The baptism of Christine MacDonald at Balephuil in the 1960s
Photograph of the baptism of Christine MacDonald at Balephuil in the 1960s
Courtesy of Mr Donald MacKinnon
The Reverend Cowie is pictured here around 1963 baptising Christine MacDonald in Abhainn Bhì, attended by lay preacher, Lachlan MacKinnon. The stream, named after a Columban saint Mo Bhì, has long been associated with Christianity.
For over a hundred years until the 1940s, the Baptist Church was very influential in Tiree and its buildings frequently filled to capacity. In 1874 its membership peaked at a hundred and sixty. By the late 1980s it had fallen to under ten; today there are around a dozen.
There are two small Baptist churches on the island at Balemartine and Baugh. Only the Balemartine one is still in use and Sunday services attract over thirty worshippers.
Black and white photograph of a baptism at Balephuil.
Baptist minister Rev Cowie baptising Teen MacDonald in the burn at Balephuill, with Lachie MacKinnon, Parkhouse in attendance, around 1963-4.