Renowned minister remembered
TRIBUTE has been paid to a renowned minister, conference speaker and friend after he died following a sudden illness.
Reverend Dr Iain D Campbell passed away late last month, aged just 53, after falling ill a week earlier. As well as being editor of The
Record, the monthly magazine of The Free Church of Scotland, Dr Campbell was also minister of Knock and Point Free Churches on the Isle of Lewis.
A funeral service took place on Friday February 3 at 1.15pm at Stornoway Free Church. Dr Campbell was so popular that police issued a request on the day for members of the public to avoid the area because of expected high volumes of traffic.
Rev James Maciver, minister of Stornoway Free Church, penned an obituary for Dr Campbell. It reads as follows...
‘News of Rev Dr Iain D Campbell’s sudden death numbed the Western Isles Free Presbytery and the tremors from the shock extended through the Free Church and well beyond.
‘Such was his fitness, vigour and drive, no- one could have expected his demise at 53 years of age. Dr Campbell grew up in Stornoway. Along with his parents and two sisters he attended the Free Church congregation there, becoming a communicant in 1977, aged 14. At an early age he showed an outstanding intellectual ability and spiritual insight, together with a remarkable eloquence, which led many to believe, rightly, he was being prepared for a pulpit ministry.
‘As early as in his mid-teens, he could deliver a lecture or address with competent ease, as was evident in youth meetings in church or inter-school debates. He was Joint Dux of the Nicolson Institute in 1980, proceeding from there to Glasgow University, graduating MA with First Class Honours in 1985. He then undertook theological studies at the Free Church College – now Edinburgh Theological Seminary – during which time he also took external exams at the University of London, graduating BD with First Class Honours.
‘He was ordained and inducted to Snizort Free Church, Skye, in 1988, from which he was called to Back Free Church in 1995, then to Point Free Church in 2009, serving there till his death.
‘A few years after entering congregational ministry, Dr Campbell achieved his Master of Theology degree, followed in 2001 by the University of Edinburgh awarding him his PhD.
‘Dr Campbell was understandably in demand as a conference speaker throughout the country and overseas. He was due to go to Korea later this month to deliver lectures at a Theological Seminary in Seoul. In addition to his powers of speech he also possessed admirable writing skills, as is evident in his many publications, a fact that was not lost on the Church which twice appointed him as editor of The
Record, the Church’s magazine. ‘He had, in earlier years, edited the Instructor, the children’s magazine of the Church. For many years he contributed a weekly column to the Stornoway
Gazette, providing stimulating comment on local and national issues, but always within a biblical framework, in addition to articles for Reformation 21, and Tabletalk Magazine.
Throughout his ministry, Dr Campbell served the Church at various times as a member of committees and boards, the most recent of which was as vice chairman of the Board of Edinburgh Theological Seminary. He was appointed Moderator of the Free Church General Assembly in 2012.
Although gifted in so many fields, Dr Campbell’s great love was preaching the gospel. It was a preaching of the highest calibre. His exposition of Scripture was educative, stimulating, thought-provoking, evangelistic and edifying, even for those most advanced in the Christian faith. Dr Campbell was a consummate Reformed, covenantal theologian who would have enhanced any theological institution in the world.
While we lament his passing and mourn the fact we will never hear his voice in a pulpit again, we are thankful to have a large resource of his recorded sermons and lectures.
We extend sincere condolences to his widow Anne, to their sons Iain and Stephen, and daughter Emily, to his mother Lily and his sisters, Margaret and Alma. We also remember the congregation of Point Free Church who lament the death of their beloved minister.’
The Rev Dr Iain D Campbell.