Born: 1829, Glasgow, Scotland.
Died: March 6, 1902, Partick, Glasgow, Scotland, of pneumonia.
Buried: Sighthill Cemetery, Glasgow, Scotland.
Jacob was the husband of Agnes Boyd (married 1866, Milton Scotland, with Norman Macleod officiating at the ceremony).
He studied at the University in Glasgow, and in 1849 began mission work in the west district of that city by founding the Roll Toll Ragged School. Three years later he founded the Port Room Ragged School; and in 1858, the Mill Girls’ Religious Society, with branches all over the city.
In 1858, he founded the Bible Students’ Society, in 1862 the City Hall Suppers for the poor, and in 1863 the Foundry Boys’ Religious Society. In 1866 the Grove Street Institute was built, and his various enterprises were centered in this large building.
In 1879, MacGill went to London, where he and his friend Grattan Guiness founded Berger Hall, a Home Mission Institute on the same lines as the Grove Street Institute.
From 1884 until 1901, he was secretary of the Manchester City Mission, the largest city mission in Britain outside London. While there, he managed to build 24 meeting houses or assemblies in Manchester.
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