Eric J. Alexander (1932—2023)
On 13 January 2023, Eric Alexander passed into the nearer presence of the Saviour he loved and loved to proclaim. Eric was one of the most gifted preachers of his generation, but more than his preaching, his life testified to the transforming grace of God. From 1959 to 1997, Eric ministered successively in three Church of Scotland congregations, St David’s Knightswood, Glasgow, Loudoun East, Newmilns, and St George’s-Tron, Glasgow. Along with his older brother Tom, Eric had been raised under the ministry of William Fitch in Springburnhill, Glasgow, and from there both were called into the gospel ministry. Tom’s early death aged 29 had a profound impact on Eric.
Eric’s ministry was increasingly appreciated for its expositional depth, Christ-centred focus, and evangelical passion. Invitations to the Keswick Convention became a regular feature of his ministry. Wider afield, James Boice of Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, invited Eric to preach at the PRTS conference and his preaching there became one of the conference highlights in following years. Eric was also a very good pianist and hymn writer, blending a fine poetic spirit with a deeply theological mind.
Those of us who were privileged to sit under his ministry, were exposed to preaching that exalted Christ, gloried in God, and called us to give ourselves devotedly and unreservedly to the worship of God and the service of his kingdom. I can still remember the first time I heard Eric preach as a young undergraduate not long converted. I sat engrossed from beginning to end as he opened the word of God. After the meeting I thanked him. Three years later we met at a Banner of Truth event in Glasgow and to my astonishment, he remembered me and my name.
Eric Alexander’s preaching exemplified both a deep heart piety and a profound understanding of the Reformed Faith. He understood that preaching should not only be Christ-centred, it should be rich in the great truths recovered for the church at the Reformation.
Eric was a devoted husband to Greta and a dearly loved father to Ronald and Jennifer. His family life added a lustre and credibility to his ministry. Eric modelled for many aspiring preachers all that a God-honouring preacher should be. Our great loss is heaven’s great gain.
Two books by Eric Alexander, Our Great God and Saviour, and Prayer: A Biblical Perspective, are published by the Trust.
On Eagles’ Wings January 20, 2023
In Exodus 19:4 God says that he bore his people on eagles’ wings. What does that mean? It’s a picture he returns to in Deuteronomy 32:11, where he says he dealt with Israel Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on […]
A Pastoral Mistake January 19, 2023
I often make the same pastoral mistake. It is not deliberate, it is often well-intentioned, sometimes it is even hopeful. It is this: to presume upon the biblical knowledge of the people to whom I speak. I do not at all mean by this to deliver a backhanded insult, appearing to confess a shortcoming of […]