Ordination & Induction to Knock & Point
Despite a winter storm which brought wind and snow and left the islands cut off from the mainland, a congregation of 200 crowded into Knock & Point Free Church (Continuing) at Garrabost for the Ordination and Induction of Rev. Alasdair J. Macleod to the pastoral charge of Knock & Point. Rev. Kenneth Macdonald, Moderator of the Outer Hebrides Presbytery, preached from Ezra 7:10 drawing out lessons from Ezra’s life as he sought to lead the Lord’s people. He was a man sent by God who studied the Word, obeyed the Word, and taught the Word. As such he was a pattern for every Gospel preacher, who must study and also obey God’s word if his people are to profit. We must be not only hearers, but doers of God’s Word.
After the appointed questions were duly answered and the Formula signed, Mr Macleod was set aside for the work of the holy Ministry and admitted to the Charge of Knock & Point. He was then addressed by Rev. Greg MacDonald who exhorted him from 2 Corinthians 12:14-18, stressing especially that the Ministry is no casual labour or part-time calling but that the Minister must, like Paul, lovingly spend and be spent in the work of the Gospel. He has souls to feed and stray sheep to gather into the fold. All he does must be devoted to this end and have priority in his life. Thereafter Rev. Graeme Craig addressed the Congregation, reminding them they would benefit from the preaching of the Word and pastoral visitation as they recognised that Ministers are a blood-bought gift of Christ to his Church, who are sent as his ambassadors to speak in his name. However, Ministers are also a part of the body of Christ, and thus it is the duty of the Congregation to support the Ministry through prayer and other practical means. The need for encouraging their Minister was also stressed, a point picked up by a speaker later on that evening.
Following the service, the gathering adjourned to the Sandwick Hall where a beautiful spread was provided by members and friends of the Congregation. Presentations were made to Mr & Mrs Macleod and their young son James, welcoming them into the Congregation. Mr Craig was also thanked for his labours over the past two and a half years as Interim Moderator. Mr Macleod then thanked the Congregation for all their kindness since his arrival and the encouragement they had been to him already. He was grateful to them and above all to God for their call to be their Minister. Although some time had elapsed since he had been licensed to preach, he recognised that this was the Lord’s doing, and he could give thanks for God’s teaching and providence throughout that period, and especially for the overruling that had lead to the union of people and pastor that evening. He also spoke of his family connections with the Free Church in the area going back to the Disruption, his great-great-great-grandfather, Alexander Macleod, being one of the original Trustees of Knock Free Church, and an elder from 1851. Furthermore, the present house used as a manse is on the same croft on which his paternal grandmother, Mary Macleod, was brought up.
Due to the inclement weather all those Mr Macleod had intended to ask address the gathering were stranded on the mainland. However, there were friends present who were asked to speak, following which Mr Macleod brought proceedings to a close with worship.
Since the translation to Inverness of their previous Minister, Rev. James Clark, the Congregation have battled on seeking to keep aloft the Gospel banner in this part of the Lord’s vineyard. They are not strong but the Lord has sustained them and has provided for them the precious gift of a Gospel minister. He has answered their prayers and we continue to pray that the Lord would richly bless Mr Macleod as he settles into his ministry in Knock & Point.