The Haldane Brothers

The brothers, James (1768 - 1851) )and Robert (1764 - 1842) )Haldane made a major contribution to Scotland's dissenting evangelism. They were wealthy, and founded the Society for Propagating the Gospel at Home in 1797. This was an aggressive organization committed to travelling to rural areas with no churches. By 1801, the latter was supporting a full time itinerant missionary in Kintyre. The brothers also founded short courses for ministers in Glasgow, Edinburth, Dundee, Montrose and Elgin. By 1808, they had become Baptists, baptism being (in their view) the only appropriate action for consenting adults making a decision for Christ.

James Haldane was a very fine preacher, and often attracted not less than 10,000 persons to his sermons on Calton Hill of Edinburgh.

Donald McVicar

Donald McVicar appears as a 'preacher' as liable to be chosen for the Argyll Militia on their 1803 list. He had attended a Haldane training class in Glasgow. By 1805, he was Baptist minister at Bellanoch. His colleague, Christopher Anderson left the following description of a baptismal service at Bellanoch:

This morning the three persons ... were baptized by Mr. McVicar. One of them about sixty, another about seventy! He used the Gaelic in baptizing two of them. We met in the open air about 11 a.m. While Brother Deakin was reading the Scriptures, we were interrupted by Malcolm of Dotrune's (Duntrune's) factor, who said he had a general order to stop all such preaching on the estate, and would call out the Volunteers if we were not desist! We removed to another place, and got all our hearers with us.

This Bellanoch church probably met in a hay loft, and baptism was administered in Bellanoch Bay.

By 1820, McVicar was in southern Ontario, Canada, ministering to a Scottish Baptist congregation with families that included Duncan McKillop, Colin Ferguson, Peter McKellar, George Munro and Malcolm Robertson.

There follows a short overview of Dugald Sinclair's incredible life as a missionary and preacher.

"Evangelical Missionaries in the Early Nineteenth-Century Highlands", by Donald E. Meek. Scottish Studies, Journal of the School of Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh, vol. 28, pp. 1 to 34.