Ward, Arthur A. (1912–1994)

By Clive P. Dottin, and Roselyn Ward

×

Clive P. Dottin

Roselyn Ward

Arthur Audley Ward was a pastor and church administrator who contributed to Adventist mission in the West Indies and in America.

Early Life, Education, and Marriage

Arthur Audley Ward was born in Panama on March 22, 1912.1 He graduated from the Commercial Course of Caribbean Training College in 1938. After his graduation Ward was engaged in various lines of denominational activities in the island of Barbados. For a short time, he did stenographic work for the South Caribbean Conference. Although Ward served as a secretary of various departments from 1939 to 1960, much of his time was given to pastoral and evangelistic work.2

Ward was married on September 26, 1939, to Pearl Lindsay. Four children were born to Pearl and Arthur Ward.

In 1936, two years before Arthur Ward graduated and three years before he married Pearl, the love of his life, discouragement struck the campus like a bolt of lightning. Pearl Lindsay was told that her left leg had to be amputated. Arthur told the student body that “gangrene had set in and it will kill her if the left leg isn’t amputated.” The administration and staff of the school prayed for a miracle and God granted the miracle. The surgeon discovered that surgery was not needed. Arthur believed that Pearl would walk again.

In 1950 the family was called to Guyana for a very short term, then they were brought back to Trinidad where Arthur served as secretary-treasurer, and later as president of the South Caribbean Conference. Pearl worked for some years with the Voice of Prophecy, part of the time as supervisor.

When Arthur was appointed secretary-treasurer, Pastor Bender L. Archbold was appointed president of the South Caribbean Mission, after Elder Vernon Flory, who was president since 1947, was invited to join the departmental office staff at the Caribbean Union.

He displayed musical proficiency on several instruments: piano, guitar, and organ. Members affirmed the impact of his inspirational music, including his melodious singing.

In 1957 Pastor Ward was asked to be president of the South Caribbean Conference when Elder B. L. Archbold accepted a call to the college. Ward began an extensive building and reparation projects on over 95 buildings in the conference. Some $42,000 of conference funds were voted to assist in these needs. Eight churches have been dedicated to God, three companies have been organized into churches, while sixteen other groups have been formed into companies. Ingathering has grown from $30,705 in 1956 to $42,240 in 1960. The Publishing Department (the colporteur force of which rose from 21 in 1956 to 42 in 1959) delivered $100,000 worth of literature in 1959, a gain of nearly $33,000 over the 1958 achievement. Missions offerings increased by the first year’s almost $10,000 over the amount in the same period 1956-$20,000; 1959-$29,800.3

Long before “building capacity” was a popular managerial term, Pastor Ward was engaged in a massive array of training programs for youth leaders in evangelism and diversification of the Sabbath School ministry through the innovative Vacation Bible School program. His presidential journey ended in 1966.

That year the family moved again, this time to resume duties in the land of his birth, Panama, where “he pastored the English churches on the Pacific side of the Panama Conference. In 1968 they moved to Colon to pastor the English churches on the Atlantic side. Two years after the move, Pearl was diagnosed with terminal cancer that finally took her life on October 9, 1970.”4

His description of the role of Pearl in his life merits profound attention: “She never wanted her problems, even in her illness, to stand in the way of my doing God’s work… I only wish now so to live that I may meet her again in that eternal home of unfailing health and happiness.”5

Arthur continued to serve as pastor in Colon after Pearl’s death. On his furlough to Trinidad, he renewed acquaintance with Dr. Esther Osborne, a close family friend, whom, under divine guidance, he soon married. He joined her in Washington, D.C.

Pastor Ward arrived in the United States in 1972. To further demonstrate the depth of his commitment to the work and proving that authentic missionaries have a conviction that men may choose an office, but God defines their mission. At his funeral Dr. Lyndrey Niles recalled that upon his arrival in 1972, Pastor Ward worked as a proofreader at the Review and Herald Publishing Association in Washington D.C., while engaged in pastoral assignments for the Allegheny East Conference.6

Dr. Niles reminded the congregation that Pastor Ward loved to sing and loved to play musical instruments and even directed the church choir. He also published several articles in Seventh-day Adventist periodicals.

The last phase of his ministry was conducted at the Cherry Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He accepted this call in 1976. His obituary stated:

Pastor Ward was always willing to serve. In 1976, he accepted a call to minister to the Cherry Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church. His years of service in the ministry helped him bring to fruition the work which had already begun there. During this first year at Cherry Hill, Pastor Ward led yet another congregation ‘by faith’ to build another temple to the glory of God. On June 30, 1988, the new Cherry Hill Church was officially opened. Pastor Ward continued to provide leadership to this congregation until he retired on February 6, 1993.7

On March 16, 1994, Pastor Ward passed quietly.

Irisdeane C. Francis presented the poem Reminiscences at the 1982 Testimonial Banquet for Pastor Arthur A. Ward at the Cherry Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church. It captures the sacrificial spirit of this noble and dedicated ambassador for Christ.

At King Street Church, the Word you broke
It was the first sermon you ever spoke.
From Michael to St. Philip at night,
You cycled alone with all your might.
To assist the Pastor at Kirton’s site,
As he presented the Gospel’s light.8

Sources

Francis, Irisdeane C. Reminiscences, Testimonial Banquet, Cherry Hill SDA Church, 1982.

The Ward Family. “Pastor Arthur A. Ward Obituary.” March 21, 1994. In the private collection of the Ward family.

Ward, A. A. “South Caribbean Conference Report,” Caribbean Union Gleanings, July-August 1960.

Ward, Roselyn, A Mountain to Climb, 2012. In author’s private collection.

Notes

  1. The Ward Family, “Pastor Arthur A. Ward Obituary.” March 21, 1994.

  2. A. A. Ward. “South Caribbean Conference Report,” Caribbean Union Gleanings, July-August 1960.

  3. Ibid.

  4. Roselyn Ward, A Mountain to Climb. 2012, 81.

  5. Ibid., 82.

  6. The Ward Family, “Pastor Arthur A. Ward Obituary.” March 21, 1994.

  7. Ibid.

  8. Irisdeane C. Francis, Reminiscences, 3. Testimonial Banquet, Cherry Hill SDA Church, 1982.

×

Dottin, Clive P., Roselyn Ward. "Ward, Arthur A. (1912–1994)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 09, 2021. Accessed January 21, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=8C79.

Dottin, Clive P., Roselyn Ward. "Ward, Arthur A. (1912–1994)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 09, 2021. Date of access January 21, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=8C79.

Dottin, Clive P., Roselyn Ward (2021, January 09). Ward, Arthur A. (1912–1994). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved January 21, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=8C79.