Farewell Buffet for Keith's 'retirement'

25th July, 2009

...attended by 70 guests, with greetings from: Belfast, Yorkshire Baptist Assoc. Leeds and local churches: Calvary Chapel, Cornerstone, Harbourside, Hunmanby and St. John's Burlington.

Revd Keith and Florrie Gilbert - retirement buffet - pic courtesy Brid Free PressPicture courtesy of Paul Atkinson, Bridlington Free Press

Keith described (almost 13yrs.) as being hard work but not hard going

Bridlington - so peaceful, compared to preaching during exploding bombs,while machine guns fired nearby, in Belfast! Denis Elvidge, on behalf of the church, said, Thank you Keith for your faithful ministry and diligent pastoral care. You may be retiring from your work amongst us - but not from Christ's service. May God richly bless you both. He presented Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert with a card, cheque, Stanley Tool Kit and dvd's: Martin Luther and Count Zindendorf (CZ - the book Keith used for young people's talks).

Retirement cake

Notice the 'walking boot footprints' for Keith, and 'Needles and ball of wool' for Florrie.
(Cake by Milner's Bakery) 

Keith mentioned that the second 'retirement' card received was from a funeral director, but was hoping that retirement would last for many years!

Born in Birkby, West Yorkshire, Keith was taken by his sister, to Sunday school at the local Baptist church and joined the Boy's Brigade eventually becoming Sergeant. Those years would impact his life, for the better, in later life. At Huddersfield Grammar School he excelled in cross country running at county level which cultivated a love for long distance walking. He furthered his education at Hull University, studying Physics, graduating with a BA in Philosophy; becoming a Christian in the 2nd year by listening to the Word of God and reading the Bible.

Keith's first job after University was with Tube Investments, Birmingham. 3yrs were then spent at The Irish Baptist College, Belfast where he gained his BD. Revd Gilbert's first pastorate, Portrush Baptist Church, N. Ireland was for 10yrs. and Antrim Road, Belfast for 13yrs. Times were spent comforting those from the church whose relatives had been killed or maimed by terrorists. His own car was stolen and petrol poured on it. The police did arrive before it was burned.

It could not have been easy raising 4 young children under such circumstances with his wife, Florrie. Keith's most frightening experience was when his car was stopped on a country road (never knowing whether it would be the IRA or British Army) with a pistol held close to his head and asked for ID - but not having any!

Revd Gilbert thanked all who had worked with him, seen and those so necessary, behind the scenes. His advice: Gear the Gospel to the times but the message must remain the same.

JB