Iain D. Campbell

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Iain Donald Campbell
Born (1963-09-20)20 September 1963
Lewis, Scotland
Died 28 January 2017(2017-01-28) (aged 53)
Glasgow, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Education University of Glasgow
Free Church College
University of Edinburgh
Occupation Minister, author
Years active 1988–2017
Spouse(s) Anne
Children Iain, Stephen, Emily
Religion Christian (Presbyterian)
Church Free Church of Scotland
Congregations served
Snizort Free Church, Skye
Back Free Church, Lewis
Point Free Church, Lewis
Offices held
Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland
Title Rev Dr

The Rev Dr Iain Donald Campbell, often known as Iain D. Campbell (20 September 1963 – 28 January 2017) was a minister and former Moderator in the Free Church of Scotland.[1] He was a prolific author on a range of Biblical topics and church history. Campbell died in January 2017, and it subsequently emerged that he killed himself amid allegations of multiple extra-marital affairs.[2][3]


Campbell attended the Nicolson Institute, a school on Lewis, before studying at the University of Glasgow, where he graduated with First Class Honours in Arts in 1985. He then pursued theological studies at the Free Church College and the University of London, again graduating with First Class Honours as a Bachelor of Divinity.[4]

He studied for a PhD at the University of Edinburgh and was awarded his doctorate in 2001. A version of his thesis, on George Adam Smith, was subsequently published in book form.[4]

His first pastoral position was at Snizort Free Church on Skye, which he commenced in 1988. In 1995, he moved to the Free Church at Back on the Isle of Lewis.[5] Finally, in 2009, he became minister of Point Free Church, also on Lewis.[1]

In 2012, he served as moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland.[1][6]

Campbell wrote about 17 books on topics related to Christianity, including Bible studies and doctrinal teaching, mostly published through Christian Focus Publications and Day One Publications. He also contributed to Tabletalk magazine published by Ligonier Ministries.[7]

At the time of his death, in addition to his ministerial role, he was vice-chairman of the board of Edinburgh Theological Seminary, editor of The Record, the monthly magazine of the Free Church of Scotland, and an associate editor of Foundations, a theological journal published by Affinity.[4][8][9] He was also an Adjunct Professor of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary, helping to deliver their London-based courses.[10]


Campbell died on 28 January 2017 at the age of 53,[1] by suicide.[11] An early obituary, written by long-standing Free Church minister Donald Macleod, and published two days after Campbell's death, suggested Campbell was experiencing pain which may have affected the balance of his mind, but did not elaborate further.[4]

An early report stated that Campbell's wife, Anne, had discovered emails on his computer and accused him of having several extra-marital affairs with members of his congregation.[12] Two later stories in the Sunday Times, on 12 March 2017, presented a slightly different version of events. They stated that the initial reports were not correct and that Campbell had confessed his infidelity to his wife before taking his own life.[13] She then found the emails on Campbell's computer.[14]

Published work[edit]

  • Engaging with Keller (joint editor), Evangelical Press, 2013-07-17, ISBN 978-0852349281
  • The People's Theologian: Writings in Honour of Donald Macleod (joint editor), Mentor, 2011-05-20, ISBN 978-1845505844
  • Risking the Truth: Handling Error in the Church (contributor), Christian Focus, 2009-05-20, ISBN 978-1845502843
  • Pulpit Aflame: Essays in Honor of Steven J. Lawson (contributor), Reformation Heritage Books, 2016-05-01, ISBN 978-1601784650
  • Faith Seeking Understanding: Vital Lessons from Psalm 73, The Banner of Truth Trust, 2015-01, ISBN 978-1848715332
  • A Christian's Pocket Guide to Sin: The Disease and Its Cure, Christian Focus, 2015-09-20, ISBN 978-1781916476
  • In the Care of the Good Shepherd: Meditations on Psalm 23, Day One, 2009-09-14, ISBN 978-1846251757
  • I Am: Exploring the 'I am' sayings of John's Gospel, Evangelical Press, 2011-01-12, ISBN 978-0852347744
  • What does the Bible really say about...? The Importance of Sundays, Day One, 2015-09-30, ISBN 978-1846254246
  • What does the Bible really say about...? Jesus, Day One, 2016-10-01, ISBN 978-1846255540
  • On the first day of the week – God, The Christian, and The Sabbath, Day One, 2005-09-03, ISBN 978-1903087954
  • Opening up Exodus, Day One, 2006-09-03, ISBN 978-1846250293
  • The Wondrous Cross, Evangelical Press, 2014-03-21, ISBN 978-1783970025
  • The Doctrine of Sin, Mentor, 2009-05-20, ISBN 978-1857924381
  • Exploring the Bible: Ruth, Day One, 2010-09-03, ISBN 978-1846252273
  • Opening up Matthew's Gospel, Day One, 2008-10-01, ISBN 978-1846251160
  • The Seven Wonders of the World: The Gospel in the storyline of the Bible, Day One, 2007-08-28, ISBN 978-1846250828
  • Fixing the Indemnity: The Life and Work of Sir George Adam Smith (1856–1942), Send The Light, 2005-01-01, ISBN 978-1842272282
  • Pray, plan, prepare, preach: Establishing and Maintaining Priorities in the Ministry, Day One, 2012, ISBN 978-1846251498
  • The Gospel According to Ruth, Day One, 2003-03-16, ISBN 978-1903087367
  • Heroes and Heretics: Pivotal Moments on the 20 centuries of Church, Christian Focus, 2009-05-20, ISBN 978-1857929256


  1. ^ a b c d "Passing of Rev Dr Iain D Campbell". Free Church of Scotland. 28 January 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  2. ^ Rudgard, Oliver (6 March 2016). "Married minister who hanged himself accused of having affairs with seven church members". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Donnelly, Brian (7 March 2017). "Free Church to probe claims married minister had seven affairs and 'child with lover'". The Herald. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d MacLeod, Donald (30 January 2017). "Obituary – The Reverend Dr. Iain D. Campbell". welovestornoway.com. Retrieved 16 March 2017. Now, too late, we know that he was in pain, and sometimes pain is more powerful than faith, and more powerful than reason, and altogether too much for the balance of our minds. 
  5. ^ "History of Back Free Church". Back Free Church. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  6. ^ "Dr. Iain Campbell of Isle of Lewis elected as Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland 2012 General Assembly". The Aquila Report. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "Articles by Iain Campbell". Ligonier Ministries. Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  8. ^ Mciver, Rev James (1 February 2017). "Rev Dr Iain D Campbell – an Obituary". Free Church of Scotland. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  9. ^ Evans, Matthew (31 January 2017). "Rev Dr Iain D Campbell". Affinity. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  10. ^ Samson, John (28 January 2017). "Remembering Dr. Iain D. Campbell". Effectual Grace. Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  11. ^ Donnelly, Brian (7 March 2017). "Free Church to probe claims married minister had seven affairs and 'child with lover'". Evening Times. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  12. ^ Humpries, Will (8 March 2017). "Inquiry into how minister was left to commit suicide"Free access subject to limited trial, subscription normally required. The Times. Retrieved 16 March 2017. The Rev Dr Iain Campbell, a former leader of the Free Church of Scotland, hanged himself in a hospital toilet after being left unsupervised as he recovered from a drug overdose. Mr Campbell, 53, was discovered in a cubicle in the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, and was transferred to Glasgow, where he died from his injuries... Mr Campbell's wife Anne, 54, had reportedly accused the highly respected minister of having several affairs with members of his congregation. It is believed that she discovered deleted emails on his computer revealing correspondence with other women and confronted him. 
  13. ^ Allardyce, Jason; Allen-Mills, Tony (12 March 2017). "Suicide minister 'confessed affairs'"Free access subject to limited trial, subscription normally required. The Sunday Times. Retrieved 16 March 2017. The Scottish minister who committed suicide amid claims of a string of affairs did so after confessing to his wife, according to informed sources. Contrary to widespread reports, Dr Iain D Campbell, a former moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, did not end his life after being confronted by his wife, Anne, on discovering private emails but told her himself of his infidelity, The Sunday Times has been informed 
  14. ^ Allen-Mills, Tony (12 March 2017). "The suicide and sex scandal rocking the pious Hebrides"Free access subject to limited trial, subscription normally required. The Sunday Times. Retrieved 18 March 2017. Exactly what caused his collapse in January and his subsequent suicide in hospital remains a mystery. Contrary to early reports that the 53-year-old minister initially took a drug overdose after being confronted by his wife Anne and later hanged himself, The Sunday Times has been told that Anne learnt of his infidelity only when he confessed. It was after he hanged himself in hospital that she found incriminating emails on his computer; these appear to have exposed a series of affairs dating back to the 1990s. 

External links[edit]

Free Church titles
Preceded by
Rev James MacIver
Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland
Succeeded by
Rev Angus J Howat