Free Church (Continuing) announces Moderator-Designate

Date: Monday, 17 February 2020
Author: Rev Graeme Craig

The Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) have announced that the Moderator-designate of their 2020 General Assembly is Rev. John MacLeod, Minister of Tarbat Free Church (Continuing), Portmahomack, in Easter Ross.  

Mr MacLeod hails from Fearn and after graduating from Aberdeen University worked for two years in the legal documentation department of an Edinburgh Insurance company, before commencing studies for the ministry. 

Upon completion of his studies in the Free Church College, Edinburgh in 1974, Mr MacLeod worked among students in Aberdeen, before going on to spend two years preaching in North America. Inducted to his present charge in 1978 he has now been minister of the parish of Tarbat for over forty-one years.  There he is widely respected in the community as he continues to bringthe truth of God’s word before the people.  His great desire is to set forth in simple language the glorious truths of God’s gracious offer of salvation to sinners.

JMTarbatWhile in North America he met and married Joy Morrison, a native of Prince Edward Island, whose forebears had left the Island of Handa, in NW Sutherland in the mid-nineteenth century. They have been blessed with 9 children and 14 grandchildren. 

A keen singer, Mr MacLeod has always showed a great enthusiasm for teaching Psalm singing. He has also been involved in Broadcasting both in Canada and in Scotland.  He is currently the Church’s Press Officer.

Hobbies listed in Who’s Who in Scotland include squeezing quarts into pint pots and getting blood out of stones. As well as a general interest in traditional and folk music, Mr MacLeod has also in the past pursued electronics and woodwork as pastimes with a measure of success – a cradle he made for his first Scottish-born child being sturdy enough to have now been passed on to the next generation!

During his studies for the ministry, Mr MacLeod displayed a special interest in Church History and Church Principles and in Church law and practice. This has been recognised in the Church, by his appointment to various Clerkships including Clerk to the Training of the Ministry & Admissions Committee, Clerk to the Free Presbytery of Ross and Principal Clerk of Assembly.  His skills in precision for fine detail and the correct use of language, honed during his years drafting legal documentation for an insurance company, have been of great use in the administrative affairs of the Church; although he often covers draft documents with much red ink, it is not done out of pride or awkwardness, but out of a desire to ensure that what is done is right and for the good of Christ’s Church.

Mr MacLeod has served as Moderator of General Assembly on a previous occasion and will come to the Chair with a proven ability to guide the 2020 General Assembly in their discussions.