James Black (Moderator)

St George's West Church, Shandwick Place, now known as Charlotte Chapel
5 Inverleith Row (left)
The grave of Very Rev James Black, Dean Cemetery

Very Rev James Black DD (1879–1948) was a 20th-century Scottish minister. Originally ordained in the United Free Church of Scotland he became a minister of the Church of Scotland in the merge of 1929 and later served in its highest position, as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1938/39 and was also Chaplain to King George VI in Scotland.[citation needed]


He was born in Rothesay in 1879. He studied Divinity at Glasgow University and also studied at Marburg University. He was ordained into the United Free Church of Scotland in 1903 and began preaching at the Castle Hill Church in Forres.[1]

In 1907 he transferred to the United Free Church on Broughton Place in Edinburgh. He then lived at 5 Inverleith Row.[2] During this time he also served as an Army Chaplain in the First World War.

From 1921 he was minister of St George's West Church in Edinburgh replacing Rev Dr John Kelman. In 1929 the United Free Church re-merged with the Church of Scotland.

In 1938 he succeeded Very Rev Dugald MacFarlane as Moderator of the General Assembly and in 1939 was succeeded in turn by Very Rev Archibald Main. He was appointed Chaplain to the King in 1942.[1]

He died in Edinburgh on 18 October 1948. He is buried with his wife in Dean Cemetery. The grave lies on the south side of the main path, near the entrance.

He was succeeded at St George's West by Rev Murdo Ewen Macdonald.


His wife Florence died in 1923.


  • The Mystery of Preaching
  • The Burden of the Weeks
  • The Dilemma of Jesus
  • An apology for Rogues
  • The Days of my Autumn

He also contributed a regular article entitled "Dr Black's Corner" to the magazine "Christian World".


  1. ^ a b "James Black: Originality in preaching - Sermons & Articles". preaching.com. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  2. ^ Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1911