On Friday 2nd October a congregation of approaching two hundred, with representation from several denominations, gathered in Stornoway Free Church (Continuing) for a service organised by the Free Presbytery of the Outer Hebrides to mark the ministerial jubilee of Rev. Malcolm MacLean.
Mr MacLean was ordained to the ministry by the Presbytery of Lochcarron on 5th October 1965, Lochcarron being his first charge, and translated to North Tolsta in 1973, where he remained until his retirement from the pastoral ministry in 1996.
He has remained active, preaching the gospel throughout the Western Isles and beyond and overseeing a weekly prayer meeting in Bragar on the west side of Lewis.
Rev. Graeme Craig, Minister of Stornoway and Moderator of Presbytery, conducted public worship, with the sermon being preached by Rev. John Morrison (retired), former minister of Shawbost.
Mr Morrison’s text was 2 Timothy 4:6-8, in which the apostle Paul, in prison and awaiting death, declares to Timothy how he has fulfilled his ministry and is soon to receive his crown from the Lord.
Mr Morrison concluded by saying that to spend fifty years in the ministry, with unblemished character and faithful teaching, is a cause for much thankfulness.
To have kept one’s ordination vows, and not out of fear, and to have been kept by the power of God, is a great thing.
To have a winsome ministry, to feed the saints and to be a means of saving others – these are reasons for much personal thanksgiving to God.
Following the singing of Psalm 126:3-5 in Gaelic and the Benediction the MacLeans greeted the congregation at the door of the church.
The service was followed by refreshments served in Sandwick Hall. After the MacLeans had cut a cake decorated with the text of Psalm 115:12, numerous greetings were read out.
Presentations were then made, including a framed scripture text on behalf of the Presbytery: “And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.” (2 Chron. 31:21)
Mr MacLean replied briefly, on behalf of himself and his wife, expressing thanks for the gifts.
Mr MacLean then called on three men to speak: Rev. John Morrison, a colleague of Mr MacLean; Rev. Angus Smith, whose wife is a sister of Mr MacLean, and Mr Malcolm D MacLean, brother of Mr MacLean.
Mr MacLean thanked others, including his wife, to whom he has been married for fifty-two years. He asked us all where we stood spiritually. The great encouragement for the Lord’s people is that heaven is not far away.
A most pleasant evening was brought to a close with worship, including the singing of Psalm 48:12-14 in Gaelic and prayer from Rev. Daniel Mackinnon.
We wish the MacLeans continued health and strength and blessing in the service of their Master.
Submitted Rev. David M. Blunt
Pictured are Rev. and Mrs Maclean at the jubilee event.