Church Ministers: Rev James McNeill Little (1908-1914)November 22, 2016
The seventh minister of our Church (1908-1914) James McNeill Little, like his predecessor, was born in Edinburgh. Born on 2nd June 1873, he was the 3rd child and 2nd son of Jacob Little and Margaret McNeil. Jacob was a former Sergeant Major in the Royal Artillery and a Chelsea Pensioner who worked as a Compulsory Officer.
James was educated at George Watson’s College and the University of Edinburgh where he studied Classics. He then moved to New College Edinburgh where he trained for the Ministry. He was licensed by the Free Church Presbytery of Edinburgh and served as assistant in Skelmorlie and Edinburgh John Knox. In October 1898, aged 25, James was ordained and inducted to Gateshead-on-Tyne Park Terrace Presbyterian Church.
In Edinburgh on 19th September 1899, James married Jeanie Wark Robertson, aged 25. James moved to Sunderland Trinity in 1902. On 4th March 1904, Jacob Little died from cancer. His grandson, James and Jeanie’s first child, James Robertson was born in October of that year.
James McNeill Little was inducted to Maxwelltown on 23rd April 1908. During his ministry he took the Church to the People by having services in the country areas of the parish and during the summer, open air services in Market Square. James, along with his wife, expanded the involvement of the church with young people through the Men’s Own and the Girls’ Auxiliary.
On 9th April 1909, Margaret Little, aged 70, died in Edinburgh. On 10th of April 1910, James and Jeanie’s Daughter, Margaret McNeill Little, was born in the Church Manse, Maxwelltown.
In November 1914 as the congregation became increasingly involved in the war, James accepted a call to St Mark’s UF Church in Glasgow. In 1916 the couple’s 3rd child, Jean Webster Little was born.
During his time at St Mark’s, James served with the Scottish Churches Huts, (1917-18) continuing his involvement with young people.
James moved to Nairn High in 1921 where he died, aged 69, in 1943 as the result of an accident. Jeanie Wark Little died, aged 82, in 1971.
James Robertson Little married in 1931 and Margaret McNeill Little (a doctor) married in 1939. Jean Webster Little never married and died in 2006