Celebrating 37 Years of Ministry: Rev. James Maciver Retires 

Rev. James Maciver retires after 37 years of faithful service.

After 37 years of dedicated service within the Free Church of Scotland, Rev. James Maciver is preparing to retire. This will mark the end of an era for James, his family, and the congregations he has served throughout his decades-long ministry.  

Born in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, in 1954, James was educated initially at Tong Primary School and The Nicolson Institute, eventually leading him into agricultural studies at the North of Scotland College of Agriculture, Aberdeen, and later into pastoral training at the University of Glasgow. James then earned a Diploma in Theology from the Free Church College (now Edinburgh Theological Seminary) and a Bachelor of Divinity degree from London University.  

In August 1987, James was ordained and inducted into the Free Church congregation at East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, where he served faithfully for a decade. His journey continued as he answered the call to minister to the congregation of Knock Free Church (now Garrabost Free Church) in the Isle of Lewis, where he spent 19 years caring for the people God had called him to serve. In early 2016, James accepted a call from Stornoway Free Church, where he will end his ministry.

James’ leadership and commitment to the Free Church were evident throughout his ministry, not only within his congregations but also on a broader scale. He served as Principal Clerk to the Free Church General Assembly from 2000 to 2017, helping commissioners and Moderators navigate practices and procedures. In May 2011, he accepted the Moderator’s chair of the Free Church of Scotland General Assembly, a testament to his faithfulness and dedication to ministry.  

As James prepares to retire, his legacy extends beyond his professional achievements. His proficiency in both Gaelic and English allowed him to connect deeply with his congregations, bridging linguistic and cultural divides in his preaching and pastoral ministry.  

Alongside his ministry, he and his wife Donna are blessed with a loving family of three children and nine grandchildren.  

Reflecting on his remarkable journey, James said, “It has been my privilege to have served in gospel and pastoral ministry over these years. I am thankful to God for his unfailing grace, particularly through the more challenging periods. Many people, especially members of my family, have helped me on this journey and I am grateful to them all. My prayer is that God will provide additional resources for gospel ministry throughout the nation and that the ongoing witness and ministry of the Free Church will be abundantly blessed.”  

James’ nearly four decades of service in the Free Church of Scotland will end with his final service on the 16th June. We give thanks to God for his faithful service and pray he has a long and healthy retirement. 

A thanksgiving service will be held on Friday 28th June followed by refreshments in the hall.