On Monday 11th April 2016, a well-known Minister of the Church of Scotland, the Rev. Dr. James Martin, attained the 70th Anniversary of his Ordination as a Minister.
Dr. Martin is a Motherwell man, raised in Crosshill Street, baptised in Manse Road Church, and schooled at Dalziel primary and high schools, before going to study at Glasgow University; which institution later awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1983. He returned to his Motherwell roots upon retirement at the end of 1987, and actively ministered in retirement to a number of congregations over the course of the ensuing decade. He also served for many years as Chaplain to Motherwell Football Club and still has a love for the Club, although now in his 96th year his visits to Fir Park are few.
Licensed by the Presbytery of Hamilton on 3rd April 1945, he was ordained to Ministry just over a year later on 11th April 1946 by the Presbytery of Irvine and Kilmarnock, where he served as Minister at Newmilns West from 1946 until 1954, when he was translated to High Carntyne Church in Glasgow, which he served as Minister from that time until retirement.
Dr Martin was a prolific writer. He has had thirty books published, his last being a selection from a series of articles which had been published in the Church’s magazine Life and Work under the title “Seen from My Manse Window.” He was also a regular contributor to the BBC’s Sunday Service Programme.
To mark this special anniversary, the Moderator of the Presbytery of Hamilton, the Rev. F. Derek Gunn of Clarkston Parish Church, Airdrie paid Dr. Martin a visit, accompanied by the Presbytery Clerk, the Rev. Dr. Gordon A McCracken, and the Rev. Alan Gibson, Minister of Motherwell South Parish Church. Dr. Martin was presented with a Certificate, and a celebratory cake marking the special anniversary, kindly gifted by a member of the Moderator’s congregation.
Our photograph shows Dr Martin with the Moderator (right) congratulating Dr. Martin on the attainment of such a memorable anniversary. Dr Martin, with his usual light touch, attributes the attainment of such a milestone as being simply due to “having the fortune to live so long”.