Two hundred plus welcome new minister

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A congregation of more than 200 gathered to witness the induction of Rev. Iain Smith to the Harris Congregation of the Free Church (Continuing).

The Induction took place on May 6th at Leverburgh Free Church.

As well as many people from the islands, and some from the mainland, it was pleasing to see individuals present from other local congregations.

Mr Smith, who is 65, is a native of Point. He was ordained and inducted as minister of Partick Free Church in 1994, and after nine years in Glasgow ministered for twelve years in the Hobart (Tasmania) Congregation of the Southern Presbyterian Church in Australia, before returning to Scotland last year.

He was admitted to the Free Church (Continuing) by the Commission of Assembly at its meeting in October.

Public worship was conducted by Rev. Alasdair Macleod, Minister of Knock and Point and Moderator of Presbytery, and included the singing of psalms in both Gaelic and English.

Mr Macleod took for his text Numbers 27:15-17, in which Moses prayed that the Lord would set a man over the congregation of Israel, to lead them and guide them, “that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd”.

After the appointed questions had been put to Mr Smith, and the questions had been duly answered and the Formula signed, the Moderator engaged in prayer and admitted Mr Smith to the pastoral charge of Harris.

The new minister was then addressed by Rev. Graeme Craig, Stornoway, who exhorted him from 1 Corinthians 4:1-2. Mr Craig emphasised to Mr Smith that he was a Servant, under the authority of His Master Jesus Christ, and that he was to serve Christ by serving His Church.

He was also a Steward, called to defend the truth and to assert it, feeding the Lord’s people, as one who must one day give an account. Rev. David Blunt, North Uist and Grimsay, the former Interim-Moderator, then addressed the Congregation.

Basing his remarks on 2 Thessalonians 3:1, he said that they were to pray for their Pastor, that the Lord would bless him in his person, home and family, but especially in his preparation for the pulpit, that the Word preached by him would have “free course” into their own hearts for their salvation and edification; in that way the Lord would be glorified among them.

Following the singing of Psalm 72:17-19 in Gaelic and the pronouncing of the Benediction, the congregation moved the short distance to the local school, where Mr Smith and his wife Mary, who hails from Stornoway, greeted everyone.

Ample refreshments had been provided by the congregation and their willing helpers. After the Smiths had cut a cake decorated with the text of Psalm 118:23, “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes,” numerous greetings were read out.

The congregation showed their appreciation of the duties carried out by the elders and their wives during the long vacancy, by making presentations to Mr and Mrs Kenneth Campbell and to Dr and Mrs Andrew Naylor.

Mr Smith thanked the congregation for calling him to be their minister and for their kind gifts.

Pictured are Mr Smith and his wife Mary cutting a cake decorated with the text of Psalm 118:23.