Howard Godsoe

Howard Godsoe was born – the first time – in the community of Upham, NB, on October 3, 1916.
He was born again April 6, 1973, in an apartment at 183 Duchess Street, London, Ontario.
He passed from this world into God’s presence on November 27, 2001

This is how Howard Godsoe came to know Christ as his Saviour:

He and his wife Joyce lived in Hanford Brook, NB, with their two daughters and one son. They faithfully attended St. Peter’s Anglican Church in nearby Upham, NB.

His first contact with the gospel was in the spring of 1973 when his daughters Joan and Shirley invited him and Joyce to London, where they were living. David and Paul Kember were holding a series of meetings in the Gospel Hall in St. Thomas that spring. Howard agreed to go, if he was laid off from his bulldozer operator job.

In April of 1973 a government worker in white shirt and tie from Fredericton dropped by and explained he was not needed to run the dozer anymore. Howard argued unsuccessfully and the man’s final words were “I’m sorry”.

Joyce was wanting to go up to Ontario and reminded Howard that if he got laid off he would go (This happened on a Monday morning). That night Howard called the owners of the dozer and explained to Mrs. Blakney (as her Husband Elsworth was not home) that this man from the government told him the machine was not needed. Finally, after no call from Elsworth by Wednesday, Joyce persisted that they go to Ontario.

On Wednesday, they bought tickets to fly up on Friday. Thursday night Elsworth called while Howard and Joyce were packing and before Howard could get a word in Elsworth said to be back for work the next day. He explained that the days off he would be reimbursed for in full. Howard had to explain that he was booked to leave for Ontario and couldn’t work. Elsworth explained that his job would be there for him after he got back from Ontario.

Howard and Joyce went to Ontario and attended the gospel meetings in the evenings. One afternoon, Howard opened his Bible to the same passage that Dave Kember had been preaching from the night before (Romans 10:3). After that, Howard made it a point to read up on the passages spoken on the previous night.

One of the verses that convicted Howard of his condition was Romans 10:1-2: Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

Through these verses, Howard was convinced by God’s Word that even though he had a zeal for God – it was “not according to knowledge”. Even though he had always maintained the habit of praying by his bedside every night, his zeal was “not according to knowledge” for he could not say that he was saved.

The night Howard was saved, Joan had pointed out the verse in Jeremiah 29:13 “Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you”.

As his habit always had been, he and his wife prayed at their bedside that night prior to laying down for the night. That night Howard told God in prayer: “I’m at the end of my rope; if You can do anything at all with Me, I give up”. In other words he gave up trying to get saved and was crying out to God for help. For the first time he felt a very real sense of peace in his soul. Howard told Joyce he was saved.

His daughter Joan heard him say it, and asked, “What did you say?” and Howard repeated his statement to her. Joan told him, “We’ll see in the morning”. Howard replied, “It will be the same thing then as now”. The verse in Jeremiah was one of a number of verses that God used to get Howard to see his need of salvation.

Howard was the first of seven or eight people to be saved during that gospel series. The next day, Dave Kember, remembering the many fishing stories Howard had told him, declared, “We caught a big fish last night!”

Howard’s minister had been away for a while and upon returning he came to visit Howard at his home in Hanford brook. Howard was on the tractor in his yard and the minister came up to him and explained that he wanted Howard to help him in the church duties. Howard explained he had gotten saved and the minister told him that he was always saved. He then went inside the house to talk to Joyce and Joan. There, Howard explained to the minister he would lose half of the congregation if he started preaching on the realities of salvation. The message of sin and salvation is not a message sinners like to hear.

Howard’s life until his death proved the reality of the change salvation can bring. The details of his conversion written above were narrated by Howard himself to his grandson Allen prior to his death in 2001.

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