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Forgotten evangelist recalled

A church in Aberdeenshire will be the setting for a tribute to a local man who became a leading preacher of the Victorian era, Scotland’s forgotten evangelist Duncan Matheson.

Historian Patrick Scott will tell of the once-famous preacher during a talk tomorrow in Huntly-Cairnie-Glass kirk.

Mr Scott, of Huntly, said: “It was while I was recording epitaphs in the old Dunbennan Kirkyard just outside the town some years ago that I came across a memorial erected to Duncan Matheson, with the intriguing inscription The Soldiers’ Friend.

“Further research revealed a fascinating story of the man who has been described as Scotland’s forgotten evangelist.”

Mr Matheson was born in the town in 1824 and became an evangelist in his twenties. In the 1850s he went to offer spiritual support to British troops taking part in the Crimean War, also preaching and handing out thousands of Bibles and religious tracts to soldiers of the French and Sardinian armies.

After the war he went to Sardinia before returning to Scotland to produce a monthly gospel magazine that had a circulation of 32,000.

• Full story at the Aberdeen Press & Journal.

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