Professor Donald Macleod, a prominent writer, theologian, and influential figure in the Free Church of Scotland, has passed away at the age of 82.
The sad news was confirmed by a statement from the church, which announced that Professor Macleod died on Sunday, May 21st, at his residence in Morningside, Edinburgh.
Regarded as one of Scotland’s leading theologians and cultural commentators, Professor Macleod played a pivotal role in shaping the minds and beliefs of many ministers throughout his six-decade-long career. His teachings and insights were highly regarded by the Scottish faithful, who fondly referred to him as their beloved teacher.
Hunter Nicholson, a minister-in-training at St. Columba’s Free Church, paid tribute to Professor Macleod on the Gospel Coalition website. Nicholson expressed deep gratitude for Macleod’s contributions, stating, “Over the past six decades, he was acknowledged as one of Scotland’s preeminent theologians and cultural commentators. For many Scottish believers, he was also their beloved teacher.”
Born in Ness, Isle of Lewis in 1940, Donald Macleod displayed exceptional academic abilities from an early age. Ordained and inducted into the congregation of Kilmallie Free Church at the tender age of 24, he quickly garnered recognition for his intellectual prowess. It was not long before his talents were acknowledged, leading to his appointment as the Chair of Systematic Theology at the Free Church College in Edinburgh.
For three decades, Professor Macleod passionately taught and trained aspiring ministers, leaving an indelible mark on their theological development. His commitment to education and his deep understanding of theology earned him the position of college Principal in 1999, solidifying his role as a respected leader within the Free Church of Scotland.
Beyond his academic achievements, Professor Macleod was known for his insightful commentary on cultural matters, engaging with contemporary issues through a theological lens. His writings and lectures offered a unique perspective that resonated with many individuals, both within and outside the religious community. His wisdom and erudition made him a sought-after speaker at conferences and seminars, where he shared his profound insights on a wide range of topics.
Professor Donald Macleod’s passing leaves a void in the hearts and minds of those who were fortunate enough to learn from him or engage with his work. His intellectual legacy will continue to inspire and shape future generations of theologians and ministers within the Free Church of Scotland and beyond.
As the news of Professor Macleod’s demise spreads throughout the religious community and academia, tributes and condolences pour in from individuals touched by his teachings and his dedication to theological scholarship. His contributions will be remembered as a significant part of Scotland’s intellectual and spiritual heritage, and his impact will continue to be felt for years to come.
Farewell Professor Donald MacLeod. Truly one of the most extraordinary men I ever knew. He let me, an atheist, attend his lectures at the Free Church College. I came to believe he could have sparked a revival, or led the Labour Party. Donnie Foot, a great Highlander. https://t.co/L2poHZZhIZ pic.twitter.com/rTHqhBRksB
— Ruaridh Nicoll (@Ruaridhnicoll) May 21, 2023