Durward Harrell Friend
D. H. Friend
The telephone message we received in the late afternoon of April 18th saying, “Brother Friend died a few minutes ago,” came as a distinct shock. I was not prepared for such a message; yet it had to be received as true. God in His loving mercy had taken him home. He had suffered a good deal during the past two years, but at the time of his passing there was no suffering, no anguish, no regrets. He had preached a strong sermon at Worthington church the Lord's day before, and was visiting in the home of a friend when, without a word or struggle, he left all the ties of earth and went home. His wish, many times expressed, that when and if the end should come in this way he might be “in harness” was thus granted. As God was with him in life, He was with him in death.
Brother Friend’s passing is a great personal loss to me. He was not only a dearly beloved brother in he Lord, but a close personal friend, whom I loved as I have loved few men in the world. We had been friends for 45 years, most of that time in an intimate way. About twelve years my senior, he helped and encouraged me a great deal in my early preaching efforts My life has been indeed blessed by his, as have many others. We have visited many times, each in the other’s home, and those visits have always been most pleasant and profitable. I shall always cherish my last personal visit with him just a little less than three weeks before he passed away.
Funeral services were held in the church building at 5th and M Sts. in South Louisville, where Brother Friend had formerly labored for nearly twenty years. There hundreds of people gathered to pay tribute to his life. Many beautiful flowers added to the evidence of the esteem in which he was held by so many. After a few words by the writer, a beautiful tribute was brought by Brother H. L. Olmstead, followed by a consoling message by Brother R. H. Boll. The closing prayer was led by Brother N. Wilson Burks.
Brother Friend possessed a deeply spiritual nature, and was never happier than when engaged in active work for the Lord. He was a man of strong convictions, and had the courage to stand loyally for those convictions without compromise. These qualities, together with his naturally sunny and jovial disposition, won for him many friends. He loved to preach to the working man, and for many years held one or two classes every week during the noon lunch period at the local L. & N. shops. Eternity alone will reveal the good that was done even there.
Brother Friend’s wife and children and sister have the sympathy of a host of friends, who love them as they loved him. But above all, they have the comfort and strength of Him who “is able to help us in every time of need’’ and who says to them, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” “Beyond the sun-set, O glad reunion,
With our dear loved ones who’ve gone before;
In that fair homeland we’ll know no parting;
Beyond the sun-set for evermore.”
-Willis H. Allen. Word and Work, May 1951, pages 112ff
My remembrance of Brother Friend goes back through many years. We were friends and schoolmates together at the old Nashville Bible School. After leaving N. B. S. we met again in Texas, where we held several meetings together notably the great Tom Bean meeting, still remembered by some of the older people of Tom Bean and vicinity. And after that we had much contact. We worked together in meetings at Horse Cave, Ky., where Brother Friend for years was minister of the church; at Green’s Chapel also, and elsewhere. In Louisville we were often associated. There Brother Friend took up the work at “5th and M”—then but little more than a mission; and under his labors a great and self-supporting congregation arose, and a large meeting-house was built.
Brother Friend was of tender emotional temperament—loving and honorable. His activities as a preacher and personal worker were outstanding. He had a remarkable gift of eloquence and oratory. But in all his work he was humble and devout. He loved the Lord. Now his labors are ended, his toils are over. The great throng that filled the 5th and M auditorium, the enormous wreath of flowers, the tears of sympathy shed by the many -who attended the funeral, testified to the great love and esteem in which he was held, and the place he had in the hearts of many. Nothing better could I say at the service, and here than the concluding words of the hymn—“When the Mists Have Rolled in Splendor”—
“When the mists have ris’n above us,
As the Father knows His own,
Face to face with those that love ns We shall know as we are known,
Lo, beyond the orient meadows Floats the golden fringe of day,
Heart to heart we bide the shadows Till the mists have rolled away.”
-R. Η .B. Word and Work, May 1951, pages 112ff
IN MEMORY OF BROTHER D. H. FRIEND
Brother Durward Harrell Friend was born in Missouri, moving to Texas at a very early age, attending Nashville Bible College and later teaching in the Potter Bible College, Bowling Green, Kentucky. Brother Friend has left an indelible impression upon acquaintances wherever he lived and labored for the Lord. He is survived by his wife, formerly Miss Fanny B. Gill, and four children, Mrs. Lottie Dening, Mrs. Gladys Frazee, Miss Frances Friend and Demus H. Friend.
Brother Friend’s greatest work in local ministry was concentrated in two churches: the Horse Cave Church of Christ, 1909-23, and the South Louisville Church of Christ, better known as 5th and M Sts. church, 1927-46. By the grace of God he built the South Louisville congregation from a small church to one of the strongest churches of Christ in Kentucky.
How shall we measure his influence, his multitude of good works, his personality, his consecration to the Lord? By many things. The hundreds who came to the funeral home? The crowded church auditorium at the time of his funeral? The many whose confession he took, whose baptism he administered? The hundreds of weddings he performed, the many, many funerals he conducted? Yes—but not by these alone. Many have gone before who called him blessed. To the many who expressed sympathy and love to the bereaved family may be added many, many more who were unable to come to the family. And certainly the hundreds of men at the L. and N. shops could tell you of his priceless ministry over the past twenty-five years at Wednesday noon. Assuredly the very churches where he preached the saving gospel of our Lord could tell you of his great work for God’s glory. Many could tell of his constant efforts to bring about harmony and finer fellowship among ministers, leaders and churches of our Lord.
Two or three years ago a mutual friend suffered the loss of his wife by death. After the funeral he showed me a card—simply, glowing with understanding love, it was signed, “Your friend, Friend.” Unmistakable, that hand-writing. Our Friend the Lord has called our brother and friend home. We thank God for his life!
-N. Wilson Burks. Word and Work, May 1951, pages 112ff
HOME-GOING OF D. H. FRIEND
On Sunday Brother D. H. Friend preached; on Tuesday he made some calls; on Wednesday he decided to make a hospital call. On the way he stopped at a home to pick up some things and while chatting with a sister he asked for a drink of water and arose to follow her. He slumped to the floor. The sister said his life left him as quickly as one could press a light button—the personality and the Gospel preacher that had lighted up so many lives through the years had slipped away.
Brother Friend was a friend to many. His charming personality both in and out of the pulpit, his eloquence, his knowledge of the Scriptures combined to make him a good, effective located minister.
Brother Olmstead said that on Wednesday Brother Friend was out about his Father’s business, and God said to him as He did to Enoch of old, “Friend, you have labored long enough in my vineyard. I want you to come home with Me.” He is not dead, but just away; he has gone to his Father’s House.
-J. R. Clark. Word and Work, May 1951, pages 112ff
BROTHER FRIEND A FRIEND OF MANY
Since 1898 and Nashville Bible School days, I have appreciated such a friend as I had all long in D. H. Friend. We shall miss him. It is good to know that his good -works will continue to bear fruit. He sowed the good seed and watered it with many tears. He had the sweet satisfaction of seeing his son Demus sowing the same good seed, backing up the same with real consecration. What a comfort has Sister Friend and the rest in that fact and what a strong tower in Demus in these days of sorrow when they so much need one to look to. and lean on. And how good it is that all know Him who is the source of all help. “We shall meet our loved ones and own, Some sweet day.” May all, the many bereft, find comfort in that.
-Stanford Chambers. Word and Work, May 1951, pages 112ff
D. H. FRIEND TRIBUTE FROM A SON
We appreciate very much the tributes which appeared in the May issue of Word and Work. Hundreds from near and far have expressed their love and sympathy in nearly every possible manner since the homegoing of our loved one. The family is deeply grateful to each and everyone.
How could he have gained so many true friends? Was it his winsome personality? The answer lies deeper than that and I think it simply this, he lived what you can often hear preached but legs frequently see demonstrated. The Spirit was in him and fruit was evident. He was humble, and to such our Lord promises “the kingdom of heaven.” Like his Master, “the common people heard him gladly.” Service, in the name of Jesus, to “the least” of Christ’s brethren, this was his life.
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory”. He shall say “unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.”
Though a son, I can make no apologies for this personal tribute. I really knew him.
-Demus H. Friend. Word and Work, June 1951, page 152
Sister D.H. Friend
On Wednesday, September 16, early in the morning, Sister D.H. Friend died in her sleep. She was called home to be with the Lord who she loved so well. Several years ago we sorrowed at the passing of Brother D.H. Friend. We have known this beloved one for many, many years, as far back as 1915 at least. Her kindness, patience, love, and faithfulness always marked her as an outstanding minister’s wife and a good Christian.
She is survived by three daughters and one son: Mrs. Lottie Dening; Mrs. Gladys Frazee; Miss Frances Friend; and Demus H. Friend.
-N. Wilson Burks, Word and Works, October, 1959, page 287.
Allensville Church of Christ
A Poem Found In The Pocket Of D.H. Friend
Word and Work, June 1961, page 133.
TRUTH IN THE HEAD AND IN THE HEART
(Sent in by D. H. Friend - 1945 Word and Work)
Some years ago, at a drawing-room function, one of England's leading actors was asked to recite for the pleasure of fellow guests. He consented, and asked if there was anything special that his audience would like to hear. After a moment's pause, an aged minister arose and said: "Could you, sir, recite to us the twenty-third Psalm?"
A strange look passed over the great actor's face. He paused for a moment, and then said: "I can, and I will upon one condition, and that is that after I have recited it, you, my friend, will do the same."
Impressively, the great actor began the Psalm. His voice and his intonation were perfect. He held his audience spellbound; and as he finished, a great hurst of applause broke from the guest. Then, as it died away, the aged minister arose and began to recite. His voice was not remarkable; his intonation was not faultless. When he had finished, no sound of applause broke the silence, but there was not a dry eye in the room, and many heads and hearts were bowed in reverential awe.
The great actor rose to his feet again. His voice shook with uncontrollable emotion as he laid his hand upon the shoulder of the aged minister and said to the audience; "I reached your eyes and ears, my friends. This man has reached your hearts. The difference is just this: I know the twenty-third Psalm, but he knows the Shepherd." -Civic Bulletin.
Word And Work, Octrober 1977, page 295
Directions To Grave
Durward and Fannie Bell Friend are buried in the city cemetery in the small town of Allensville, Kentucky. Named Belmont Cemetery, the GPS location of the grave is highlighted below. The grave is about three rows west of the flagpole.
Photos Taken 10.24.2016
Webpage produced 01.04.2019