A Fisher of Men in the Faroe Islands -- By: Jógvan Zachariassen

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 03:1 (Summer 1994)
Article: A Fisher of Men in the Faroe Islands
Author: Jógvan Zachariassen

A Fisher of Men in the Faroe Islands

Jógvan Zachariassen1

William Gibson Sloan

The Brethren movement which began around 1830 has always been missionary-minded. This article tells the story of a missionary from the Brethren assemblies in Scotland who was called by God to go to a country which was not far away, and yet as far as could be. The language was different, the people were different, and there was a spiritual coldness. This missionary was William Gibson Sloan, and the country was the Faroe Islands.

Not many years ago the name Sloan was known throughout the Faroe Islands. William Gibson Sloan was used by God to change the cold spiritual conditions which had reigned in these islands for many centuries.

Born in Dalry, Ayrshire, Scotland, the fourth of September, 1838, William Sloan was the son of Nathaniel and Elisabeth Sloan. The only thing that is known of his early life is that once he almost drowned when he fell into the river which runs through Dalry. He was rescued by a young girl in the neighborhood who witnessed what had happened. Years later he was able to visit this girl, now

an elderly lady, to thank her not only for saving his life, but also to tell her what Jesus Christ had done for him in saving him from eternal death and giving him eternal life.

Life Changing Events

Although he came to know Christ as his Savior at an early age, as he grew up, he began to seek the pleasures of the world and his love for the Lord began to fade. He was a good dancer and gifted in playing the viola, and he used his musical talent in entertaining people at dances. This resulted in a struggle in his own heart. He knew that the pleasures of the world were drawing him away from the Lord. He wanted to live for the Lord, but when the time for the next dance came, he would give in to the desires that drew him there.

It took the sudden death of his brother to change his outlook on life. As he looked at his dead brother who had been sick only a few days, he realized how suddenly life could be taken away. God spoke to him, and he realized the purposelessness and sinfulness of his own life.

A second incident also led to the change in his life. An American missionary visited Lanarkshire where he was now working as a young man of twenty-one years of age. After some evangelistic meetings which were conducted there, Sloan visited this American by the name of Sherade and was helped in gaining assurance of salvation. It was as if his soul was filled with light and joy and he began to rejoice in the conscious knowledge that his sins really were...

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