Rev Iain R Morrison: A Tribute

A tribute to Rev Iain R Morrison who passed away yesterday.

By Roddy Macrae

We were all deeply saddened this week to hear of the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Rev Iain Morrison.

Iain had been a teacher at the Nicolson Institute for many years. Former members of staff- as well as students who had been taught and encouraged by him during this time- have been deeply affected by his passing. This could also be said of the countless children he blessed with the knowledge of the gospel over many years before the Lord called him into full-time pastoral ministry.

Iain moved on to study at ETS, yet he never stopped encouraging his colleagues with his insight, incredible wisdom, care and a perfect dose of mischief. Many of us are heartbroken today. In my feeble attempt to write this, I think the testimony of one older lady says it all, “He was like a son to me.”

Iain’s love of Jesus Christ and his passion for sharing the Good News of Jesus never diminished even when in the trenches of life. It is difficult to describe the challenging times (both out with and within the church) Iain experienced in recent years. Then, after all he had been through, to be faced with a cancer diagnosis was heartbreaking.

It was a very tough time, but what stood out for me was seeing my dear friend, though facing death, still so alive in Christ. To quote Iain:

“I have asked the Lord why am I here in this cancer ward? Why me? Well, today I got to speak about Jesus to a nurse who used to go to church! Please pray for her. Who would have thought that my being called to gospel ministry would lead me to a cancer ward to seek out a prodigal.”

Iain loved the time-though limited- he spent as minister of Oban Free Church. It is hard to put into words how he spoke about his love for the congregation and how he felt loved in return.

His deep love for his children was apparent to all-they were with him through the good times and bad. How much more difficult it would have been had they not been at his side as much as they were-even to the very end. My hope is that, in this tumultuous time, you will rest in the same magnificent grace and love that your father rested in. And now he is in the presence of King Jesus, whom he served so faithfully.

I knew this time was coming, and painfully too soon. We were just two flawed men, redeemed by a perfect Saviour. But I thank the Lord that I had the opportunity to walk just a few miles in this world with my dear brother in Christ. A few days ago, at his bedside, he asked me to read these verses from Revelation 21- a reminder of what is to come for all who die in Christ. I can hear him say to you, “Come with me”.

Revelation 21:1-4 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”