Mrs Scarborough Memorial

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Gospel Defence League

P O Box 36129 Glosderry 7702

Cape Town South Africa

Tel: 021 689 4480

info@gospeldefenceleague.org www.gospeldefenceleague.org

“...contend earnestly for the Faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 3

Dorothea Olivet

was born on

Valentine’s Day

14 February

1936. She was

the eldest of

5 children: her

younger sisters:

Madeleine and

Wilhelma, her brothers Wolf

Heinrich and Theo. Tragically

her brother Wolf Heinrich died

at age 8. Her father was a judge

and the Receiver of Revenue. Her

A Tribute to Mrs Dorothea Scarborough

Partly melted bells,

St. Mary’s, Lübeck

brother Theo was

president of the

Supreme Court.

An uncle was

Prime Minister of


Dorothea Olivet

grew up in a

Europe at war. Even though very

young at the time, she remembered

the trauma of the Allied Bombing

Raids, starting on 28th March 1942,

raining death and destruction upon


Bomber Harris

Charles Scarborough

was an escape artist!



Today part of Kiribati, but at one time

the northern Gilberts were called the

Scarborough Islands.

Lübeck, her home in northern Germany. The bombers came in 3 waves, causing

most of the destruction on Palm Sunday 29 March. The Wellington and Stirling

bombers dropped over 400 tons of bombs including 25,000 incendiary devices. A

number of 1.8 tonne blockbusters dropped in the first wave opened the brick and

copper roofs of the buildings and the following incendiaries set them afire. This

was the first firestorm bombing of any city.

Lübeck was an historic cultural centre and the bombing of 28 and 29 March 1942 left

25,000 people homeless. It also destroyed the historic Lübeck Cathedral, St Peters

Church and St Mary’s. Because Lübeck consisted of many timbered medieval

buildings, Officer Commanding Bomber Command, Arthur Harris, described

Lübeck as “built more like a fire-lighter.” Harris wrote that Lübeck “went up

in flames. It was a city of moderate size. It was not a vital target, but it seemed

to me better to destroy a town of moderate importance than to fail to destroy a

large industrial city.” Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin congratulated Churchill on the

destruction of Lübeck, expressing his satisfaction at the “merciless bombing” and

expressing the hope that such terror attacks would cause severe damage to German

public morale. Actually the morale of the citizens in Lübeck held up remarkably

well throughout the traumatic war. Mrs Scarborough recalled also seeing the sky

red from the fires of the firebombings of nearby Hamburg and Kiel.

Despite the devastation of her homeland, Dorothea Olivet grew to love the Lord

Jesus Christ and to commit her life to following and serving Him.

Charles Scarborough married Dorothea in the still bomb damaged Lutheran

Cathedral of Lübeck, Germany, in 1958. She was the pastor’s wife in Cemetery

Road Congregational Church, Sheffield, England. Then a missionary, along with

her husband, Rev Charles Scarborough, with the London Missionary Society to

the Gilbert Islands, on the equator, in the Pacific Ocean.

In 1969, after serving four years with LMS, Dr Charles Scarborough accepted

the call to pastor Sea Point Congregational Church which he did for 25 blessed

and fruitful years. Charles and Dorothea Scarborough were in the forefront of

launching the Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches (EFCC). Mrs

Scarborough served as Secretary of the EFCC. For many years Mrs Scarborough

also led the Women’s World Day of Prayer. She was the Editor of the International

German language Vox Afrikana and UCANEWS. She also founded Gospel Defence

League, which grew to a large readership with over 18,000 on the mailing list.

Some of her publications had over 100,000 copies printed.

It has been my privilege to know Mrs Scarborough for almost 40 years. After my

first mission to Mozambique, in 1982, Mrs Scarborough invited me to speak at one

of her women’s meetings and interviewed me for Vox Afrikana. Before Frontline

Fellowship had an office or a photocopier, Mrs Scarborough invited me to use

her office. So Gospel Defence League was where I would go on my motorbike to

make copies of our Frontline Fellowship newsletters, or Bible study and lecture


Over the years Mrs Scarborough became one of my most trusted advisers and an

invaluable member of the Board of Frontline Fellowship. There was many a time

when Mrs Scarborough was my main and sometimes only encourager, supporting

me in ventures and in the stands that most others sought to discourage me from

taking. She understood the mission of Frontline Fellowship and was our most firm

and faithful friend. Steadfast.

up and speak out on our behalf. Mrs Scarborough was a Missionary Mother, Motivator

and Mobiliser of prayer.

Many were the projects, publications, outreaches, campaigns and events which we

planned and worked on together, including SACEL 1985, The Archbishop and the

Bible 1986, Kirchentag 1987. These were battles in the world war of worldviews,

fighting the good fight of Faith, exposing and opposing false teaching, unBiblical

heresies, Marxist liberation theology and other threats to the Christian Church.

We were involved in debates with liberation theologians in townships, at church

conferences and on university campuses. Mrs Dorothea Scarborough was faithful,

dependable, courageous, principled, steadfast, fervent, dedicated and relentless.

Dorothea Scarborough was a formidable defender of the Faith.

Mrs Scarborough was also a founder member of the Reformation Society in 2005

and of Livingstone Fellowship in 2006. For 15 years she attended the Thursday night

Reformation Society meetings and Livingstone Fellowship services at Livingstone

House. She was an enthusiastic supporter of our Reformation 500 movement and

never missed a Reformation Day event at the Huguenot monument in Franschhoek.

Even as her body grew older and weaker, her mind was sharp, her analysis incisive

and her convictions like iron. Mrs Scarborough was gracious and friendly, but she had

a doctrinal backbone of steel. She would not back down, she would not bow and she

would not bend on any matter of Biblical faithfulness, truth and principle.

The Scripture says that it is better to go to a funeral than to a party, because the living

should always remind themselves that death awaits for us all (Ecclesiastes 7:2).

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven; a time

to be born and a time to die … ” Ecclesiastes 3:1–2

“…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27

There is nothing more certain than death and nothing as uncertain as the time of dying.

We should therefore be ready at all times for that which may come at any time. “For

we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive

what is due to him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

2 Corinthians 5:10

“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to

his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself

strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

Dorothea Scarborough’s heart proved loyal to our Lord Jesus Christ and the Lord

strengthened her.

We do not know when, or under what circumstances, our lives will come to an end.

But we do know that when we die we will stand before Almighty God — our Creator

and Eternal Judge — and we will have to give an account of our lives — to Him. “Do

not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear

His voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live and those who

have done evil will rise to be condemned.” John 5:28–29

“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were

opened. Another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. The dead were judged

After the death of my mother in 2001, Mrs Scarborough became like a mother to according to what they had done as recorded in the books. If anyone’s name was not

me, correcting and rebuking me, urging me to take time to rest and recuperate, found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

encouraging me to ignore malicious backbiting and attacks by antagonists,

Revelation 20:12–15

motivating greater efforts to advance the Kingdom of God. She was quick to stand

2 3

Many religions believe in an after-life. But what is unique to Christianity is the

distinctive belief in the resurrection of the body. Christ’s Resurrection guarantees

that those who die believing in Him, shall one day be raised in His likeness to be

with Him forever. Through Christ, death has lost its sting. We can face death in the

sure knowledge that Christ has delivered us from the coming wrath and from eternal

Judgement. We praise God that Dorothea Scarborough knew the love and salvation

of our Lord Jesus Christ and that she served God so faithfully throughout her life

on earth. Who can calculate how many lives she impacted by her faith and writings.

We grieve, but we do not grieve as those who have no hope. “For to me to live is

Christ and to die is gain!” Philippians 1:21

Dying Christ destroyed our death. Rising Christ restored our life.

“Jesus said: ‘Whoever hears My Word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal

life and will not be condemned. He has crossed over from death to life.’”

John 5:24

Death for the Christian is not fatal. Death for the Christian is not final.

We serve a Risen Saviour. Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the Life.

“Jesus said to her: ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me

will live, even though he dies.’” John 11:25

Where are we going to spend eternity? Some of us have already made that choice

and can say: I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. Praise the Lord! No

turning back. Others of us may not want to think about our eternity right now. But,

in time, death will come to us all. As we gather at this funeral we should soberly

consider our immortal soul and the day when we will stand before our eternal

Creator and give an account of our life. At that point our choice will be final. What

will God say to me on that great Day of Judgment. Will you hear: “Well done! Good

and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord”?

“Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament and those

who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3

Mrs Scarborough was wise and she turned many to righteousness by faithfully

standing up for Jesus, contending for the Faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

Ecclesia Reformata Reformanda est. Semper Reformanda! The Church, being

reformed, must continue to be Reformed. A Mighty Fortress is our God!

Dorothea Scarborough can truly say at the end of her long and productive life on earth:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the Faith.”

2 Timothy 4:7

Dr. Peter Hammond

Gospel Defence League

PO Box 36129 Glosderry 7702 Cape Town South Africa

info@gospeldefenceleague.org | www.GospelDefenceLeague.org


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