On Friday 15th April, Stornoway Reformed Presbyterian Church marked a new chapter in their history with the induction of a new minister, Rev. Kenneth Stewart.
The induction service was held at Stornoway Town Hall, in the Isle of Lewis. We were glad to welcome visitors from other RP Churches on the mainland, along with visitors from a variety of churches here on the island.
Five years ago, Rev. Kenneth Stewart preached at the induction service of our former minister, Rev. Stephen McCollum, as he became minister of Stornoway RP Church. As providence would have it, the roles were reversed, as Rev. McCollum preached at Rev. Stewart’s induction service, having himself recently accepted a call to Airdrie RP Church.
Rev. McCollum preached from 1 Peter 5:4 on the Chief Shepherd and the rewards that accompany a faithful ministry. Afterwards, Rev. Donald Macdonald gave a brief narrative of events surrounding the vacancy in Stornoway, the call to Rev. Stewart, and the eventual acceptance of the call. Rev. McCollum then put the vows to Rev. Stewart who affirmed his acceptance of the vows and was installed as minister of the congregation. Having received the right hand of fellowship from members of presbytery and the elders of the congregation, the service was closed with the singing of Psalm 23.
Following the conclusion of the service, presentations were made by M.D. Maclean to Rev. Stewart, Katie Macdonald to Mrs. Anna Stewart and Bill Lucas to their son Alexander. Mr. Stewart noted that M.D. Maclean had served as an office bearer in 3 different congregations with him, including Toronto, Canada; Kenneth Street, Stornoway; and now Stornoway RP Church.
A reception was then held upstairs at the County Hotel. It was over 20 years ago that Mr. Stewart concluded his previous ministry here in Stornoway, before spending over 20 years ministering in Glasgow. Mr. Stewart remarked that when he left Stornoway all these years ago, he felt that he may well be back again one day to minister again in Stornoway.
At that point, Iain Gillies, elder in Glasgow RP Church, gave a warm speech where he thanked Mr. Stewart for his faithful ministry in Glasgow. D.R. Macdonald, Stornoway RP elder, then spoke on behalf of the Stornoway congregation. He stated that he has known and followed Mr. Stewart’s ministry since he was a student in Stornoway over 30 years ago. The evening was closed with the singing of Psalm 133.
We remember the Glasgow congregation and pray that the Lord would provide them with a faithful minister to fill their vacancy. We are thankful for the provision of a new minister here in Stornoway. We look to the Lord, not any man, and our prayer is that the Lord would bless, equip and uphold Mr. Stewart throughout his ministry here in Stornoway.
Scott Maciver, Stornoway RPC