One of the most experienced ministers in the Free Church of Scotland is set to become the next minister of Stornoway Free Church. 

At a meeting of the Western Isles Presbytery this morning,  Rev James Maciver accepted a unanimous call from the Kenneth Street congregation. 

Mr Maciver, who served as Moderator of the General Assembly in 2011, has been minister of Knock Free Church since 1997. 

His induction will be held on Wednesday March 23, with Rev Andrew Coghill preaching. 

Rev James Maciver said: “This has been a very hard decision for me to arrive at, simply because of the sheer quality of people in Knock Free Church with which I have had such a close bond for the past 19 years. 

“I want to pay tribute to them for all the support they have given my wife Donna and myself over these years. 

“Serving them has been a privilege and pleasure and it is no small consolation that we carry with us so many precious memories as we begin a new chapter of service to the Lord.”

The former Free Church Moderator continued: “I am looking forward immensely to being the next minister of Stornoway Free Church and Donna shares with me a sense of anticipation and excitement at the prospect of sharing together in the work of the gospel there. 

“I had some insight into the busy life of the congregation during the short time I was Interim Moderator prior to their call being signed. 

“I have no doubt that they are eager listeners of God’s word preached and that the many gospel-related activities already in place show that they are ‘doers of the word and not hearers only.’ 

“The town of Stornoway presents many challenges and opportunities for the gospel and, by God’s grace, my aim will be to unite the preaching of the gospel with all the gifts already evident in the congregation so as to actively meet the challenges and grasp the opportunities.”

Mr Maciver is originally from Aird Tong on the Isle of Lewis, and began studies for the ministry at Glasgow University in 1981 – graduating with an MA in Hebrew and Medieval History in 1984, before receiving a BC from London University and graduating with a DipTh from the Free Church College (now Edinburgh Theological Seminary) in 1987.

In September of that year, Mr Maciver was ordained and inducted to East Kilbride Free Church, and ministered there for a decade. 

He accepted a call to his present congregation, Knock Free Church, in 1997 and in 2000 was appointed Principal Clerk to the denomination’s General Assembly. 

The 61-year-old was Moderator of the General Assembly in 2011. He is married to Donna, and they have three grown-up children. 

The Kenneth Street vacancy arose after previous minister Rev Iver Martin accepted the role of full-time Principal with Edinburgh Theological Seminary, and Mr Maciver will join Stornoway assistant minister Rev Kenny I Macleod, who has faithfully served the congregation since 1999.  

Rev James Maciver