Obituary: Norman Grubb
Norman Grubb: 1895-1994
From the portrait by James E. Seward
Norman, born on 2 August, 1895, was the second of six children of the Rev. HP Grubb, and Margaret (nee Chrichton-Stuart). The family was to become a prominent one in Evangelical Anglican circles. Norman’s uncle Rev. George Grubb, was a leading light in the early days of the Keswick Convention, while Norman’s brother Kenneth became Chairman of the House of Laity of the Church Assembly, President of the Church Missionary Society and numerous other bodies.
Norman was academically well regarded and was awarded an exhibition at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. However, he was unable to take up his university place, because of the outbreak of the War in August 1914. Within a month he became a Second Lieutenant in the 9th Battalion of the Gloucester Regiment. He fought in Salonika, France and Passchendaele, where he was invalided home, later to be awarded the Military Cross.
Of far greater significance, however, was his conversion, which took place three months before the War started. On his return Norman was instrumental in founding the Inter-Varsity Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge and encouraged its growth in Canada and the USA.
It was then that Norman fell in love with, and later married, Pauline Studd; daughter of CT Studd, the great Cambridge and England cricketer, founder of the World Evangelisation Crusade. In 1920 the young couple felt called to join Studd as missionaries in the Belgian Congo and because Studd was increasingly at odds with the WEC in London, Norman became first an intermediary – travelling between the Congo and Britain – and then Studd’s nominee on the WEC Committee.
With Studd’s death in 1931, Norman became President of the WEC, then in desperate financial straits with no more than twenty missionaries in the field, and no money to support them. When Norman retired in 1965 there were 700 full-time missionaries in over thirty countries, by any standards an extraordinary achievement.
Norman frequently spoke at public meetings and travelled extensively. He is, however, best remembered for his books. The first, CT Studd: Cricketer and Pioneer, published in 1933, has sold over a million copies. It is published by The Lutterworth Press, who also published his other religious and biographical works, of which Rees Howells: Intercessor has proven the most popular.
The success of his books led Norman to see the possibilities of the written word, and in 1941 he played a leading role in setting up the Christian Literature Crusade. CLC has grown rapidly and now has over 300 workers in twelve countries.
After his retirement, Norman’s speaking engagements developed into a full-scale ministry and it was only in the last few years of his life that ill-health prevented him from travelling.
Norman Grubb was the modern equivalent of the great saints of the middle ages, a man of exceptional vision and faith, coupled with organisational skill and the ability to write in a way that had enormous impact on readers of his own and succeeding generations.
European Christian Book Journal
Very many thanks indeed for your kind invitation to a Memorial Celebration in September at your home. I would have loved to be there – but after prayerful consideration, I much regret it is not really possible to do so; this happens to be a very eventful year for me. For the second time in 10 months, I am about to visit Russia (to take the message of God’s love and salvation to some); then in August, a Russian lady comes here to stay with me. I fear, by September, I shall be needing a rest! (as I am now 77!).
I am very glad you are holding this celebration of memory and thanks for Norman’s life.
I first heard him speak (in Essex) in 1936, when I was about 18. My testimony is that, my whole outlook as a Christian changed from that day – and of course, I learned much more as the years went by, during times of being in his employ and of course by his books and writings.
I am truly grateful to God for being able to know Norman Grubb, and thus learning the importance of Gal. 2:20 – the acceptance of which totally changed my life.
I still have the first copy of his first “teaching” book (signed by him) Touching the Invisible (1940) and I am still inspired by Chapter 6 in particular, The Adventure of Adversity. So you see his later books still carried the same inspiring theme. He was the most inspiring Man of God … I ever knew, need I say more.
I shall treasure this lovely memorial letter from you, and may you all have a very joyous and memorable time in September.
Lovingly in our wonderful bountiful Lord Jesus,
Dear Friends in Christ:
How I would like to be with you in September to celebrate Christ in His Norman Grubb form! Only the Father knows how many lives were touched, are being touched, and will be changed because of the Total Truth he shared. I know my dear husband, Rolf, (now with Norman) and I entered into a totally new Christian walk because we found our true identity in Christ. I think we were in spiritual adultery for years, having two husbands – the Law and Christ.
I will be forever grateful for the days – how he spent talking to me in the kitchen or wherever.
I will be with you in Spirit – rejoicing and praising.
PS: If you make a tape of the memorial service, I would like to purchase one. Thanx.
21st June, 1994
Dear John & Linda Bunting:
Thank you for inviting me to the Memorial Celebration for Norman Grubb. Norman and I were close in the Branch of Calvary. How I would like to attend. But I am 93 years old and altho’ still so active it is best not to attempt the journey. God will be with you as you share together the memories of Norman.
I go back many years when as a candidate for W.E.C./C.L.C, Norman was teaching us; “I am crucified with Christ, so that I no longer live etc.” You must experience the power of the indwelling Christ and dispossessed of your own life, because in an ever fuller measure possessed of a Divine life. I share with you those blessed experiences of the Indwelling Christ which have become mine. The riches of the glory of this mystery – Christ in you, the hope of glory – and only hope. So we get Christ walking, Christ talking, Christ laughing (in me) not ‘I’. The ‘I’, the whole of the ‘I’ has died in the sight of God on Calvary. (Norman speaking). The outworking of this is done by the Holy Spirit in us in response to our faith. God has done the might work thro’ Christ. So, we let go of everything, and lean back saying ‘So that I no longer live’ ‘Christ lives in me’. We are made partakers of Christ, Heb. 3:1. Exceeding great and precious promises are given us, “that by these, we might be partakers of the Divine Nature”. “I am the vine, ye are the Branches.” “The riches of the glory of this mystery – Christ in you the hope of glory.” Col. 1:27. Often Norman would in the morning or eve teaching with, “Now unto Him that is able to keep you, etc.” Jude 24-25. I recall these memories as if it were yesterday. The key to everything – “Christ in you”. Well there they are – my memories of Norman’s teaching. As you remember Norman, may your joy be that joy which is “unspeakable and full of glory” and your peace that “Peace which passes all understanding” and you live that “abundant life” which is eternal and which flows from the throne of God.
I hope you can decipher without too much difficulty, my sight is failing. God greatly bless you all as you gather together in September. I knew Pauline and their children, Prissie, Paul and Daniel and then Sandra and Nicholas. How the years go by. Daniel will remember me.
Yours in His Triumph
Canterbury, Kent, England
June 11, 1994
I was thrilled with your magnificent letter. What a “glorious” gathering that will be!
My beloved husband, Alfred and I first met Norman Grubb about 40 years ago. Each year he would return to our home for a three day conference. Crowds would come, and then, come again. Before we met, Alfred and I had become acquainted with Jesse Penn Lewis and her marvelous “Overcomer Magazine”. This is the one, Norman called “His mother in Israel”. The two verses you quoted, Col. 1:27 and Gal. 2:20 were her great BASIC TRUTH, yes TOTAL TRUTH, also.
During these later years, when it was more difficult for him to travel, he would invite me to come to his home at Fort Washington for a three-day LOVE-FEAST! What precious memories and everlasting truth we shared!
As a “HOPE-LESS SINNER’ we came to know “That the Lord has laid on Him, the iniquity of us all. “When we make Him to be our ‘SIN-OFFERING’ – THEN HE SHALL SEE HIS SEED THE TRAVAIL OF HIS SOUL, AND BE SATISFIED. (Isaiah 53:10. Wonderful! BUT unless we COME and return to Calvary as a “HELPLESS SAINT” and know God’s glorious revelation that the sinner was crucified WITH CHRIST, BURIED WITH CHRIST, RAISED IN RESURRECTION – POWER WITH CHRIST, we shall never know HOW GREAT IS HIS SALVATION!!! The 2-fold message of the Cross MUST BE TAUGHT to realize we are IN CHRIST AND CHRIST IS IN US!
It’s one thing to cross the Red Sea and rejoice in God’s deliverance, but it’s quite another thing to cross JORDAN into a LAND OF TRIUMPH where PROMISES ARE FULFILLED ----- TOO, TOO MANY ARE WANDERING AND DYING IN THE WILDERNESS.
Thank you for inviting me to join you. It does not seem possible, at present. I’m 83 years old, a widow, and feel my “great-traveling-days” are over.
May our Gracious Father make the LIVING PRESENCE of our Wonderful Lord Jesus so powerful in your midst, teaching, healing and blessing, that everyone present – WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!!
Love, Love, Love!
July 18, 1994
Thank for an invitation to a memorial Celebration for Norman Grubb in Sept. I regret that I could not make that . . . but do appreciate your asking. Norman and my mother were very close to being the same age; there was about a month’s difference and they had a joke about who would be with Christ first. Norman came to the house a number of times. After I came to Christ he came to visit both of us and I counted him a dear brother in Christ.
If you are going to share things about him at your meeting and you want to throw in a few words from me – I listened to a tape by Norman Grubb shortly after I had met him and the message got through that life was a matter of one Person dwelling in another and that the believer was a union with Christ. I drew a picture of a motor car being driven by Someone who was God and I was the car. It took me some time afterwards to discover that the car had previously been driven by sin or Mr. Sin and that there had been a replacement of the driver. Later I heard from Norman that there was only One Person; this was revealing. Also his talking about there being no independent existence for the human being I found very informative and an enlightening explanation of Paul’s dilemma in Romans 7.
I know that you agree with me that we thank the Lord for his wonderful ministries and surely for this one and look forward to the time when we shall meet in glory.
Perhaps I will see some of you before then.
Lovingly in the Lord.
(Mr.) “Akiyama” Sherrea Aikenhead
What a wonderful surprise to get that letter from you about the Memorial Celebration for our very dear friend and teacher Norman Grubb! Have only just received the letter as it was held up in Bermuda.
It is so many years since we last met that we should probably need to be re-introduced were we to meet again, and I am very sorry that I shall not be able to be with you all at what I am sure will be a very memorable weekend.
I am sure it is unnecessary for me to tell you what Norman meant (and still means) to me. God honoured and blessed me with his friendship for many years, and I am so thankful for the rich rich blessing that those years have brought through knowing him.
My first dear wife died in 1982, and before she went she advised me to marry a dear friend of ours who lived in England – fortunately for me, my suit was successful, and we now live here and visit Bermuda twice yearly.
Thank you so much for sending the invitation. My warm regards to John, and have a wonderful and blessed weekend.
Norman wrote about the role of Howard Dickinson in “The Willowbank Story”. An excerpt reads:
But actually the story starts long before this event in the life of a young man, Howard Dickinson, when he was taking his pre-med work as a Rhodes Scholar from Bermuda at St. John’s College, Oxford. A fellow student spoke of Jesus Christ “in such a simple, compelling way that,” says Howard, “I accepted Him as Lord and this led to a permanent change in my life.” On his return to Bermuda, after graduating as a doctor, he was not only qualified to practice medicine but ready to bring faith to his friends at home.
To read more about Howard Dickinson, open the adobe acrobat file named “The Willowbank Story” under the heading “Pamphlets” on the main page of the
Dear Linda and John:
Thank you very much for your kind invitation to the Memorial Celebration in your home. Unfortunately my second year of teaching at the American School here starts next week, and I will be unable to attend. I am teaching at an Embassy school to enable five missionary kids (MKs) to be educated. Last year was very tough as I was criticized for every move and phrase, e.g., I put an ‘s’ on the end of Math, I crossed my t’s incorrectly, my accent as wrong, I did not communicate with parents, etc., etc. Although no-one could fault my teaching and commitment, (I could!) my students were taken from me and I was directed to teach art, music and drama – subjects which I had never specialized in.
Praise the Lord I knew Romans 8! The missionaries here get down and negative with heat, opposition, hardships and a law interpretation of the word. Norman’s reading of the word and the knowledge of “Christ in You” certainly lifts us above our situation and the things that are seen. On Sunday, I was able to share at the English Service, Hosea 2:15. The ones and twos want to know more; but more want to admit to sin than rejoice in the Saviour within who has already won the victory.
Even on the secular front the Lord can do wonders. The students have been responsive and the musical we put on at the end of the year delighted most of the parents and my critics. As we lift up our eyes, we see the Lord answering prayer on many fronts. The church here is strong and slowly growing, people are being strengthened in the face of opposition and new labourers are joining us.
I will be remembering you all on your weekend. May the Lord bless you as you continue to share the truths of the word as it stands. One American Bible Study dismissed a precious verse by saying something to the effect, “I know what the verse here says, but I really can’t believe it means that. What would St. Paul say!!
Frances Keys always speaks of her time with you. She is comfortable and her own sweet self even though her memory in some things is not so good. Her present address is ____.
Have a good time as the dear witness Norman encourages you. Heb. 12!
My love to each of the team.
Yours in His love,
Mission Evangelique Unie (Branche WEC)
Republique du Tchad
June 23, 1994
Thanks so much for the invitation to your memorial weekend for Norman. I really appreciate your thinking of me. You have always been kind.
It is unlikely that I will be able to attend, but I would like to share a couple of thoughts about Norman that you may pass along to whomever may be interested.
Norman was the best listener I have ever known. It always struck me that if a person came to Norman and wanted to unburden herself for three hours, then Norman was quite prepared to listently the entire time. (Linda, believe it or not, the phone rang three times while I was writing the previous sentence. It was supposed to say that Norman was prepared to listen intently.) Norman was not interested in the chatter that consumes so much other people’s conversation, but he was supremely interested in the real issues of the heart. He invited folks to share that with him by his patient listening.
Norman was more spiritually sure of himself than any other intelligent person I have known. (There are lots intellectual lightweights who are sure of themselves because they know so little.) Norman knew that he knew. He was an authority on the spirit, and I marvelled at him the way people marvelled at Jesus when he spoke with authority. Norman’s spiritual certainty has rubbed off on many of you who have been his disciples, and I admire that in you.
I frequently think of things that I learned from Norman. Since I have come to Madison I have passed along a couple of his choice bits to a Catholic woman who lives here, and who seems to touch a part of my spiritual side that does not interest anyone else in Madison. I spoke to her about being alone with the alone, and she liked it so much that she passed it along to a priest friend of hers. The priest also liked it, but did not appreciate that she had obtained it from a Presbyterian minister. I also told her that she is Christ in Sue form. That charged her up enough that she took it with her to a personal retreat at a monastery, where she could meditate upon it.
It has been sixteen years since I first met Norman at your home. For a few years I was in regular contact with his teaching and with many of you, his followers. After a while I thought I might pass along some of what I was hearing. I would put some of it into sermons. I had no success at it. That is not the fault of Norman’s teaching, but of my inability to replicate it. If I had a sermon on a theme like “You ought to visit a sick friend as part of your Christian service” that would catch my congregation’s attention. But those times when I tried to speak something I’d heard from Norman, it fell flat.
That situation has not changed much to this day. There are times when I try to tell things that stir the depths of my being, and no-one seems interested. I envy the kind of fellowship that is shared by those of you who have caught Norman’s vision.
Please pass along my best wishes to those who attend the memorial. I remember you fondly. It has been about a dozen years since I have seen you, Linda, but I still hold you in high esteem.
Rex Wentzel, Pastor
First Presbyterian Church
Madison, South Dakota
August 5, 1994
Dear Sylvia, Linda, DeeDee and Harriet,
Spike and I will be in Colorado leading a retreat the week-end of your memorial service. I would dearly love to be there with you to hear the memories of Norman from people who knew him better than we did.
Though we weren’t together but three or four times, he affected our lives profoundly. I remember the first time he sat down with us for a cup of tea in our den. A profusion of colored birds (cardinals, blue jays, mockingbirds and dove) were feeding at our feeder just outside the window. His eyes brightened and he asked, “Who feeds the birds?”
Spike answered, “I do.”
Lovely,” he commented, sipping his tea and keeping his eyes trained on the bird feeder. After just a moment, he turned to Spike and said, “Why Spike, I see the Father in you!” This astounded Spike (who just happened to be “running from God” as fast as he could at that particular time.)
“I remind you of the Father?” He repeated the words incredulously.
“Oh yes,” Norman continued. “Anyone who cares for his little feathered creatures as you do must certainly have a heart very like the Father’s.”
Well that was a prophecy of sorts, for the years have turned my big, burly husband into as Godly a man as I have ever known. Norman just saw it there before we did.
Another time, Norman nearly died in our guest bedroom. He had one of the worst cases of bronchitis I have every seen or heard. He insisted on speaking at the meeting as planned, though his words were interrupted by coughing again and again.
All night long he coughed. At one point I slipped into his room and, finding him awake, asked him if I should call a doctor.
“I’m worried about you, Norman,” I said. Well, he actually chuckled.
“Oh, don’t worry, my dear,” he said sweetly. “I’m held in the most loving hands. There’s nothing to fear. Nothing at all. Go back to sleep.”
I believe that was the most impressive thing about the man to me. He had long ago forgotten the fine art of worry and had mastered in its place the rare and beautiful art of perfect trust.
Please know that our hearts will be with you September 9-11 as you remember Norman.
Your friends in Jesus,
Claire and Spike Cloninger
May 29th, 1994
Dear Linda and Company,
We received your letter yesterday. It is a superb piece of writing and gives such a fine balanced appreciation of Norman. It has really captured the man and his vital ministry as well as the more confusing aspects of the giant he was. THANK YOU INDEED.
I am going to make copies and send to a few of our leaders as soon as I can – just now we are hurtling towards a quick exit for a month to be out west with the children to celebrate my 85th birthday among other things. So will have to leave this until we return on June 29th. We have no answer yet as to if we can come. I wonder if Stewart Dinnen will make it as you thought he might. I hope so. He is to do a book of some sort on Norman but how extensive I do not know – I mean if it is to be a real biography is not yet known. We have just concluded our COORDINATING COUNCIL of WEC – forty leaders from all over the world . . . it seems to have been a very fine gathering and forward looking. It was great to meet them all at meal times and in our home – some of them. Norman would have been very moved by it all.
I shall send to our main leaders your announcement re the Memorial time at Louisville, etc. I hope it will add a little to their understanding of his ministry in the latter years.
Did I tell you that Daniel snr. surprised us by announcing that he is writing a biography? It is good that a son should . . . but wonders if he can or would catch the deep significance of the ministry to the world that Norman had. I wonder if you are sending him or Dan. Jr. this announcement?
Oh, I also wonder if you have a copy of the memorial service held near Bulstrode, at Gold Hill Baptist church? . . . I have a copy that I will send you if and when I hear you do not have it you may like to use it at your get-together in September. All love and joy to you all,
John and Kathleen Whittle
TO THE LOUISVILLE FELLOWSHIP OF KNOWERS
Linda, John and all the assembled beloved friends of Norman. You are happily gathered at this time with a heavenly purpose to be enlarged in our glorious realization of what Norman led us into, each in our own way – God’s way for us each.
We are WITH you, as you well know, distance is an illusion – our oneness with you is as much a solid union as ours is with Christ – it can never be broken. To some, what has happened to us, has come in a slowly dawning awareness to others, a sudden and transforming light, changing for us at once the strata of life in which we live.
Norman was the God-appointed door-opener for us to the releasing fact of our salvation being only UNION. We have totally ESCAPED INTO GOD! Escaped from all the partial and crippling limitations of churchianity. The adequate scriptural ground given to us in your very special invitation to us all needs no additions, though what abundance there is of the transforming revelation for us. ISAIAH 61, echoed so magnificently in Luke 4, is clothed with new power and insight for us. What He came to do. HE HAS DONE! Hallelujah!
Now for my personal word regarding the light that burst for me at my earliest meeting with Norman in 1937 – even deepening and unfolding year by year as I worked and travelled with him from that year on and into the closing years of our dear one’s life.
One day, as Norman opened the deeper things of God, he stressed that “God caused the light to shine out of darkness” and suddenly my dual world became whole with God in total charge of what I had called evil as well as what I called good. God was God indeed. I saw that the “double eye” was the problem and that I was full of light only when it was single! Now I had been given the key to the whole of life – if I would use it without fail! I failed many times momentarily and for periods, but I could always return in a flash and use that blessed key to the understanding of God’s world – not God and devil!! I had to grow into the use of that blessed realization, whereas some seem to have leaped into a sudden elevation from which they did not descend.
What a privilege I had – more than many – to travel and work for days and weeks on end with Norman! His constant self-giving to me and others was only “Christ in action” as we met groups and individuals to which Norman gave himself without stint. He later continued this outpouring of his God instructed ministry travelling with others like Sandy. Some misused and misapplied his points of revelation but we are all in God’s hands and will learn in His way for us each.
I must close with a rather humorous incident that occurred in England in the early days of my working with him, opening up contacts for meetings, etc. We got to know a very godly group of people called “The Peculiar People” that centered in a part of England called Essex. They had a Bishop – a truly Godly man though lacking the finer points of education! I got him to chair a meeting for Norman at the opening of a series. He announced from the platform how very honoured he was to be on the platform “with such an extinguished gentleman.”
Does not that say something to us of truth and verity in the case of our dear brother and father in the faith for many of us? Praise indeed for his willingness to be so extinguished! Bless us all! But as the letter of invitation indicated there were moments of fire and indignation that flashed through his ministry that were a puzzle to some. Decisions did not seem to many to comport with what Norman believed at times, but God was well able to sort that all out for us and still see the ever-creative energy of love and service that flowed through His vessel.
I hope to be able to read or hear some of the blessed moments you will be sharing together. Our warm love to and thanks for all of you.
John and Kathleen Whittle
10 June 1994
Greetings in Christ and thank you so much for your letter of May 26 and your gracious invitation for me to participate in the Thanksgiving Celebration for Norman Grubb. How much I would love to be with you, but unfortunately I will be in Brazil at the time involved in a very heavy programme there, so it is impractical for me to think of coming.
We had a superb Thanksgiving Service for Norman at Gold Hill Baptist Church near Bulstrode shortly after I returned from the States in the middle of February. There is a tape of that. I wonder whether anyone has sent you a copy of it. Please inform me if not and I will ensure that you have a copy. There were some wonderful testimonies there to Norman’s influence on many of our lives. I also spoke at that.
As to a WECer who could participate, I am at a loss to suggest more than one such as John Whittle at Camp Hill. Is that something worth considering?
May the Lord give you a wonderful time together in rejoicing at all that Norman means to us.
In Jesus and for world evangelization,
August 29, 1994.
Remembering our mentor Norman (Rubi) Grubb who walked in the Spirit along the path of life.
Thank you for your invitation to join you for the Memorial Celebration. Unfortunately, we are unable to be with you. May the Lord be in the midst and mighty among you.
In His Love,
Jack and Peggy Aitken
19th June ’94
Dear Christian friends of Norman Grubb,
Greetings in the Love of the Lord Jesus Christ! Thank you for your colleagues’ kind invitation to come to the Memorial Celebration 9thh-11th September 1994.
My wife and I have known dear Norman for 62 years and it as through him we joined the WEC – his mission at that time and went to India under his leadership for 30 years (1934-1964) missionary work. We were very close to him in spirit and he was always inspiring and loveable. We admired and loved him (as he us, I’m glad to say!) We are now 85 and 82 years of age respectively and do not do long journeys, so we regret we shall not be attending the memorial celebration (We were in USA in 1946-7).
We do thank God on every remembrance of our dear friend and former leader Norman Grubb. We are thankful for the reality of experiencing Col. 1:271 and Gal. 2:20 and Romans 8.1 – by free grace. Also claim Isaiah 60 in faith. Hallelujah! Zeph 3:17.
Yours in the Blessed Hope of Christ’s return and Kingdom,
Dr. and Mrs. Wilfred Morris
PS: We are glad Norman had such good spiritual friends as yourselves! Excuse my handwriting please, WHM. 2 Thess. 3:16.
August 20, 1994
Well, it looks as if we are not going to be able to attend the memorial for Norman. My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in July, and is currently undergoing radiation treatments. I have to take her to the oncologist every day, and the doctors say that her most likely chance for side effects is in the first few weeks in September. So I guess that we’ll need to stay here in Mobile during that time.
I trust that you are doing well, as are we. The Lord has been greatly enhancing our experience of Himself in the last few months, particularly in the area of communion and prayer, and it has been a blessed time. I am also just about finished with the daily devotional book on Grace of which I told you, and we are preparing now to present it to some publishers. I would greatly appreciate your prayers in this regard.
Again, I’m sorry that we have to miss the memorial. I hope that you have a great meeting, and please keep in touch.
August 20, 1994
Dear John and Linda,
Thank you for your beautifully-worded letter in May. I agree with every word about our precious Norman. How I praise our God that God put Norman in our lives!
I know the Memorial Service for Norman will be tremendous. We are unable to come, but I shall surely be “thinking” of all of you.
I shall keep your letter with the wonderful letters which we received from Norman over the years.
In His Love and ours,
Charles and Sara Nixon
June 21, 1994
To: Linda Bunting, DeeDee Winter, Harriet Wearren, Sylvia Pearce
Thank you so much for sending me your letter about the coming celebration for the life and ministry of Norman Grubb, to be held this September. I felt that it was so beautifully written also, in spirit and language. Thanks for that too.
I will not be able to attend, however, and so must decline your kind invitation.
I pray you may all sense the near, intimate, and all-permeating lovely presence of the Lord Jesus in your time together, crowing all the memories of God’s child – Norman Grubb.
In the One we love best,
13th June, 1994
I was so glad to receive your lovely memory of my uncle Norman. It was true in every word and I did appreciate getting it.
I am so sorry that I will not be at the Memorial in September but I send you my best greetings and love for this occasion and I shall be remembering you on those days in September.
With best wishes,
LADY SUSAN WOOD
07 July 1994
Greetings in Jesus’ precious name.
Thank you so much for your recent invitation to attend a memorial celebration for Norman P. Grubb to be held the second weekend of September at your home (9-11 September 1994). As much as I would like to be there, I will be unable to because I only arrive back on 12 September from a 2 ½ month trip to Indonesia.
I very much appreciate that invitation. Norman P. Grubb was very dear to my own heart. He had written to Renate and myself regularly to express his burden for WEC. We have many precious memories of this dear spiritual giant. In WEC we are aware of what he did for WEC. It was Norman P. Grubb, together with his wife, who really rebuilt WEC under their long leadership from 1930-1965.
We had a wonderful thanksgiving service for Norman at Gold Hill Baptist Church on 17 February. Many people were blessed by that memorial service.
May the Lord bless this weekend in September. It is our prayer in WEC that Norman’s strong emphasis of who we are in Christ continues to be a strong reality within WEC and beyond.
With best wishes and warmly in Christ,
Dr. Dietrich Kuhl
June 13, 1994
Dear Linda and John:
I received your letter regarding the memorial celebration the second week of September. You mentioned in your letter Norman’s legacy to the Church, which he called “total truth,” based on Colossians 1:27 and Galatians 2:20. These truths we believe and teach to our students and church members. Lately I have read Norman’s booklet, “The Work of Intercession.” He called this truth of union with Jesus the seventh intercession of his life. This, of course, is so deeply necessary for the work of Christ everywhere – that is, the life of Jesus expressed through our human personality.
I appreciate the invitation to join you in Kentucky. At this time I don’t believe I can attend the memorial celebration since we are opening our new school year at that time. I want to thank you for the invitation, and I want people there to know our deep appreciation for Norman and the many lives he touched, as well as the benefits we enjoy from his ministry.
May the Lord bless you all.
Yours in Christ’s Victory,
Harold J. Brokke
Bethany Fellowship, Inc.
Thanks for remembering me in your “good news”.
Millie and I enjoyed many wonderful days at your house – growing and stretching with you all.
I shall be thinking of all of you in those days and we shall be able to hear your music all the way up here in York Street.
God bless all,
Binghamton, New York
4th June 1994
Dear John, Linda and all,
I am so pleased to know of the Memorial Celebration for Norman Grubb and am only sorry that I shall not be able to be present.
I had a close connection with Norman for many years when he was in England and deeply appreciated all that he was and the spiritual truths that he discovered and shared. He was one of the Lord’s chosen men. May we all come to know our wonderful Lord increasingly and become effective for Him by our deep faith in Him and by His enabling.
I am sure that September 9th-11th will be a time of much blessing.
For your interest I enclose one of our news-letters. As you will see, we are now working in close collaboration with WEC.
With my warm Christian greetings,
Yours in Christ,
Roland A. Hall
Dear Mrs. Bunting,
Thank you for yours to hand kindly inviting me to a Memorial Celebration for the ministry of my friend and colleague in the work of the Lord for a good number of years, Norman Grubb, Rubi, as we used to call him.
I certainly would be delighted to come should the Lord make this possible, having been greatly blessed by the ministry of Norman Grubb, since the day I first read his book, The life of C.T. Studd.
I continue to be blessed by tapes that I have played again and again that Norman let me have, and more recently of the tapes of Sylvia Pearce. I can always do with more tapes, if it is possible to let me have them. Thanks so much if that is possible.
For a number of years Norman Grubb, Fred Anthony, and I were in charge of the work of The WEC. I had the privilege of arranging large meetings for him in the largest halls in the U.K. prior to the time when he left for USA.
May God be praised for your desire to make his ministry known, and a source of inspiration to many more of God’s people. I have to thank God for the encouragement he was to enable me to rise up in faith and see God help us to use all aspects of the media to reach the world with the Gospel Message. 90,000 enquiries we received here last year, and those that have taken 4 of our SOON Bible Course certificates are encouraged to start SOON Readers Clubs. There are possibly 10,000 Clubs around the world, and now clubs are becoming church, with over 28,000 gathering on one part of Zimbabwe.
Yours sincerely in Him,
SOON Gospel Literature Worldwide
11 June ’94
Dear Friends of Norman Grubb,
Norman came to our house in Baltimore in (as I remember) the spring of 1938. He was “passed along” to us by my grandfather, The Rev. John H. McMillan. I drove his around Baltimore, including the campus of Johns Hopkins University, at Homewood, where I was a member of the administration. He spoke there and at several small churches.
In 1939 – July or August – I visited him in London and years later, in the early ‘50’s, he came to Rye, N.Y. to stay with us. He spoke to the Women’s Association at the Presbyterian Church and the minister later demanded to know who had imported this speaker without the minister’s knowledge!
My father and I contributed to his purchase of the house in Fort Washington.
His language in the last 30 years has made me a little uncomfortable but that’s all right. I firmly believe “Christ in me”, “the hope of glory” and “no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus” and “the life I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God”!
Glory be to him! Greetings and blessings to you!
Norman S. Heaney (born 1913)
June 2, 1994
Dear John & Linda:
Greetings to you and your group as you celebrate Norman Grubb’s life.
Lucile and I surely concur with your appraisal of Norman, as God’s Man, who spared not himself, in representing God.
We have been blessed with fellowshipping with great souls on all Continents. Norman was/is a vital and very unique expression of God, who inspired, enlightened and challenged so many of us.
God’s love and light, as we go and do likewise.
Have a great day.
In His love,
Lucile & Del Anderson
Thank you so much for your kind invitation to us both to the ‘Memorial Celebration’ in which it would I am sure, be a great day to participate. Sadly, we are unable to accept but we will be with you all in Spirit and there can be no doubt that you will have a wonderful time.
Words seem so inadequate to express one’s feelings about that dear man whom we all loved so much – we are so greater in the dust of that love and faith which was so abundant in his life and teaching aren’t we.
Looking back over the 55 years that I knew Norman, it seems incredible that he ever came across our path. John Whittle bumped into my father when sweeping the steps of the “Young People’s Mission’ which he ran and it was from that incident that we got to know Norman (I was 12 years old) and had him to stay with us regularly.
The marvellous providence of God!
What fun and gaiety we enjoyed and how our hearts were enlarged as he ‘expounded unto us the word of God more perfectly’. It reminded me of Luke 24:32 “did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way and while he opened to us the scriptures.”
No doubt DeeDee will give us a detailed account of your celebration which will surely touch many folk very deeply – especially the manifestation of the unity of the Sprit. “May you be strengthened with might according to His glorious power unto all patience and long suffering with joyfulness” as you prepare for the coming event.
Please convey our thanks to John, DeeDee, Harriet and Sylvia (we loved what you said about Norman) and much love to yourself.
Margie and Mary Ward.
I’m sorry I’ve taken so long to reply. It’s the story of my life!
I don’t remember when or where we first met Norman but it was love at first sight. It may have been through Abram Vereide and his National Prayer Breakfast group in Washington, back in the 1940’s and 50’s. It might have been other way around, that he met Faith at Work and we introduced him to Abram. In either case, he became our teacher, ally and beloved friend.
Whenever Faith at Work held a conference or event Norman was always consulted beforehand and invited to have special meetings within the conference because many people wished to hear from and speak to him. He was very gracious about this and said he liked to come because so many of our people were not necessarily Church people. It was refreshing to find God working in the unreligious folk.
I remember the first time I heard him speak. He spoke very fast and almost spluttered to get the words out. He was describing the old tin can and how that was what we were like. When we let God fill us, then it was He who lived in us and not we ourselves. I didn’t really understand him at first so I kept going back every time I could. One thing I did realize was, that here was a real man of God, speaking to us.
I’ve often thought what delight God must have had in Norman, what fellowship, what closeness of Spirit. I’ve wondered also why God created us and the world when we’ve so often turned away from Him and spoiled His planet. Then I think maybe God was lonely. He created the universe with all its complexity and beauty, and people in His own image. He wanted us to live and work and cooperate with Him. He loved us and wanted us to love Him. That was why Norman was so special. Like King David, he was “a man after God’s own heart”.
Norman was the most humble man I ever knew. He never expected anything for himself, never put himself forward as a great man, which he really was. People often think being meek is being a door mat or like Uriah Heep. The Beatitudes say “The meek shall inherit the earth”. To inherit is to be given something. It would take great strength and wisdom to manage the earth. Norman had that kind of humility. I remember when a WEC doctor was kicked and stamped to death in Africa and many of the other workers were moaning over such a loss. Norman stopped the negative side and said “We ought to be praising God that he (the doctor) was thought worthy to suffer death for His Lord.”
On the personal side Norman had an engaging sense of humour. He would laugh at himself and the amusing things that happened to him. His wide smile, with his head a bit on one side made you laugh with him. His conversation was always kindly and I can’t remember him ever being critical of anyone.
Norman came from and was beloved by a very find family. We met several of them in England and were impressed by them and for their kindness to us. His sister, Violet, was a gem. She’d been head mistress of a distinguished girl’s school in England. She introduced us to the “New English Bible” by giving us a copy. Then Sir Kenneth, Norman’s brother, was an important person too. He had done some special work for the Queen for which he was knighted but before that, he had explored the Amazon River. In some parts he was the first outsider to have been there. He gave a luncheon in London for Irving to meet and speak to a fine group of men. You all know of Sandy’s great part in what she did for Norman, and Priscilla’s and Dan’s. Also young Dan and his family and the joy they brought to Norman’s life, especially in his last days.
One last recollection of this wonderful man and his family, Pauline’s sister, Edith Buxton, was also as great friend of ours. She helped me very much by a paragraph in her book, “Reluctant Missionary”. It’s etched in my memory for ever as the answer to an unsolvable situation, that there is always one more thing that I can do, I can forgive.
(page 173 of Reluctant Missionary)
“I wish I had learned earlier about forgiveness, both giving and receiving it, and the freedom of spirit it can bring. You cannot have a happy old age without it. My daughter once wrote these words: ‘When a situation has broken down in hurt and bitterness, and disagreement is so deep there seems no solution on earth – there remains forgiveness’.”
(Widow of Irving Harris of International Christian Leadership)
Norman Grubb and Irving Harris co-wrote The Willowbank Story.
To read this pamphlet on-line, open the adobe acrobat file named “The Willowbank Story” under the heading “Pamphlets” on the main page of the
Dear Girls –
Your announcement is a masterpiece by itself. How apt it is if no other word is uttered!
We have our meeting in Maryland that same weekend. That may keep some of that planning group from attending though I hope they will be free to respond to you should they so “desire”.
I know you will experience the heavenlies together.
God has been so special for the last few months. He is a true friend. All is well . . . I, too, and well and whole.
Love to all.
A different font was used for Dan Stone’s letter. The original was hand-written in calligraphy, which was so beautiful, I hoped to ‘reproduce’ the writing as close to its original.
My Dear John and Linda:
Although I am not able to attend, I thank you for inviting me to the Memorial Celebration for Norman Grubb. He will always be in my heart as a “truly man of God”.
Shortly after being born again, the revelation came to me of the “hidden mystery”, and I though I would explode with the joy of knowing “Christ” as “my life”. But, I kept it under wraps, so to speak, until I heard others proclaiming the same revelation. That’s where Norman came in. His witness and writings helped establish and free me and I let the “explosion” happen!
Love, Joy & Peace to you.
Aug. 15, 1994
Thank you so much for your invitation to the memorial celebration for Norman Grubb. At one point we thought we might be able to come, but it won’t be possible.
I appreciated the appraisal of N. Grubb as a person. Whoever did it is to be complimented.
We were WEC missionaries in Ivory Coast for 36 years. Our contacts with Rubi were few but valued.
May your gathering not be just to remember or even to honour, but, rather a challenge to go forward in the same Light in which he walked – even the fullness of our Lord Jesus.
God bless you. Special greetings to DeeDee.
John and Grace Rieder
Basel, 6th June 1994
Dear Mr.& Mrs. Bunting and Friends in Christ,
It is indeed extremely kind of you to invite me personally to the Memorial Celebration in remembrance of our late and beloved Mr. Grubb, to be held Sept. 9-11 in your home, although I live so far away from you! I knew about it through correspondence with his grandson, Mr. Daniel Grubb.
This will be a “Holy Convocation”, as Bakht Singh in India used to call his conferences. You may have heard of him. He may be with the Lord now.
There are, of course, many reasons to be mentioned (distance, age etc.), why I shall not be able to take part in your Celebration. But in spirit I shall be with you.
I knew Mr. Grubb since 1949 when I stayed at the London HQ of WEC for some months. From then onwards we met occasionally either in Switzerland or in Swansea (at Summer Conferences). Since then I am in close contact with WEC International with relationships throughout the whole world. Mr. Grubb belonged to some men of God whom I got remaining spiritual impulses and blessings (although I am only a little “fish” in comparison with them all). But the Lord has blessed me in an extraordinary way through contacts with those Servants of His, so that I trustfully can enjoy my old days, especially in practising Gal. 2:20 and Col. 1:27, you mentioned in your invitation. The Lord is faithful and will also bless abundantly your gathering.
Again many thanks for your invitation and with warmest greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ,
Mrs. Gertrud Gubler
P.S. Warm greetings also to the ladies (?) who have signed the invitation!
Bakht Singh, an Indian missionary, was a close friend of Norman’s. Norman mentions his work to several in Knight of Faith Volume II and also a letter to him can be found. The paragraph below is taken from Bakht Singh’s web-site listed below: http://www.brotherbakhtsingh.org/briefbio.html
8) Indigenization of New Testament principles in the local churches. After visiting Hyderabad in the 1950's, Norman Grubb noted in his book Once Caught, No Escape, "But in all my ministry experience I think these churches on their New Testament foundations are the nearest I have seen to a replica of the early church and a pattern for the birth and growth of the young churches in all the countries which we used to talk about as the mission fields."
June 13, 1994
Dear Christian Friends,
I received your kind invitation to attend the Memorial Celebration in honour of Norman Grubb. I wish it were possible for me to be a part of that service, unfortunately it is not. My traveling schedule is generally limited to short jaunts to town and return (about 70 miles) except in the case of emergency.
I had never met Norman except through his writings and count it a significant loss for me. I admired him greatly especially for his courage in stepping out and publishing the truth as he knew it. I agree wholeheartedly with his conclusions for I too am a bit of a dissenter when it comes to accepting some of the “Churches” beliefs. If I were gifted in writing as he was I would join him in submitting for publication the thoughts and ideas that I believe the Lord has shown me over the years. I first learned of Norman’s work over thirty years ago when I bought one of his books in a second hand book store. His in-depth perception really intrigued me and I read it through several times. I can’t remember the name of it now as I lost it to a borrower a long time ago. One day I hope to have a copy of all of his writings.
I hope you have a well-attended Memorial Service for Norman. I know you will all have a wonderful time of sharing memories with each other.
Thank you for inviting me to be a part.
In Christian love,
Cliff, New Mexico
June 4, 1994
Dear John and Linda:
Thank you for the lovely letter concerning our dear Norman Grubb and the memorial service you are planning to be held the second weekend of September (9-11), 1994.
As a retired pastor I am still fairly active in traveling to teach and preach and cannot say at this time whether we will be free at that time or not. However, will note the full details on my desk calendar, and, if it should appear we could participate, we will let you know.
Of this much I am certain, having known Norman for a good many years, can only say he has impacted our lives in an unforgettable way both in personal sharing and through his many writings. I have recently plowed through Summit Living and lived in it with joy. Also have shared this wonderful devotional book with a great many others. They too have been blessed. Have literally lived in Summit Living and the scriptural passages for two and one-half years. It has been a marvellous teaching tool.
Again, thank you for alerting us to the memorial weekend. Bette and I send you warm love in His Name.
Fraternally in Christ,
Rev. Leonard H. Evans
June 1st, 1994
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Bunting,
My wife Jill and I would like to thank you for your kind invitation to share with you all “the wonderful precious memories” of Norman Grubb at the Memorial Celebration in September. We shall not be able to attend – I am now 83 and don’t get around as once I did – but our prayers will be with you; we are certain it will be a time of rejoicing, and, we trust, a time of inspiration and vision.
Having worked with Norman for the greater part of my life I too have “wonderful, precious memories” of Norman, and can share in acquiescing with the greater part of the “legacy” you describe in such eloquent detail on the first page; I’m afraid I chuckled at some of that description, realising its truth and, for want of a better word; “human-ness”. We thank God together also for the Christlike reflection that he gave as he worked and wrote, through his long life. I had the privilege of being accepted into the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade (as it was then termed) at his desk in 1936, having known him as a teenager on visits to my Home Church. Later, he was God’s instrument in bringing my first wife Bessie to a knowledge of salvation in Jesus, and of dedicating our son Norman to the Lord in her Home Church. Norman was close to both my wife and I as we were pioneers in the opening of new fields to the Gospel under his leadership – Senegal in 1936, and Portuguese Guinea in 1940. From then on his frequent letters became a source of encouragement and strength as he battled in faith with us through every difficulty and triumph. From 1942 to his departure for America we worked closely together in missionary research, seeking out the remaining unevangelized Peoples of the earth, and finding from the Lord the way to spread God’s Word among these. That was, as you will know, the commission given by God to Norman’s father-in-law, C.T. Studd, and which Norman inherited from him when he took over leadership of the Mission. He was (passionately keen) to know where those were who had no knowledge of Christ and His salvation, and it was a joy to work with him in that ministry through those years. At the same time he was writing in a sequential way his discoveries of God’s Truth, and so we have a tremendous legacy in print from his fertile mind and Christ-loving heart. Although we ended the research aspect of our ministry together, we continued to correspond until near his call to “The Glorious Upstairs” and I thank God for every remembrance of him . . .
May the Lord continue His blessing on you all as you meet to thank God for his life, and may you continue to find blessing, and to spread it abroad as you promote the distribution of his writings.
Yours in fellowship in JESUS,
Leslie and Jill Brierley
7 June 1994
Dear John and Linda and friends,
How kind of you to keep me posted about the Memorial Celebration for my long friend and WEC colleague – Rubi. I think there is no way I could even consider being with you in the flesh, but certainly I will remember you all in prayer.
It was in about 1953/4 when I attended one of the WEC weekend conferences in Highland Road in London and heard Rubi for the first time. I was a new Christian and quite overwhelmed by his almost two-hour message which seemed like minutes. He was speaking on this same beloved theme which had conquered him so many years ago –
‘I am crucified with Christ ..’
Subsequently I was in our Glasgow MTC in training when he visited and as I jokingly told him later, he emigrated to the USA the day prior to my entering the WEC Candidates Course in Highland Road in 1957. I next saw him in Germany at one of our European Workers’ Conferences. However, across the years, as he did with so many, he kept in touch through correspondence and called me ‘his French love’ – I suppose because I was in France. I spent 20 years there prior to coming to South Africa where already I have spent ten more years. Rubi has been part of my life and a very precious and special part as he must have been for all who had anything to do with him. One could appreciate and accept his counsel because of his very humanism and understanding.
I have no doubt but that the Memorial Celebration from 9-11 September is going to be a precious and very special time anointed by His Holy Spirit and I pray that Jesus Himself will be totally glorified through the testimony of our dear friend, one who has indeed left his mark in the world and on the lives of many a man and woman. We have been blessed that God spared him to us for so many years, as a living example in the twentieth century of what His Living Witness should be and now it is for us all to move on revealing Jesus to all as we live joyfully and victoriously in Him and He in us.
Would you be so kind as to remember me to the family who so cared for Rubi and to Priscilla. I pray that she is proving the Lord to be faithful to her.
God bless you all and again thank you for your communication.
Christine C. Lovett
July 17, 1994
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Bunting,
The remarkable manuscript describing Norman Grubb will be treasured together with some letters he has written me over the years.
I feel he has led me into the deep truth of “Christ in you” and reiterated it from time to time both reminding me and refreshing me with this essential truth. How grateful I am to God and to Norman for opening my eyes illuminating (literally flooding) my soul.
I cannot come to the memorial occasion as I will be back in London, returning 5th September. All the same, thank you for letting me have a copy of your splendid announcement.
Yours in Him,
International Christian Leadership – Europe
We will pray for your Norman Grubb meeting. I am sure it will be brilliant (as British say) in blessing and in continuing the Norman Grubb emphasis.
June 14, 1994
Thanks so much for sending me the invitation to attend the Memorial Celebration for Norman Grubb which will be held in your home in September. Sorry I will not be able to be there, but want you to know how much Norman meant to me and to so many in this world-wide family.
How grateful we are for this man whose life inspired, encouraged, and pointed others to Christ.
Enclosed are the words to the poem, “The Touch of the Master’s Hand.” It depicts in a beautiful way the difference Christ makes. Just thought you might like to have a copy.
Thanks, again, for thinking of me.
Douglas E. Coe
International Christian Leadership – USA