Last Tuesday evening, 9th June, members of the Kilmallie and Ardnamurchan church family sat around informally chatting with Euan Dodds, the man who had just accepted their invitation to be their new minister. They were, of course, all in their own homes, connected, in these days of lockdown, by Zoom.
Earlier that evening, a large proportion of the congregation, along with family and friends of Dr Dodds, had logged in on their devices or dialled up by phone to be part of an extraordinary meeting of the Presbytery of Inverness, Lochaber and Ross. The meeting was held to oversee the congregation’s call to Dr Dodds to become their new minister. The events of the evening, electronically choreographed by Rev Stephen Allison, minister at Kiltarlity, and with Rev Robin Grey (Gardenstown New Church) in the chair, ended Kilmallie's long vacancy.
During this period, the congregation of Kilmallie and Ardnamurchan prayed together and worked together, all the time seeking God’s provision of a new minister. Having heard many suitable men, it became increasingly clear that Euan Dodds was that man. God had likewise been leading Euan and his wife, Helen, with their girls, Anna (9), Caitlin (7) and Eilidh (5), in the same path.
Euan, a former medical doctor, trained at Oxford, but believing himself called by God to the Christian ministry, left medicine after 4 years of practice (including 6 months in Inverness) to undertake theological training. He studied at Cornhill Scotland then at Highland Theological College while serving at St George's-Tron Church with Rev. William Philip and Holyrood Evangelical with Rev. Phillip Hair. After ordination, he became Associate Minister at Holyrood Evangelical Church. This year’s Free Church General Assembly, also meeting by video conferencing, opened the way for Kilmallie to call Euan by accepting his application to become a Free Church minister.
Not only does the congregation, drawn from Fort William and rural Ardnamurchan, warm to Euan’s gifts as a teacher of God’s Word and to his friendliness, but they are impressed with his desire that the gospel would make its impact in wider Lochaber.
Through all the challenges of a long vacancy, the congregation has been wonderfully upheld in the prayers of the church. Through that intercession has come the blessing of God. Now, as they look forward to the induction, the settlement of the Dodds family in the manse, and all the opportunities of the future, they again seek the fellowship of the church’s prayers.