A Tribute to Pastor Wilf Blake
I first met Pastor Wilf Blake as a 5-year-old boy when our family moved to Good Shepherd Baptist Church. Immediately I was struck by his joy, charm and infectious personality. Children had an affinity with Pastor Blake. He was disarming, engaging and encouraging. He believed in living life to its fullest and living by principles, and he was able to transfer that to his pupils often through stories, drawings and illustrations. I can remember many a school chapel service where he would be telling Bible stories with passion and conviction, but never yelling or shouting. You believed him because you knew he believed what he was teaching and more importantly, he practiced what he preached.
Over the years my recollections of Pastor Blake turned into admirations as I grew to understand the depth of his character and the sincerity of his Christianity. As a boy I never imagined I would have the honour of being Pastor Blake’s pastor one day, and to minister alongside him. Watching him minister to people taught me so much. I often would see him help those others would shun, I saw him offer kindness and bread to those the Pharisees would never dine with. I watched him pray with people in hospital who seemed hopeless, I even watched him calm the angry with a smile, a cup of tea and a prayer. How? Because he was a real Christian. He was willing to be humble, to take the hit, even to be abused if it meant He could demonstrate the reality of Christ to another human being.
He was a passionate evangelist. Always willing to knock on a door, have a chat or a cup of tea with anyone in the hope he could share the truth of Jesus Christ. In our area of Albany Creek, he was known by just about everyone, and everyone spoke well of him. In fact, I never heard a bad word about him. He indeed was wise but harmless. He saw many saved through his personal witness – his spoken word and his testimony. He saw many saved through his dedicated prayer life. He loved to pray, he listed many daily in his prayers. I saw him weep over the spiritual state of many, even at times his own children. He would pray and then he would gladly rejoice when God moved in someone’s life. Such simple and sincere Christianity that left a great imprint on many.
For our church, he was in many ways what I would call ‘the heart of the church’. He was gentle, kind, compassionate, dedicated, loving and above all he was a servant. He was always willing to roll up his sleeves and do what needed to be done. In my opinion, he was ‘great’ because he was a ‘servant’ – Matthew 20:25-28.
There is so much that could be said about this dear man of God. He was a loving father, he was a great Australian (a WWII vet), he was a friend, mentor and example. But above all he was a great Christian. His death was joyful because we have great assurance of his testimony that he is now absent from his body and present with our Lord. But his death was also sad; the earth has lost some salt, and some of the world’s light has been dimmed. I do wonder if there are those today willing to sacrifice as he did for the cause of Christ? His legacy is one of serving God faithfully through over 60 years of ministry. A service that, now he is in Heaven, I have no doubt he is glad he performed.
Thank you Pastor Blake for your years of service at GSBC. Thank you for the lessons you taught verbally and practically. Your legacy lives on and we are all so glad to have known you and been ministered to by you. Enjoy your rest! We look forward to meeting you and rejoicing with you in Heaven one day.