(Rev Fred Buick (far right of photo) at installation in 2014)
By Philip Gardiner
On Lord’s Day 28th March our dear brother Rev. Fred Buick went to be with Christ. Fred was the first minister of our congregation. Fred originated from North Antrim in Northern Ireland and was converted by God’s grace in the 1960s. A number of his relatives were converted at the same time and went onto the serve the Lord in the Free Presbyterian Church both in Northern Ireland and Spain. Fred first ministered in Banbridge in Northern Ireland and was mightily used of the Lord in that district.
During the 1970s far away on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia a group of Christians had separated from compromised churches and formed the “Eyre Bible Fellowship.” Fred came to Australia to minister to that group, and on 1st January 1978 they became the first congregation of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster in Australia. During the six years that Fred, along with his late wife Pauline and their family, laboured in Port Lincoln the work extended into Lock as well as other districts.
In 1984 the Buick family came to Perth and Fred became the first minister of the Free Presbyterian Church in Perth, then meeting in Inglewood. Fred developed a close working relationship with Mr Jim Hamilton, long time elder in the congregation. Gary and Dianne Goodes began to attend the church after their conversion, and were instrumentally helped as the Lord soon called them into His work. Gary later became the congregation’s second minister. Fred was a precious friend to many during those pioneering years, many saints still thanking God for how Fred was such a help to them personally. In the mid 90’s Fred returned to Northern Ireland and ministered in the Dromore congregation, a fruit of his earlier labours.
During his short ministry in Dromore the congregation moved into a new building and grew numerically, financially and spiritually. When I recently met with Fred he spoke of that short ministry as the one that had the most evident fruit accompanying it. Fred returned to Western Australia and later retired from full time ministry with the Free Presbyterian Church but continued to preach in a number of fellowships in the Perth region.
The Free Presbyterian witness in Australia owes a debt of gratitude to God for the ministry of our late brother. We thank the Lord for using him for the establishment and expansion of the ministry here. We look to the Lord that “the best is yet to be.” We want to assure Fred’s family, in Australia, Spain and Northern Ireland, of our sincere sympathies and we will be upholding them in prayer during this difficult days.
“The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21