North Uist Free Church of Scotland are set to welcome Rev Calum Smith as their new minister, after he accepted a call to the Western Isles last night.
At a meeting of Glasgow and Argyll Presbytery a unanimous call from North Uist – signed by more than 80 people – was placed in the Dumfries minister’s hands.
North Uist had been vacant since the departure of previous minister Rev Ewen Matheson to Cross Free Church, Ness, at the end of 2014.
It continues recent encouragements for the islanders, with two new members – one by profession of faith – at the recent communion season.
Rev Lachie MacDonald, interim moderator for North Uist, said: “We give thanks that the Rev. Calum Murdo Smith has accepted the call to be pastor of the congregation in North Uist, Grimsay and Berneray.
“We rejoice in this appointment and give thanks to the Lord for his goodness and grace in leading the congregation to this point.
“We are also mindful of the congregation of Dumfries, who will be bereft of a pastor who has been faithful amongst them for the past four-and-a-half-years.”
Rev Calum Smith is originally from Shawbost on the Isle of Lewis. After leaving school, he studied Engineering in Stornoway and Glasgow, and was in the Merchant Navy for eight years, sailing to many different parts of the world. He still loves the sea and goes fishing whenever he can.
Latterly, he spent a couple of years working with the Stornoway Port Authority, before being led to the ministry. Prior to beginning his studies at the Free Church College (now Edinburgh Theological Seminary), he completed a degree course in Rural Development studies through the UHI in Stornoway.
He is married to Johan, who is from Barvas, also on the Isle of Lewis. They have three children: Joni, Marissa and Danny. Johan worked in Gaelic Development and, in particular, the preparation of Gaelic educational resources prior to being a mum.
Calum was inducted to Dumfries Free Church in November 2011, at that point ending a five-year vacancy.
Over the past couple of years there has been significant encouragement through the ongoing evangelistic work by the Dumfries congregation – including men’s prayer breakfasts, curry nights, women’s Bible studies and children’s holiday clubs.
This has resulted in 11 new members as well as an increase in attendance at Sunday worship and the midweek prayer meeting.
The Dumfries congregation would appreciate your prayers as they soon find themselves in a vacancy, but also as they seek to build on the fruit mentioned above.
A date for the induction of Rev Calum Smith will be announced by the Western Isles Presbytery in due course.
Following the induction, it is expected that Coatbridge minister Rev Ivor MacDonald will become interim moderator for Dumfries.