The Scottish Congregational Ministry: 1794-1993 by Rev. Dr. William D. McNaughton, The Congregational Union of Scotland, Church House, 340 Cathedral Street, Glasgow, G1 2BQ Scotland. c. 1993. £35 plus £3 p & p. Cloth bound, gold blocked spine. A5 size, 520 pp.

This work seeks to fill a gap in Scottish Church History by providing biographical information about the great variety of individuals who trained and served in Scottish Congregationalism over two centuries. A monumental amount of research has been done to compile information on all 2,500 plus Scottish Congregational ministers.

The book is divided into four parts. Biographical information on the Congregational ministers is provided in the first two parts. Part I covers 1794-1900, and part II from 1900 to 1993. For each individual the following information is presented where possible: Name; relationship to other individuals, especially useful when ministry runs in the family; Gaelic speaker; place and date of birth; church membership; university attended; seminary; place and date of ordination; pastorate/s or sphere of service; denominational change; higher degrees and name of awarding institution; date and place of death. Most importantly for researchers all sources are fully cited. There are 21 pages of sources listed for all the biographical information.

Part III lists the professors, tutors and lecturers at the various Congregational seminaries and academies. The individuals listed here are given full biographical entries in parts I and II. This list does show how small these training centers were.

Part IV provides a compilation by church and preaching station. This enables the researcher to find the ministers in a particular locality over time.

Many of the ministers listed were trained in Scotland, served their initial ministries there, then moved to have successful careers in England, Ireland and other parts of the Commonwealth.

From a North American perspective an introductory chapter on the history and development of Congregational ministry in Scotland would have been helpful.

If you are researching a Congregational Minister then this book is a must.

Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.3 no.1, 1996