On Friday, 28 September 2001, the Northern Presbytery of the Free Presbyterian Church met in Farr church for the ordination and induction of the Rev A J MacDonald to the congregation of Daviot, Stratherrick and Tomatin. There was a large congregation present from many parts and the church was full to its utmost capacity. The overflow, consisting of over 50 persons was seated in the Manse to which the service was relayed. Ministers from other Presbyteries, namely Revs D MacLean, H M Cartwright, D A Ross, J R Tallach, J L Goldby, B Whear and W Weale were associated with the Presbytery.The Moderator of Presbytery, Rev G G Hutton, Inverness, preached an appropriate sermon from the words, ‘Yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel’ (1 Cor 9:16). After the sermon, the Moderator asked the Clerk to give a narrative of the proceedings leading up to the call. The Moderator then put to Mr MacDonald the questions usually put to ministers at their induction. After the Moderator had read the Formula and the pastor-elect had signed it, he kneeled and all the ministers present joined the Presbytery in laying their hands on his head. After the solemn ordination prayer, Mr MacDonald was inducted to the pastoral charge of Tomatin, Daviot and Stratherrick Congregation and given the right hand of fellowship by members of the Presbytery. The Clerk then addressed the minister, and Rev Neil M Ross addressed the congregation on their duties to their new pastor.
Rev D MacLean spoke to express the good wishes of the Southern Presbytery. Rev J L Goldby, the previous minister of the congregation did likewise on behalf of the Western Presbytery and Rev J R Tallach on behalf of the Skye Presbytery. An e-mail message from Rev K M Watkins and a letter from Rev F MacDonald conveying prayerful good wishes were read. At the close of the service the congregation was given an opportunity to shake hands with the new minister at the church door. The ladies of the congregation provided a most enjoyable tea in the Inverarnie Community Hall.
It is the prayerful desire of the Presbytery that the ministry now begun in the Daviot, Stratherrick and Tomatin Congregation will be owned of the Lord to the edifying and establishing of His people there and the ingathering of many souls to the Saviour.
(Rev) D J MacDonald, Presbytery Clerk
The retirement of Rev D MacLean on 29 February 2000 brought to an end a ministry of almost 40 years in the Glasgow Congregation, Mr MacLean having been inducted there on 14 June 1960. On 13 June 2001 the Congregation elected Rev Roderick MacLeod of North Harris as their pastor. A call was signed and sustained at a meeting on 18 July 2001, and on 28 August 2001 the Outer Isles Presbytery agreed to put the call in Mr MacLeod’s hands and it was accepted by him. The Induction of Rev Roderick MacLeod to the Pastoral Charge of the Glasgow Congregation took place on 5 October 2001 in the presence of a large congregation from many parts of the Church.
The Moderator, Rev G G Hutton, currently an assessor member of the Southern Presbytery, preached from John 1:6: “There was a man sent from God”. Taking John the Baptist as representative of men who are sent by God, Mr Hutton spoke of his Commission, his Character, his Confession, his Courage, and his Continuing Witness even when dead.
Public Worship being ended, a brief narrative of proceedings in the vacancy leading to this Induction was read. The Moderator addressed to Mr MacLeod the questions appointed to be put to ministers on their admission to a pastoral charge. After he returned satisfactory answers to these questions and signed the Formula in the presence of the congregation, the Moderator engaged in prayer and, in the name of the Presbytery and by authority of the Divine Head of the Church, admitted Mr MacLeod to the pastoral charge of the Glasgow Congregation. In token of his admission, the Moderator and the other members of Presbytery gave to Mr MacLeod the right hand of fellowship.
The newly-inducted minister was then addressed by the Moderator, who based his remarks on Judges 4:9: “I will surely go with thee”. The Presbytery Clerk, who had been interim-moderator during the vacancy, addressed the congregation from Acts 10:33b: “Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God”.
Rev N M Ross, currently also an assessor member of the Southern Presbytery, spoke on behalf of the Northern Presbytery. Messages of good wishes were read from Revs F MacDonald, D J MacDonald, D A Ross, J Goldby, and K M Watkins. Tokens of appreciation and goodwill from the congregation were handed to the new minister and to the interim-moderator by the Moderator. After the Benediction, the Presbytery continued their meeting and the name of Rev Roderick MacLeod was added to the roll of the Presbytery. Refreshments were provided in Jordanhill College for those who had come from a distance.
Members of the Southern Presbytery are not unmindful of the loss sustained by the North Harris Congregation and the Outer Isles Presbytery in the translation of Mr MacLeod to Glasgow. Yet, even after this translation, the Southern Presbytery itself has only two settled congregations, which leaves vacant congregations in widely-scattered centres of population with loyal people and much need for pastoral care and for the testimony of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland: Barnoldswick, Chesley, Fort William, Larne, London, Perth, Texas and Vancouver.
We pray that Mr MacLeod’s coming to Glasgow will not only help to relieve the need of the Presbytery more generally, but will especially be blessed to the good of souls in Glasgow, to the building up of the Cause of Christ there and to the glorifying of God’s great name in the city. “And now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).
(Rev) H M Cartwright, Presbytery Clerk