1948 - 1990
On Saturday, 14th June, 1947, our congregation met for the Induction Service of Rev. Peter Macleod. A Skye man, Mr Macleod had a quiet dignity. He made the most meticulous preparation for even the smallest task he undertook and for many in his congregation the words "Let us worship God" took on a new and deeper significance.
During the ten years of Mr & Mrs Macleod's ministry, the young people of the congregation seemed to take on a new lease of life. It was the young people who felt the need for some sort of Gospel outreach on a Saturday evening and the Revival Hour was born to continue for 16 years. It was the young people who requested a service on Christmas Eve in addition to the established New Year's Eve Service. And the young people who initiated, organised and conducted five Evangelistic Campaigns during his ten years.
Albert M. Petrie came to Torry in August 1958, until October 1970. The twelve
years of ministry in between were set against a background of social change. The
"sixties" brought us face to face with the falling off in church
attendance; new theologies; a widening generation gap; teenage problems.
Certain events stand out - the first Male Voice Festival in 1964, when close-circuit T.V. was used in the hall, because the church was packed to capacity; Mr Petrie, accompanied by the choir and quartet venturing into the world of T.V. The Sunday afternoon services at the Bay of Nigg. The district was changing and Torry was a mission field. A new housing scheme was springing up on our doorstep in Balnagask. Homes were visited, and in the late sixties, a Sunday School and Junior Boys' Brigade were started.
Mr Petrie held a variety of offices during his time in Aberdeen. He was Chairman of the All-Scotland Crusade Counselling Committee, President of Aberdeen Evangelistic Association, President of the Scottish National C.E. Union and Moderator of the United Free Church.
During his year of office as Moderator, that the Petries visited Molepolole. Overseas work was very dear to his heart, as prior to entering the ministry of the United Free Church, he had been associated with the Qua Iboe Mission.
Albert Petrie's quiet humility and single-mindedness of purpose are reflected in this quotation by James Denney which hung in his study. "No man can bear witness to himself and to Christ at the same time. No man can give at once the impression that he himself is clever and that Christ is mighty to save."
The Rev. Joseph G. McPhee was inducted to the charge of Torry United Free Church on Friday 7th April, 1972 and served until 1988. One feature of Mr McPhee's ministry which evolved over the years was that of bringing the members of the Church into closer fellowship with each other. "At Homes" became a feature of our congregational life endeavouring to foster the family feeling.
Throughout his ministry Mr McPhee's over-riding concern was evangelism. In the early days of his ministry we were blessed with a solid nucleus of Christian young people. Initially there had been only a Junior Christian Endeavour but, such was the increase in the number of young people, that the need for a Y.P.C.E. became very apparent and came into being at the beginning of 1975. Over the years the young people were involved in many different projects. Missionary suppers, O.A.P. evenings, visitation of the Torry, involvement with Christian Aid, barbecues, weekends spent together where the social aspect combined with the spiritual, and the setting up of a Youth Club. In the meantime the church was endeavouring to foster the contact which had been made with the Balnagask area by holding barbecues and providing transport to the church services on a Sunday.
In November 1979 Mr McPhee was invited to accept the office of Moderator of the United Free Church. This was an honour well deserved for he had served the denomination diligently on various committees but his special service had been that as Convenor of the Committee on Evangelism.