Know ye not that there is a great man fallen this day in Israel?
I would have liked this guy. He was everything to this movement and when he died on February 9th, 1937 at the age of 75, he had achieved such great things in his service for God that no one since has been able to come close. William Pascoe Goard! Even the name summons up visions of grandeur. He was such a stalwart in the movement that The National Message of February 20th, 1937 was dedicated to his life. They began their message with the above passage and although it is used when other noted individuals close their lives, it could easily have been written for this man.
He began preaching at 14, came to Canada from England at 18 and was promoted to Captain in the Salvation Army at 21. He had taken two years of law school in England but his heart was set on preaching the Gospel and in the early 1880’s he moved to Winnipeg where he was ordained in the Methodist Church. For twenty years, he traveled the dirt roads of Manitoba and Saskatchewan opening churches and establishing many causes. Then, in 1906, he arrived in Vancouver to pastor the Grandview Congregational Church and it was in Vancouver that God really tapped him on the shoulder, probably saying, “Pascoe, you are now going to open the eyes of so many of your brethren that it will surprise you.”
Still, first, Dr. Goard had to have his eyes open and this happened when two other great men, Professor Edward Odlum and Reverend Mark Jukes, came into contact with him about the time The Association of the Covenant People was formed in 1909 under our original name, “British Israel Association of Canada.” Dr. Goard became identified with the movement shortly thereafter and these three dynamic lecturers, preachers and authors, aided by such other stalwart men as Jacob Parker and William Savage, crisscrossed Canada and the United States opening eyes and attracting tens of thousands to the Israel Truth. Organizations sprung up everywhere and for awhile, it looked as if the truth would be universal, but that was before the Esau dominion.
In 1921, Dr. Goard left for a visit to England, not knowing that God had plans that he remain there and organize a world-wide movement. There was no better choice, he loved the message and he followed his calling. A good example of this is in a letter he wrote to Jacob Parker on June 22nd, 1921, as he was sailing to England on the Empress of France. He wrote, “Dear Mr. Parker, Have had a busy and interesting time and we are leaving a sowing behind us that means great things. One bishop, presiding, declared that, our teaching being true, the church would have to revise seventy-five per cent of its modern teaching. He proceeded to put to me a series of rapier like questions, which called forth the best rapid fire presentation I ever achieved. I believe he is now with us heartily, and will influence his diocese. The club men are tumbling over each other to get this truth and have given me no rest. I also had a day with Henry Ford and Mr. Cameron of the Dearborn Independent. He seems to be wholly convinced and I think Mr. Ford is also. On the boat is a college professor, American, in a chair of sociology. He has the next seat to me at table. We began to discuss matters at dinner last night, and carried on the conversation tramping the deck afterwards until nearly midnight. The most startled and interested man you could ever run across. Professor Odlum is also busy. He has a heavyweight Jew merchant in tow, and has him convinced that Britain is Israel. He had met the matter before from some Jewish Rabbi. So, after a long talk with Odlum, and then me, he is of the opinion that this is right. So the matter goes off at every hand, with every sign of an universal awakening….. Sincerely yours, Wm Pascoe Goard.
Anyway, Dr. Goard became a Vice-President of British-Israel-World Federation and over the years, re-organized the federation’s two magazines into The National Message, helped establish the Harrow Weald College (serving as principal for three years), lectured extensively around the world, authored many books, editorials and leading articles. He did it all, yet, despite the human temptation to live a life of opulence, as so many of today’s televangelists do, he remained a modest man concerned only with furthering the Israel Truth. This is plainly seen in his very last writing and I quote part of it. “From many quarters and many lands there has come an insistent request that I should write a story of my life. I have always set my face against such a thing as that. I remember always that there are in this world some eighteen hundred millions of persons which constitute the human family. I am only one of all that vast number. What is there in my puny experiences which could warrant the thought that they could be of sufficient interest to all my fellows……..My life has been an average one….I have circumstantial evidence that I was born. I have no recollection of the experience. Things have been told to me regarding my advent into the world. My old nurse use to say, “I could pu “en into a pint pot. He wanst worth a rearin. Laws bless my sawl, jes zee what a fine boy hes got to be now.” My earliest recollections are scenes of beauty. I have a few recollections of the original home into which I was introduced when I made my debut into this world. Chief among the memories are the vast chimney, the wide hearth, the blazing fires, the snug stool in the chimney corner. The circle in which the family ranged themselves after the work of the day was done, the friendly neighbours or workmen who came in for evening talk, the flying sparks, the leaping flames, the murmuring voices as they related tales of west-country folk lore, discussed the daily happenings of the farm and parish or brought out the family Bible and read verse about some of the wonderful chapters, and discussed them with all sincerity and earnestness.” [Unfortunately, this is all I could locate of this letter but it’s enough to visualize the kind of man he was].
From time to time, someone will query the title “Dr.” Upon publication of one of his books entitled, “The Law of the Lord,” he was called to the Law School of Chicago to lecture and there he received the degree of Doctor of Legislative Law. He was always very honoured to include this designation in his title, “The Reverend Doctor William Pascoe Goard.”
Dr. Goard holds a warm spot in the hearts of everyone in this organization and I hope this small article will create a warmth in yours as well. For surely, according to Samuel 3: 38, “…a prince and a great man fell that day in Israel.”