A Skye Minister has been announced as the new Moderator-Designate of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing). Rev. Murdo Angus N. Macleod is due to take up his duties in May at a Zoom meeting of the Assembly due to the current Covid situation.
Mr Macleod was born and raised in the Isle of Lewis and it was there that he professed faith in Christ whilst still a teenager. Following his graduation from studies which included history and economics, he found employment in Stornoway. Sensing a call to the work of the Ministry, and having completed the usual course at the Free Church College, he was licensed to preach the Gospel by the Free Presbytery of Lewis in June 1995. He was ordained to the ministry and inducted to the charge of Harris in October 1995. He remained for nine years in this bilingual congregation, until his translation to Glasgow–Partick in May 2004. He returned to the north on taking up the historic charge of Snizort on the Isle of Skye in August 2010.
A man of wide experience, Mr Macleod has served, at one time or another, on most of the Standing Committees of the General Assembly, sometimes as Convener and, on occasion, as Clerk. He was appointed Clerk to the Presbytery of Lewis in 2000, a role in which he would also serve during his time in Glasgow, and at the present time he is Clerk to the Presbytery of Skye & Lochcarron. Since 2013 he has served as editor of the Explorer, the denominational youth magazine.
Mr Macleod grew up in a Gaelic-speaking community, and as a native speaker he continues to preach in Gaelic in his own congregation and further afield. Coming from a rural crofting background, he retains a keen interest in agriculture, keeping a small flock of blackface sheep whose exploits have occasionally appeared in the pages of the Explorer! He also has a keen interest in genealogy and history, and this has led to some involvement in work on the Annals of the Free Church.
Whilst studying at the Free Church College he responded to an appeal for assistance at the Free Church Mission School in Lima, Peru. This interest in mission work has in more recent times led to a number of visits to South Asia in a lecturing capacity, and in 2020 he taught in a Bible School in Kenya under the auspices of the Middle East Reformed Fellowship (MERF).
Speaking of the forthcoming Assembly, Mr Macleod acknowledged that it would, like last year’s Assembly, be somewhat unusual, in that it is expected to take place entirely as a Zoom meeting. He said: “Although the Assembly is not due to meet until the latter half of May, the uncertainties as to the lifting of Covid restrictions mean that it makes sense to meet in this way. It is unusual, but with the Lord’s help things worked satisfactorily last year, and we pray that the same will happen this year – that important decisions which need to be made are guided by the Lord, and that the Church and her witness will be strengthened by this gathering.”
Mr Macleod is married to Isobel Ann, herself a native of the Isle of Lewis, and they have four of a family.
Rev. Graeme Craig (Acting Principal Clerk of Assembly)