EULOGY OF HELEN BEARD
by Pastor Bill Vasilakis- National Chairman CRC Churches International Australia 7th January 2019
Today I am honoured to speak about Helen Beard on behalf of our denominational family, CRC Churches International.
Helen is one of the CRC’s genuine hero’s who along with her husband Cliff pioneered a stack of CRC churches across South Australia, Victoria and NSW in the 1960s and 70’s.
In the 1980’s the Beards missions heart took them across the world and they ministered in many nations.
When I came to Christ as a teenager in 1971, Helen and Cliff were iconic figures within our Movement. I read everything that was printed in Revivalist and even checked out back issues from the 1960’s of their truly apostolic evangelistic ministry. The stories were inspiring
Helen was a pastor who had incredible influence upon those of us who were commencing ministry. We were all awed by her faith and the sheer guts and determination and at great personal cost to herself and her family, to preach the Gospel in small and large towns that didn’t have an effective Pentecostal witness.
I read all the publications she put together in those days, including a little book on romance and sexuality.
As I developed in ministry and got to know Helen personally, my respect for her grew as I discovered she was a beautiful Christian woman who didn’t have a bad word to say about anybody. In fact, I never heard anything negative come out of Helen’s mouth which showed the genuine humility and purity of heart that she displayed to all our ministers within the Movement.
On several occasions Helen personally encouraged me in the various leadership roles the Lord was opening up for me, and I deeply appreciated her heart toward newer and younger ministries arising across our movement.
My wife Cathy, who cannot be here today, has very fond memories of the Beard family coming to Adelaide for several years to attend Bible College in 1963/64. Cathy also was impacted as a little girl at Helen’s total commitment, that she, her husband and her entire family would face to share the Good News about Jesus across Australia.
In September when Cathy and I attended the 30th Anniversary of Diggerland [Redcliffs] and we were so keen to catch up with Helen as her health was deteriorating rapidly. What a joyous time we had reminiscing and talking about Jesus. Right to the end, her love for the Lord and loyalty to the CRC was so obvious. We prayed together, gave thanks to Jesus, and I am reminded today that the CRC is richer for having had Helen Beard as a valued member of its family.
Helen truly paved the way for many to actually see the opportunities there were to plant new churches, and for women to be encouraged to pursue ministry. She was one of a small group of ordained woman pastors in the 1960 ‘s, whereas today we have dozens and dozens of women in all spheres of ministry and leadership in CRC Churches and in various key Denominational leadership roles.
She truly was one of our pioneering matriarchs.
On behalf of the CRC National Executive and National Council in Australia and our CRC family across the world I salute her.
I know she has entered into eternal rest with the words “Good and faithful servant” ringing about her ears. Well done Helen.
Condolences from the CRC VIC/TAS Executive
It is a pleasure to be able to honour a faithful minister on their ascent in to Glory. Pr Helen Beard was such a person.
While Helen was associated through the South Australian State for the majority of her ministry life in the latter years she was became connected to Victoria through association with the growing number of churches and ministers in the area relating to Victoria. She loved the fellowship and was want to attend any conference she could. We all benefited from her love, that clearly upwelled from her love of Jesus, and her witty, cheeky, and self-deprecating disposition belying the truly great achievements of her life.
Helen was one of the early pioneering Pentecostal women passionately expressing a ministry of her own alongside her legendary evangelist husband Cliff. Helen was certainly foremost in the CRC in this regard. As a church planter, lead minister, guest ministry and author she was an inspiration to many.
Helen’s writing did much to propel women in to leadership and ministry worldwide and she was still writing in her latter years.
Regionally, Helen was a most faithful prayer warrior facilitating prayer and intercession. As a mother and grandmother she was an especially faithful prayer warrior and has been largely joyously rewarded with many of them serving God in Life and ministry in a way that would bring her great joy.
The pastors and leaders in Victoria and Tasmania honour this great woman of God and are thankful for the track she forged that many women and men will now follow.
Well done good and faithful servant, enjoy your Lord!
Pr Bruce Sharman and Pr Dan Parker
Condolences from the CRC SA/NT/WA Executive
To the Extended Beard Family,
I am currently in Europe where I’ve become aware of the passing of Helen to be with her Lord.
I did want to send a note from here, on behalf of the many Pastors and Churches in the CRC SA/NT/WA State Council to honour Helen and the amazing woman of faith she was. For many years she was a member of our CRC State Council and so many of our pastors and leaders can reflect on her wonderful contribution and participation in our State and National fellowship. She will be missed and certainly has left a legacy of life through her ministry that has impacted countless people.
As one of the woman to early on be credentialed as a Pastor in the CRC, she together with her husband Cliff, represented a generation which helped pioneer our Movement. Her commitment to evangelism, preaching the word and missionary endeavour in many nations and denominations exemplified not just her own commitment to the Lord, but a zeal to see many share this heart.
She was an ambassador across the body of Christ who modelled tenacity of believing, a love for her Lord, family, people and nations. In her sacrificial service, enthusiasm for life and commitment to serve Jesus wherever and whenever, she modelled to so many what tenacity of faith and trust in the Lord looked like!
We will miss her at our gatherings. Her sparkly eyes, warm and genuine greeting and always her bubbling forth of what the Lord had been doing, added such a wonderful dimension to our fellowship. She was a ‘mother in the faith’ to so many in our Movement and a wonderful example of what a life of service and commitment to the Lord could be like.
We thank God for her life and service for the Lord. “Well done good and faithful servant”.
Yours in Christ,
SA, WA, NT State Chairman