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Berley Adair mended many lives

Published:Sunday | February 10, 2013 | 12:00 AM

A welder by trade, Berley Adair Sr mended hundreds of spiritually broken lives as an itinerant evangelist for the Christian Brethren Assemblies for 40 years.

When he finally extinguished his spiritual welding torch on January 18, 2013, he had helped shape the lives of hundreds of persons with whom he shared the gospel of Jesus Christ across the island, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Several of whose lives Adair touched paid tribute to him at his funeral held on January 26 at Maranatha Gospel Hall in Vineyard Town, St Andrew.

A delegation of youths from Rennock Lodge in east Kingston presented a guard of honour for 'Uncle Berley', who led a Good News club in the community for 30 years.

Adair's spiritual journey began with his conversion on the night of March 17, 1949 as a young man in his 17th year.

Shortly after his conversion, he was baptised at Assembly Hall then located at Race Course in St Andrew.

Elder for over 30 years

There he found his life partner, Kathleen Dorothy Watson, whom he wedded in December 1955.

The union, which lasted for 57 years, produced five children: Rosalee, Althea, Berley Jr, Constance and Hope. They have since blessed their parents with eight grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Adair served at Assembly Hall as an elder for more than 33 years, where he has been singled out as the bridge between the young people and the church leadership.

"The young men played football on the church grounds, but the ball would keep breaking the glass in the windows, so the elders banned the activity," recounted the younger Adair in a tribute to his father.

"My dad installed some grilles over the windows so we could continue playing football. He was into sports ministry long before it became fashionable."

Adair, who was a bass singer, sang at his own funeral through a recording of his voice, along with a live performance by his son and grandson, Carl Lee Scharschmidt.

In delivering the sermon Brian Grant, who grew up under Adair's spiritual guidance, appealed to the gathering to take the baton from the late evangelist and continue to blaze a trail in taking the gospel around Jamaica and beyond its shores.