John Kelman

Dr John Kelman was a preacher with a rare gift for touching all classes of men and woman and young people with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Kelman preached the Cross and the Man of the Cross, through John Kelman; called hundreds more to follow Him and in due time they too became Ministers of the Saviour of Man. The linkage of love is powerful and an ongoing phenomenon even today, the Lord is still calling preachers to the pulpits of our great nation. 


Dr John Kelman was effective at the Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen as he was in the Peterculter village Church in Aberdeenshire. He made an impact through his preaching ministry in both places. A little way from the village work was been done on a civil engineering project in connection with a water connection scheme and many navvies were employed on this rough dirty and heavy work.. John Kelman made friends with these men, and it used to be said that when a fight broke out in the navvies’ camp, it was not the village policeman who was sent for but the local village Minister – John Kelman. He had a profound influence on all sorts and classes of people. He was an all round Pastor.

These aspects made their mark in young and old alike, in all classes rich and poor, so much so that queues formed before the Ministry services. His Biblical preaching had great depth and his transparent personality and manner was appreciated and admired by eager hearers of the Gospel of Grace. He brought saving faith to many and was regarded as a real friend to countless people.

John Kelman’s love and deep sincerity, along with a quiet powerful style and his clear voice combined to make the message of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the majesty of the Cross of Calvary so real, so necessary that hundreds of men accepted the call to repentance and faith for personal salvation in Jesus alone. He convinced these men under the anointing of the Holy Spirit that the call and vocation to ‘Preach’ is the greatest and grandest calling that any young/older men could choose to follow. Many did so and took the Evangelical Gospel throughout the world.

In his preaching the objective was to see our Lord Jesus Christ, to see Him steadily and to see Him completely. It is the full-orbed complete Saviour of Men he wanted to present, the Son of Man who touches human life at every point and at every level. The Lamb of God that takes away human sin. The Great Master who calls His followers to take up the Cross. Jesus Christ the great Joy-bringer who intensifies life. The Supreme Incarnation of God who desires to give abundant life and zest and vigour to all believers obedient to Him.

John Kelman ministry may be compared to a landscape in which all aspects and moods of nature are found on one canvas. The fury of the storm and the peace of clear blue skies, the ominous shadow and the friendly golden sunlight, the grandeur of rugged hills, and the delight of the flower garden – are all in the painting.

The green pastures and still waters verge on the shadow of the valley of death, and Calvary in set among the purple hills of home. Kelman did not wish to paint quiet glades and laughing brooks and streams.
“We have tethered Jesus Christ among the lilies” was a favourite phrase of his.
He preached the Agony and the Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ for man’s sin and guilt.
He preached the Bible and the Supreme Saviour of those Holy Scriptures.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3.16)

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek 🙂 for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6.27-34).