Church Ministers – Rev Ronald George MacintyreFebruary 17, 2016
The fifth Minister of our Church (1895-1903) Ronald George Macintyre, was born in Melbourne, Australia, the youngest in a family of five born to Angus Macintyre, a Roman Catholic and Catherine Cameron, a Presbyterian from Invernesshire, Scotland. When Angus, who was a grazier, died in 1864, Catherine moved with the family back home to Kilmallie, Argyllshire, where the family were brought up as Presbyterians. Ronald attended the public school in Fort William. The census for 1881 shows him, aged 17, living in Kilmallie with his mother. After leaving school in 1880 Ronald started studying law, working in a solicitor’s office until 1883. In his teens he offered himself to the Free Church and started to study for the ministry at New College, Edinburgh. He graduated MA in 1886, BD in 1889, and DD in 1919. He was a student assistant at Edinburgh St Bernard’s FC in 1886, licensed by the Presbytery of Abertarf in 1889 and assistant at Galashiels (1889). In 1890 he was ordained to St Andrews Birkenhead the Presbyterian Church of England.
In 1895 he was called by the Congregation of Maxwelltown Free Church, his induction taking place on 4th July 1895. On the 1st August 1895, aged 31, he married Cristina Cromb, a piano teacher, aged 29, in Edinburgh.
A Glasgow publication of the time described The Rev. Macintyre as possessing all the fervour of the younger Non–Conformist school. In his lecture, “The Sin and Sorrow of Dumfries”, his description of what he observed in the town on a Saturday night was singularly lurid and resulted in many protests, but he continued to insist that intemperance is the chief cause of not only crime but also of poverty and misery from which the working classes suffer so much.
In 1896 the congregation voted 212-95 for the introduction of instrumental music and a Pipe Organ was purchased from Kilmarnock Church. The organ was installed, a new pulpit built and the Church redecorated by July 1897.
In 1896 the Minister founded a Band of Hope, a Christian Endeavour Society for young women and later a similar organisation for young men.
In November 1900 the Deacons’ Court minute records that the Union of the Free and the United Presb. Churches had been consummated in Edinburgh. The name of the church would be The United Free Church of Scotland. This was the first step to union.
In April 1903 Ronald Macintyre announced from the pulpit that he had accepted a call to the charge in Woollera, Sidney, Australia. From the start of his training for the ministry he had always been attracted to the idea of a colonial ministry, and now that the call had come it was his duty to accept it.
On the 19th June 1903 the Rev. and Mrs. Macintyre sailed for Hobart, Australia on the S.S. Paparoa. When he arrived in Sidney he became minister of St Columba’s Church Woollera. In 1909 he was appointed Professor of Theology at St Andrew’s College where he was Chairman of the Scots College Council.
An astute politician, fund-raiser, theologian, writer and orator with a deep commitment to the Presbyterian Church, Ronald Macintyre was Convener of the Business Committee of the General Assembly of Australia for 40 years. From 1904 to 1909 he promoted the cause of “Australian ministers for an Australian Church”.
From 1916 – 1918 he was Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia. During his time as Moderator he was Chairman of the State Recruiting Committee and was awarded the CBE and, in 1928, the CMG for his work.
After the war Ronald worked tirelessly to establish a sound financial basis for union in the Church. From 1927-34 he was M.D. of the Burnside Orphan Homes.
Cristina Macintyre died in September 1925. They had no children. In 1935 he married a widow, Alice Mary Parkinson. The couple retired to Springwood.
Ronald George Macintyre CBE, CMG, MA, BD, DD, died, aged 91, in 1954, and his wife Alice died in 1957. BW