Samuel James Ramsay Sibbald was born at Thornhill, Dumfriesshire in August 23, 1869. He was educated at Wallace Hall Academy and the University of Edinburgh where he graduated M.A. in 1889. He was a Jeffrey Scholar of Biblical Criticism when he graduated B.D. in 1892, taking first place in all his examinations.
Having, been Licensed by the Presbytery of Penpont, he was Assistant at St. Giles', Edinburgh from 1892 to 1897 except for a period in 1895 which he spent travelling in South Africa. He was ordained and inducted to Crathie Church in 1897 and admitted to Pollokshields Parish in 1918, having been appointed jure devoluto. He remained in Pollokshields until his retirement in 1940.
In 1907 Mr. Sibbald was appointed extra Chaplain to King Edward VII In Scotland, and from 1908 until his death he was Chaplain-in-Ordinary to the reigning monarch in Scotland. In 1911 he was admitted to Membership of the Royal Victorian Order.
He held various University appointments, from 1905 to 1908 he was an External Examiner in Divinity at Edinburgh, from 1915 to 1918 he was External Examine, in Divinity at Aberdeen, from 1930 to 1934 he was Examiner in Divinity at Glasgow. On occasions he was called upon to act as Substitute Professor in the Faculty of Theology by Aberdeen and Glasgow. He also contributed learned articles to the Theological Reviews and Encyclopaedias.
On October 28, 1925 he was elected Moderator of the Presbytery of Glasgow for the period of six months expiring April 28, 1926. A further distinction came to him that year when Edinburgh University conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity, by which time he was the King's senior Chaplain-in-Ordinary in Scotland. The following is an excerpt from the laureation address by the Dean of the Faculty of Divinity when he presented Mr. Sibbald for the Doctorate on July 20, 1926: "As parish minister of Crathie from 1897 to 1918, he was in close touch with the Court under three Sovereigns, and did much to maintain and foster the happy relations which subsist between the Church of Scotland and the Royal House." He was appointed Justice of the Peace in the County of the City of Glasgow in 1939.
With such a list of achievements there is no need to stress the scholarship and distinction of the third minister of Pollokshields, but lest anyone imagine that he was a solemn, erudite figure with a computer brain, it must he added that despite all his academic laurels, Dr. Sibbald had a very informal and friendly personality with a fine sense of humour and neither pomp nor ceremony had any part in his work in the parish.
Dr. Sibbald died at his home in Edinburgh on August 31, 1950, aged 81 years.