Celebrations have taken place as three ministers were ordained and inducted into three congregations on Saturday.
Rev Matty Guy became minister of Dingwall & Strathpeffer Free Church, Rev James Murray became minister of Campbeltown Free Church and Rev Donald Smith became Assistant Minister at Bon Accord Free Church in Aberdeen. Ordination and induction services were held for all three, attended by friends, family and congregations.
After a challenging vacancy at Dingwall & Strathpeffer Free Church, there was a palpable sense of excitement as over 200 people gathered for the ordination and induction of Rev Matty Guy. A significant representation from St Andrews joined those from Dingwall and friends from other parts.
Worship was led by Rev Chris Davidson, Minister of Merkinch Free Church and acting Moderator of the Inverness, Lochaber & Ross Presbytery. Preaching from Psalm 40, he referred to the congregation’s patient waiting on the Lord in prayer and the Lord’s ultimate provision.
Once Matty had taken his ordination vows, members of all the presbyteries present prayed over him and gave him the right hand of fellowship.
The formal proceedings over, refreshments were served and the late-summer sunshine allowed for outdoor and indoor mingling. Following this interlude, Donald Forsyth, Session Clerk, welcomed Matty and read greetings from absent friends, including Dingwall’s former minister, Rev Angus Macrae.
Presentations were made to the two interim moderators, Rev Calum Iain Macleod and Rev Dr Malcolm Maclean. Mrs Mary Mackenzie and young Daisy Scott presented gifts to Matty, Jody and Billy Guy.
A loud cheer went up as Matty took the chair and expressed his thanks to the many who had made the day possible. He then called on three friends from Newcastle and St Andrews to speak. Despite the light-hearted banter, we came away with the distinct impression that our new minister is a humble, godly man.
Please pray with us for Matty and family as they begin work in Dingwall and Strathpeffer.
There is a long tradition in Kintyre of Christian missionaries making the journey across the narrow sea from Ireland to the shores of Scotland to bring the good news of Jesus to its inhabitants. Columba and Ciaran came to these parts in the 6th Century, and in recent years Campbeltown Free Church has maintained these age-old ties – first in 2017 when it invited Rev Dr Rodger Crooks from Northern Ireland to be minister, and now the call to Rev James Murray, also from the farther shore. The local congregation was joined by members of Presbytery and friends from near and far to celebrate James’ ordination and induction.
Rev Allan Shearer from Dunblane read from Hebrews 4: 14-16 and Hebrews 9: 1-14, pointing us to Jesus the great high priest and reminding us that our hope is only in him.
Following James’ ordination and induction, Rev Douglas Cranston addressed the minister reminding him to solemnly and straightforwardly preach Christ and to offer him exclusively on the basis that he is able to save all who come to him. Rev David Parker then addressed the congregation, reminding the people of the verse in Acts 2: 42 where the early Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer”.
Following the service, presentations were made to the Interim Moderator – Rev David Parker and to his wife Mary. David had provided such caring and regular support to the congregation in the 29 months of vacancy, and the congregation is indebted to him for all his hard work and to Mary who accompanied him and showed such encouragement and love. Presentations were also made to the new minister, James, and his wife Bethany and their three sons, Isaac, Noah and Asher. The congregation is thankful to God for this new chapter in its history, and warmly welcomes the family to the town. The prayer of the congregation is that the kingdom of Christ will be extended throughout the peninsula.
The congregation wish to thank the many friends and congregations throughout the denomination who have supported the work in Campbeltown over the years by way of prayers and gifts and also to express thanks to the many faithful preachers who have come to lead the worship services.
At Bon Accord Free Church, a sizeable crowd gathered for the ordination and induction of Rev Donald Smith to be assistant minister. Donald grew up in Aberdeen with Bon Accord as his home congregation. Now, after “serving time” at Ealing International Presbyterian Church, 20 Schemes and Cornerstone Church in Edinburgh, as well as completing studies at ETS, Donald, his wife Mairi, and baby son, Rory have settled back in Aberdeen where Donald will assist Rev Joe Hall in ministry at Bon Accord.
Rev Alberto De Paula, current moderator of the Edinburgh and Perth Presbytery, preached on Ephesians 1 “Paul, Called and Sent”. Much of his sermon focused on the diversity of gifts that God had given in gospel ministry and how these were channelled in the service of Jesus.
After the formal ordination, warm welcomes were given by Mike Bowman and Judy Laing, and messages were heard from former colleagues: Paul Levy, Andy Constable and Neil Macmillan.
Donald and Joe became close friends while studying together at ETS. Their friendship has now become a partnership in the gospel, one which we pray will be a powerful instrument in the hands of God in Aberdeen.