Rev David Karoon leaves the Free Church of Scotland for the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland

The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland (RPCS) is reporting the following on their website:

“Presbytery met on Saturday the 2nd July and accepted Rev. David Karoon’s application to become a minister in the RPCS. Rev. Karoon was previously a minister in the Free Church of Scotland. ” found here

The Hebrides News gives the following information here on 7/7/11:

“A number of Western Isles worshippers seem set to quit the Free Church and set up a Stornoway branch of a rival denomination in protest of its controversial introduction of hymns and music. A small cohort of about 20 or so disaffected Free Church worshippers, drawn from about eight island households, are expressing varying degrees of interest in breaking away from the long established Hebridean denomination to join a proposed Lewis-based church plant of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland (RPCS). Rev David Karoon who has resigned as minister of Arran Free Church has joined the Reformed Presbyterian and will take services in Stornoway.  He applied after resigning the Free Church pulpit. A Reformed Presbyterian spokesman confirmed: “Presbytery met on Saturday the 2nd July and accepted Rev David Karoon’s application to become a minister in the RPCS.” It is believed at least one elder has resigned from Stornoway Free Church with a view to joining the rival denomination. Dissidents may look towards the Reformed Presbyterians because they offer exclusive psalm singing and a clean history untainted by bitter splits or breakaway churches which litters the ecclesiastical landscape in Presbyterian Scotland. The tiny Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland (RPCS) is now on its way to double its number of churches as a result of the internal anger within the Free Church over ditching exclusive psalm singing and no musical instruments. Admittingly the RPCS only had two small constituted churches in Scotland. The high profile Rev Kenneth Stewart of North Uist and Glasgow – who left the Free over the hymns row – previously criticised the Free Church for “abandoning its constitutional heritage.”  But Rev Kenneth Stewart is now heading a brand new third congregation in the Hebridean area of Westend Glasgow. It took 140 years for it to become the first Scottish RP church plant when it was officially constituted on 22nd May. Just 40 days later, Stornoway seems to be next on the list.”

and also here on 7/7/2011:

“A number of disaffected Free Church members have invited the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland (RPCS) to commence regular Sunday services on Lewis. One possible venue is the small prayer meeting house on Perceval Road in Culnagrein, Stornoway. Rev David Karoon is due to start regular Sunday services from this weekend. The island parishioners are breaking away from the Free in favour of the RPCS services. If interest grows sufficiently a permanent RPCS church may be constituted  and a permanent minister would then be sought. The development  follows the Free Church’s controversial decision to accept hymns and music. Last week, Mr Karoon, who comes from Singapore, resigned as pastor of Arran Free Church because he was opposed to it abandoning its traditional psalm-only stance.  He then applied and was accepted as a minister with the Reformed Presbyterians. A Reformed Presbyterian spokesman confirmed: “Presbytery met on Saturday the 2nd July and accepted Rev David Karoon’s application to become a minister in the RPCS.” Rev Andrew Quigley, minister of the Airdrie RP Church and presently preaching in America, said the Scottish RP Church’s decision to plant a church in Stornoway was taken because a number of Christians asked them to do so. He added that it was a decision motivated solely by a positive desire to proclaim the Gospel. He said: “Our goal, by God’s grace and for His glory, is to see sinners converted to Christ and become committed followers of the Lord.” It is believed at least one elder has resigned from Stornoway Free Church with a view to joining the rival denomination. The tiny Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland (RPCS) is now on its way to double its number of churches as a result of the internal anger within the Free Church over ditching exclusive psalm singing and no musical instruments. Admittingly the RPCS only had two small constituted churches in Scotland. But Rev Kenneth Stewart, of North Uist and Glasgow, is now heading a brand new third congregation in the Hebridean area of Westend Glasgow. The church, the first new Scottish RP church plant in 140 years, was formalised on 22nd May. Formerly at Stornoway and Scalpay and, for past ten years or so, at Dowanvale Free in Glasgow, the 48-year-old previously said his position as Free Church preacher was untenable given the determination of so many in the church to drive ahead the contentious change. Though he was last on Lewis recently on behalf of the RPCS he will not be on the island on the run up to the new church services.”

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4 responses to “Rev David Karoon leaves the Free Church of Scotland for the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland

  1. Ewan W. Wilson

    It might also be of interest to you to know that the Church of Scotland congregations on the Isle of Lewis are experiencing their own internal dissensions over the Church of Scotland General Assembly decision to permit homosexual ministers and elders to remain in office if ordained prior to the 2009 temporary ban and also to work towards full acceptance in 2013. This ‘trajectory’ as it has been officially dubbed has disaffected many of the island’s Church of Scotland evangelical people. The first minister to resign was the Rev Andrew Coghill of the Lochs Parish Church of Scotland. The Stornoway High Parish Church of Scotland ( the most Reformed of the three Stornoway congregations of the Church of Scotland) revently held a congregational vote on whether to take the congregation out of the Church of Scotland. Despite an overwhelming majority of 74% signalling their desire to leave, the elders bizarrely decided that was not enough of a majority and so quashed the move which reportedly has left not a few very disgruntled and frustrated. There is also another Church of Scotland on the neighbouring island of Harris that has voted to disjoin from the Kirk. Now, whilst the Church of Scotland long ago abandonned Purity of Worship exclusive unaccompanied psalmody has still been the prevalent practice in most of the island congregations. There are at least a few of these disaffected Kirk folk who would possibly welcome the Reformed Presbyterian witness and there is definitely one elder who

  2. Ewan W. Wilson

    Sorry, a glitch in my last post prevented me from completing it!
    I was about to say there’s at least one Kirk elder on the island who holds to Purity of Worship on principle so I think it might not just be disaffected Free Church people who will rally to the new Reformed Presbyterian plant but some of these Kirk folk too. [ To avoid confusion, I should explain ‘The Kirk’ and ‘Kirk folk’ is the fond traditional way torefer to the Church of Scotland whilst the Free Church of Scotland is nicknamed either ‘The Free Kirk’ or ‘The Wee Frees’. ]

  3. Ewan W. Wilson

    Inevitably it has been a contentious issue, to set up yet another conservative Presbyterian congregation on the relatively amply provided Isle of Lewis. It seems Prof Donald MacLeod, one of the prime movers to move the Free Kirk away from its Purity of worship moorings, has been pretty vitriolic in his columns in the West Highland Free Press, bitterly attacking his erstwhile fellow churchman and supporter, the Rev Kenny Stewart, and also the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland itself, a denomination that traditionally maintained warm fraternal relations with the Free Kirk. Apparently MacLeod, a staunch supporter of the socialistic Labour Party has even ladelled into them for being ‘too Tory’!! It is a sad commentary on the residual Free Kirk leaders that they fail to accept that some of their people in all conscience simply cannot just walk away from their
    away from their denomination’s historic stance on Purity of worship and feel the need to launch such bitter bitter

  4. Moves away from Scriptual standards is more fundamentally about the self-deification of the individual. Not being satisfied with Common Grace, the unconverted individual seeks out ‘something more’ by bringing the world into the kirk. That does not work : “Separate yourselves from THIS sinful generation” is the Word of the Gospels ; separation from the world must precede religious revivials.

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