Roderick MacLeod was born on his father's farm of Glenhautlin, Snizort, Skye in 1794. In 1819 he was ordained missionary of Lyndale and Arnisort., which were in his father's parish. At this time he was a 'moderate,' as were most of the ministers he associated. 'Moderates' were cancer in the Church of Scotland, believing that being moral and intellectual was more important than preaching the Gospel.
Around 1822 MacLeod became 'born again' as a result of some books he read and from being at a meeting led by Donald Munro (see this website). Munro lived close to MacLeod and they became firm friends; almost like father and son.
In 1823 John Shaw of Bracadale died. Shaw came to the Lord through the Moulin Revival at the turn of the century (see this website), and was a great supporter of the evangelical cause in Skye. MacLeod was appointed in his place.
At his first Communion at Bracadale MacLeod would only allow those who were truly converted to partake, so only ten out of 250 partook. As a result of several complaints by the landed gentry, the Skye Presbytery tried to depose him, but after many years he was finally exonerated.
Another area of contention between MacLeod and his fellow ministers was his support of the Gaelic School teachers who broke with convention and preached to the people. Many ministers in those days did not believe in the 'priesthood of all believers.'
After 14 years of a powerful ministry in Bracadale, MacLeod was appointed to Snizort in 1837. So many came to hear him that the church, which had been built by his father, had to be extended.
During the 1842 revival, MacLeod was the primary preacher at Fairy Bridge, with 5-9,000 people attending. At a Communion weekend that year in his own parish, there were 12-15,000 people, according to a Baptist minister from Broadford, and hundreds fell down as if they were dead. 'This usually commences with violent shaking and crying out, with clapping of hands.'
The Disruption in 1843 resulted in great persecution for a number of those who left the Church of Scotland to join the newly formed Free Church. In 1846 at least 16 families from MacLeod's congregation were ejected from their holdings, and the following year 30 more families were ordered to quit.
After an extremely successful ministry, MacLeod died on March 20th 1868.
For a much longer account of his life see‘The Skye Revivals,’ by Steve Taylor, published by New Wine Press, p53-66.