Tag Archives: baptists


Newsletter `An Tirisdeach`, No. 320, 29/5/2004.

Local news and events including the American volunteers re-roofing the Baptist manse, the death by drowning of Anthony Pearce from Caoles, letter from Councillor Ian Gillies, the clean-up of Gott Bay and news from the Tiree Seedcorn Fund, the school, the youth club, the feis and Tiree Community Business.


Audio cassette recording of Janet MacIntosh of Scarinish talking to Maggie Campbell on 21/5/2004.

Janet MacIntosh of Urvaig talks to Maggie Campbell in May 2004 about her schooldays in Balemartine, her childhood and wartime memories, Sunday customs, her travels round Scotland as a pilgrim, women’s clothing and work, baptisms in Tiree, the 19th century Baptist revival on the Ross of Mull, the Community Council, differences between the east and west of Tiree, self education, second sight and ghost stories, Tiree Bards, the hardness of life in the past with poverty, disease and the death of children; Janet finishes by singing a hymn composed by Neil MacDonald of Kilmoluaig


Audio cassette recording of a ceilidh with Angus and Nella Munn, Neil and Vivienne Johnston and Dr John Holliday in 2000.

Angus Munn and Neil Johnston talk about electrician and builder Angus MacRae who was the first man to install TVs in Tiree and had a shop in Baugh, the inebriate MacEwan who was a professional golfer, the 18-hole golf course in Scarinish, the crofts in Heanish, Angus’s relations in Heanish, Captain MacKinnon’s relationship to the Nisbets, John Munn and his shop and horse-drawn van, the puffer Mary & Effie unloading at Port a’ Mhuilinn and the fishing boats that used to sail from this harbour.


Audio cassette recording of a ceilidh with Maggie Campbell, Neil MacLeod and Murdoch MacDonald in 1998.

Maggie Campbell and Neil MacLeod of Kilmoluaig sing several songs composed by Tiree bards and a love song; Murdoch MacDonald of Kilmoluaig talks about shepherding, harvesting, the spring work on a croft, bulk buying of groceries, sharing barrels of herrings, travelling people, first-footing, home-coming events during the Glasgow fair, barn weddings and blanket washing days.Tha Magaidh Chaimbeul agus Niall MhicLeòid a Cill Moluag a’ seinn iomadach òran air an cur ri chèile aig bàird Thirisdeach agus òran gaoil; Murchadh MhicDhòmhnaill a Cill Moluaig a’ bruidhinn mun obair cìobair, obair foghair, obair an Earraich air a’ chroit, ceannach biadh ann am meudachd, a’ roinn barraille sgadain, na ceàrdan, a’ dol a mach air oidhche na Callaine, cùisean aig àm tighinn dhachaigh re Faidhir Glaschu, bainnsean sàbhail agus làithean nigheadh na plaideachan.


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.


Black and white photograph of the Mission House, Balephuil.

The Mission House, Balephuil, taken in the 1950s. L-R: (front to back) Morag MacKinnon, Balephuil; Archie MacArthur; Hugh MacEachern; Mary MacKinnon, Parkhouse; Helen MacKay (Cathy Gunn’s mother); Ann MacArthur; Helen Sinclair, Greenhill; Netta MacDonald; Margaret Sinclair; Kenny MacKay; Helen MacDonald; Mary Flora Sinclair; John MacKay, husband of No. 5; Donald Brown; Donald MacDonald, Balephuil; Willie MacIntosh; John MacFadyen, Barrapol; Maisie MacLeod; Bobby Tester; Willie Brody; John Brown; Duncan MacPhail.