June 27 and was conducted by Rev. G. Oldershaw. A lesson from Romans 8 was read by Captain John Matthew of the Salvation Army, and an appreciation was given by Lord Taylor, a personal friend of long standing. Interment followed at Mansfield Cemetery.

We shall all miss our brother greatly, and extend our sympathy to his widow, Sister Phyllis Jones, and to all members of his family.

We conclude this notice with a message from our brother, taken from an article by him entitled, "God justifies, Vivifies, Saves and Reconciles All," for it summarizes his thinking and his way of living.

"My dear brethren, let us embrace these glorious truths which God has revealed for us. Let them so become a part of us that our lives will be reflecting them. Let them fill our hearts with the love of God and His glorious Son. Let us be rendering praise to the living God, the universal Creator and Reconciler, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. To Him be glory for the eons, Amen."

John H. Essex

1984     Adlai Loudy (1893-1984)

Brother Adlai Loudy was put to repose, on December 27, 1984, at nearly 92 years of age. Our readers will be aware of his many years of service as an evangelist, singer and composer of spiritual songs and author of helpful expositions of God's Word, rightly divided. He was a remarkably disciplined man who developed his natural musical abilities and athletic skills through arduous training. But above all else, he devoted a maximum of his time and strength to the study and teaching of the Scriptures. From his youth he was involved in evangelistic work; but here we see the inscrutable ways of God in operation. From a human standpoint he seemed destined to become a famous leader in American “evangelistic campaigns,” but at the height of his apparent usefulness, working along with notable Christian leaders whose names are still well known today, Brother Loudy began to study and then to teach “God's Purpose of the Ages and the Administrations.” This broadening of his concept of God was accompanied by a constricting of the scope of his ministry.

He was already convinced of the truth of universal reconciliation when an interested listener to one of his lectures gave him a copy of our publication, “All in All,” in October 1923. In the September 1925 issue of Unsearchable Riches, we read (p.259), “We have the privilege and pleasure of introducing our readers to another staunch expositor of the correctly partitioned word and preacher of universal reconciliation. Adlai Loudy, an evangelist and singer...is now affiliated with the work and is ready to go anywhere to dispense the untraceable riches of Christ in song and sermon. Our friends will do well to uphold him in prayer and cooperate whenever possible. Already God has used him wonderfully, and we look forward to much gracious response to his ministry.”

During the ensuing years, Brother Loudy and his wife Dona traveled throughout the eastern United States and Canada. The accounts of many of these journeys are given in the pages of Unsearchable Riches into the 1960s. In the November 1928 issue, Brother A. E. Knoch announced plans for the publication of a series of articles on “the purpose of the eons,” by Adlai Loudy. This series was eventually printed as the book, God's Eonian Purpose, now in its second edition.

Although Brother Loudy gave a series of talks in Los Angeles in November 1938, it was while A. E. Knoch was in Germany, and the two never met in the flesh. Yet despite some differences of opinion and approach to Scriptural matters, the ministries of these two men complemented each other ideally. The grace of God always triumphs over human failings, and His Word races and is glorified.

Some words from one of Brother Loudy's hymns seem especially fitting to us now as we face this temporary loss of a dear brother:

When life's sun is set, O how blest are the righteous;
They rest from their labors and care,
And when the Lord calls, they'll awake in His likeness;
God's riches of glory to share.

Then why should we sorrow as having no hope
For loved ones whose journey is o'er?
They peacefully rest till we're called home above,
To be with our Lord evermore.

1991     John Henry Essex (1907-1991)

“WITH GRACE IN YOUR HEARTS,” such was the scriptural phrase (from Colossians 3:15) Brother John Essex of Beeston (Nottingham), England, used as a title for a collection of his poems arranged for singing. “With grace in your hearts, God's glory proclaim. Let all take their parts In praising His Name” It is with sadness in our hearts that we make the following announcement, but it is also with grace in our hearts that we relate this loss to God's operations in accord with the counsel of His will.

Our brother, John H. Essex, was born in 1907 in Nottingham, England and lived in that area all his life. He was put to repose on July 30, 1991. His labor of love for the Lord is well known to our readers, through his writings in Unsearchable Riches and in Grace and Truth magazine, the latter of which he edited for many years, and in his many hymns and poems in praise of God and His glorious purpose in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Words of consolation from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 were presented by Brother Andrew Maclarty at the funeral service, followed by Brother Frank Orton's address, “A Life's Work Completed” It was fitting that one of Brother Essex's hymns was also featured, from which we select the following stanzas:

Voices in perfection blending,
Songs that earth has never known,
O, what praise will be ascending
When our Saviour calls His own!

Lost in boundless adoration,
They will see their Saviour's face,
And in endless exultation,
Ever feel His fond embrace.

In harmony with our current theme of “God's Consummations,” we have selected the following portions from Brother Essex's writings, as a testimony to his faith. The original titles are used here as subheadings:


God will have all to be saved, all to be reconciled. He will be All in all, not ALL in some. Humanity insists on the word “some” because it will make human endeavor a part of salvation; it will not recognize that human endeavor is, of itself, vanity, and that All is of God.

He, the One, does everything for the all, that in each He may display His grace. Let us not claim for ourselves the glory of our salvation, but give it wholly to Him, Who has given all for our sakes.


God's purpose for the universe, His plan for the salvation and reconciliation of all, [is] focused upon one lone form hanging upon a stake. Surely, to the discerning eye, this is a moment of supreme grandeur in His purpose. Who but God could have conceived such a complete solution to the problem of sin, and who but Christ could ever have been effective in accomplishing it?

We will miss for a while the fellowship we have enjoyed with Brother Essex for many years, yet it will be renewed in transcendently greater measure in that day when we will all be together with our Lord. Hasten that happy day!


1991     Ernest Oliver Knoch (1906-1991)

FOR the second time this year, it is our sad duty to report the death of a longtime co-worker. Our good friend and brother and former editor of this magazine, E. O. Knoch, has been put to repose.

Our brother was born November 5, 1906, in Los Angeles, the only child of A. E. Knoch and Olive Hyde Knoch. His father and V. Gelesnoff commenced the publication of Unsearchable Riches magazine before his third birthday, and so he grew up in a household centered around the grand task of spreading the evangel brought by Paul and the preparation of the Concordant Version of the Sacred Scriptures. As a young man, Ernest ran errands, helped with proofreading and the mailing of the magazine and other literature. And all his life he was associated with the work of the Concordant Publishing Concern. He served as business manager, correspondent, editorial assistant, and later editor of the magazine. After his retirement in 1972, he continued to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors, most recently presiding at the annual meeting just one week before he suffered a severe stroke on October 21. He died on November 1.

On August 27, 1930, he married Alberta Marie Lundquist. They had three children, David, Albert, and Gwen, all of whom have been given the grace of believing and rejoicing in the revelation of God's love in Christ Jesus along with their own growing families. Alberta preceded her husband in death in 1986, but Ernest is survived by his three children, ten grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

A quiet and meek brother, Ernest was never a teacher and writer like his father, but God gave him a stable faith and firm expectation. Paul's longing “to know [Christ], and the power of His resurrection” struck a responsive chord in Brother Knoch's heart, and he was strengthened by the words of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 telling of our Lord's descent with a shout.


Speaking of frequent “illness, weakness, exhaustion,” E.O.K. wrote in 1968 (U.R, vol.59, p.241), “So we must keep reminding ourselves that God is faithful, Who will not be leaving us to be tried above what we are able, but together with the trial, will be making the sequel also, to enable us to undergo it (1 Cor.10:13)”

Later he wrote again (U.R., vol.64, p.12), “When we really do suffer adversity, passages such as 1 Thessalonians 5:18 should reflect our attitude,... 'Be rejoicing always. Be praying unintermittingly. In everything be giving thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Quench not the spirit.' Does the 'this' in our passage refer merely to the attitude set forth here, or does it rather refer to the trial we are undergoing? Romans 8:28 tells us that 'God is working all together for the good of those who are loving God' Surely this trial, then, is not excluded, but is part of God's plan”

Paul's words following soon after those quoted above concerning the will of God, seem appropriate both for our consolation and as a reminder of Brother Ernest's testimony: “Faithful is He Who is calling you, Who will be doing it also” (1 Thess.5:24).


2022     James Robert Coram (1946-2022)

Our fellow worker, Jim Coram, was put to repose early in the morning of October 10, 2022. He had been in and out of the hospital several times in recent months because of recurring intestinal pain, and previously it always seemed he could be restored to normal. He spoke with me by phone cheerfully as we discussed finishing plans for this third issue of Unsearchable Riches for 2022 just days before he suffered what proved to be his final relapse.

He was born on April 13, 1946, in Columbus, Ohio and grew up in that general area. A talented musician, he yet turned to printing as a vocation. After a stint in the military reserves, he became interested in the Bible and joined an association which centered its attention on law observance. There he met and married his faithful companion, Suella, who survives him. Soon after their marriage, they left the religious organization they belonged to and were directed to the teachings of the Concordant Publishing Concern. It was the great contrast between grace and law that changed the direction of their thinking and provided answers to many perplexing questions.

A quick learner, Jim started a Bible class and became acquainted with other teachers and groups in the Midwest, corresponding also with others at a distance. He did some printing for the Concern, and in connection with his own ministry. But in 1981 circumstances brought about the loss of the Coram’s home where also the printing establishment was centered. It worked out, however, that they were to move to California, printing equipment and all, with their young son, Marc, and Tony Nungesser who had been assisting Jim in his work.

That opened up a forty (plus) year association with the CPC and Unsearchable Riches magazine which was not without troubles and trials, but of which he would assess (speaking for us all) in 2005 as follows:

“As concerns our own personal faith and as concerns our publication Unsearchable Riches as well, we can only say that we are thankful for the faith God has given us and for the little place of service He has allowed us to be in.”

Concerning “the little place of service” which God gave him we give God thanks for much that enlightens and encourages in his writings and recorded messages. He took up many scriptural issues and shared spiritual truth with boldness and meticulous scrutiny. His studies on Galatians in particular and the series “His Achievement are We” will be consulted often with profit. His “Questions and Answers” examine a variety of subjects that have become obscured by tradition and popular misconception. Perhaps above all else his thoughts on causation, pointing all to God as First Cause, leading to final glory, call for our serious attention.

Yet it would be wrong to speak only of his many contributions to scriptural understanding and not that, like us all, he was a human being who knew the suffering and groaning of Romans 8:18-23. For that is what gives the scriptural revelations of God’s purpose and operations through Jesus Christ their continuing value.

His son Marc, read from 1 Corinthians 15 at the graveside service held on October 28th. He rests now in peace, waiting for that shout of command, and that glorious change into the image of his Lord, of which our apostle has written.


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