about us

The Baptist Union of Scotland Today:

 

Where We Are

The office of the Baptist Union of Scotland (Charity Registration No. SC004960) is at  48 Speirs Wharf, Glasgow, G4 9TH, Tel: 0141 423 6169, Fax: 0141 424 1422, E-mail: admin@scottishbaptist.org.uk; Website: www.scottishbaptist.org.uk

 

Where we are Going

An Invitation to a Journey outlines the future direction of our Union of churches. It seeks to re-imagine the future of the Baptist Union of Scotland as an invitation to live under Christ's rule. A rule that calls us to be intentionally relational, unashamedly missional and creatively rooted for the future.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Contact Us

National Team Members

(Please bear in mind that most National Team members are not office-based for the entire week so you may be advised by staff to call them on their mobile number or use e-mail instead.)

 

General Director
REV ALAN DONALDSON: director@scottishbaptist.org.uk : Office 0141 433 4555 : Mobile 07969 366249

Convenor
DR JACQUELINE PRIMROSE: convenor@scottishbaptist.org.uk : Office 0141 433 4555 : Mobile 0794 088 7382

Finance Director
REV PETER DICK: finance@scottishbaptist.org.uk : Office 0141 433 4550 : Mobile 07765 019734

Mission and Ministry Advisor
REV DR JIM PURVES: advisor@scottishbaptist.org.uk : Office 0141 433 4556 : Mobile 07794 015645

Ministry Development Coordinator
REV JOHN GREENSHIELDS: john@scottishbaptist.org.uk : Office 0141433 4559: Mobile 07703 442802

Mission Development Coordinator
REV JUDY WHITE: judy@scottishbaptist.org.uk : Office 0141 433 4551 : Mobile 0787 5644672

Interim Youth Development Coordinator
MRS YVONNE FADDES: youth@scottishbaptist.org.uk

 

Administrative Staff

Although it is generally staffed beyond these hours, the Union office is open for calls and visits from 9am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and 9am until 1pm on Fridays. Administrative staff can be contacted directly on the following numbers.

If their line is busy, or they are not at their desk, you are encouraged to leave a message on their voicemail and it will be responded to at the very earliest opportunity. To assist in this, it would be helpful if, as well as your name and number, you also leave some indication of what your call is about.


BEATRICE ANDERSON - Finance Assistant (Mon-Wed, until 3.30pm), 0141 433 4550, beatrice@scottishbaptist.org.uk

ROBERTA HOPE - General Administrator (incl. Publications, Website, Annual Returns, Assembly Registration) 0141 433 4552, admin@scottishbaptist.org.uk

JENNY WILSON - PA to General Director, Assembly Organiser, Sports Day Admin, 0141 433 4555, jenny@scottishbaptist.org.uk

IVY YOUNG - Ministry Administrator (Mon-Thurs, until 2.30pm but until 1pm Fridays), 0141 433 4556, ivy@scottishbaptist.org.uk

 

How to Reach Us

From the East:
At junction 16, exit toward A81/Aberfoyle/George Square
Turn right at traffic lights
Travel under motorway bridge turning left
Go through 1 roundabout bearing left
Turn left to stay on Craighall Rd/A879 at traffic lights
Turn first left into Speirs Wharf
Travel to the end of the building parking wherever possible.

From the West:
Take the A82 exit toward Dumbarton
Keep left at the fork, follow signs for A81/Aberfoyle
Turn right onto St. George's Rd/A804
Take the 1st right at lights onto New City Rd/A804
Travel under motorways following signs for Port Dundas until traffic lights at yellow storage centre.
Take the 1st left onto Craighall Rd/A879, under the motorway
Bear left under the motorway
Go through 1 roundabout bearing left
Turn left to stay on Craighall Rd/A879 at traffic lights
Turn first left into Speirs Wharf
Travel to the end of the building parking wherever possible.

By Public Transport
The quickest way from the City Centre is by the Underground to Cowcaddens.
Coming out through the turnstiles, leave by the exit ahead of you and head to your right, so that you’re walking towards the motorway flyover with flats on your right and Garscube Road on your left.

You will shortly come to a double underpass with red pavement underfoot and some large sculptures of flowers on your left. Continue through this and, just as you come out of the other side, you will see a set of granite steps. Go up these and continue uphill until you see another set of stairs on your left.

Climb the stairs (or use the alternative ramp) and you will arrive at locks on the Forth and Clyde canal. Cross the canal at these locks and turn left, through an open set of gates, and continue alongside the large mill building to its far end.

The Baptist Union of Scotland office is at 48 Speirs Wharf - right on the corner.

 

If you'd prefer to see the location, click here for Google Maps
 

Directory of Churches

Click here to proceed to the online directory

 

History

Baptists are Christians who belong to the world's largest mainstream Protestant denomination.
They are to be found in over 200 countries throughout the world. They are not a sect or cult group, nor are Baptists an import from America.

Before Baptists emerged in the United States, they were to be found in Britain and Europe. Baptist churches arose out of the Anabaptist movement of the Reformation period. They began in England in the early 17th century and in Scotland in the middle of the 18th century.

It is mainly through the personality, loyalty and devotion to God of a host of individual men and women that Baptist witness has grown and developed over nearly four centuries.

Here is the story of some of these people...

 

How it all began
Among Oliver Cromwell's troops arriving in Scotland in the mid 17th century, were many Baptist soldiers who used their influence to establish small churches in Leith, Perth, Cupar, Ayr and Aberdeen. When the army withdrew, these churches disappeared, and for the next 100 years Baptist life in Scotland ceased to exist.

The Preaching Knight
In 1750, Sir William Sinclair, landowner at Keiss in Caithness, having himself been baptised as a believer in England, gathered together a small congregation of tenants and neighbours who embraced believer's baptism, establishing a church which exists to this day.

Defending the Faith
"What does the bible say?", was the cry of those who struggles to lay the foundation of Baptist belief and practice. The Kingdom of God, they declared, is a spiritual one, and therfore the Church must acknowledge the rule of God and should not be subject to the authority of the State. It must be established on New Testament principles, self-ruling under God's guidance, its practices dictated by close study of the Scriptures.

Two distinct streams of Baptist witness now developed, one concentrating on church government and the other on evangelistic outreach.

The Scotch Baptists
Robert Carmichael, an ex-Presbyterian minister, and Archibald McLean, a Glasgow printer and bookseller, were baptised in 1765 and set up the Scotch Baptist Movement as distinct from the English order. They insisted on weekly communion, believer's baptism and church control exercised by a group of elders rather than a single trained minister. Their first church, established in Edinburgh in 1765, was the forerunner of today's Bristo Baptist Church.

The Haldane Movement
Wealthy landowners, Robert and James Haldane, having a burning desire to reach the remotest parts of Scotland with the Gospel, sold their family estate in Airthrey (now part of the campus of Stirling University) using the proceeds to finance their own preaching missions and to train other evangelists. Baptists in 1808, they set up schools and missionary societies, founding churches at Grantown-on-Spey, Elgin, Arbroath, Wick, Duncan Street in Edinburgh and at Tullymet - which became the mother church of Pitlochry.

A Cloud of Witnesses
Time would fail to tell of the great number of faithful evangelists who, in the early years of the 19th century, covered vast distances on foot, braved storms on land and sea, preached in the open air and established congregations throughout the Highlands and Islands. Prominent among them was Christopher Anderson, who, in 1808, founded the congregation which is now Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh. He gave great encouragement and support to many of these itinerant preachers, set up Gaelic schools in the Highlands and in Ireland, and played a crucial part in supporting the work of the Baptist Missionary Society in India, under William Carey.

Highland Heroes
In 1827 the Baptist Home Mission for Scotland was set up to give support and encouragement to itinerant evangelists and the small scattered churches.

• William Tulloch toiled for a lifetime among the mountains and glens of Atholl.
• Alex Grant tramped the roadless tracks of Mull and Ardnamurchan.
• Sinclair Thomson braved the storm-swept wastes of Shetland establishing six churches.
• Peter Grant composed his songs as he tramped the moors and hills of Inverness.
• Dugald Sinclair travelled the Western Isles preparing the ground for church planting.
• Duncan McFarlane preached the gospel to the people of Tiree and great revivals followed.

A Joint Effort
The advantages of joint witness and support became more and more obvious as time went on and later more prosperous congregations were established in the cities. Rev. Francis Johnstone, of Cupar, pioneered an early effort to form a Union in 1843. He accomplished a great deal in the training of young ministers, inspiring evangelistic outreach and publishing and distributing gospel literature. However, 26 years were to pass before doctrinal and organisational issues were resolved and the Baptist Union of Scotland came into being.

Baptists United!
In 1869, fifty-one churches, comprising 3,500 members, formed the first Baptist Union of Scotland. By the close of the 19th century, this had increased to 118 churches and 16,905 members. A great evangelistic revival, coupled with industrial and economic expansion throughout Scotland in the late 19th century, had a tremendous influence on church growth.

"The Old Order Changeth"
Churches were revitalised. Strict practice gave way to greater freedom of worship and the introduction of hymns, choirs and organs came as the result of the Moody and Sankey mission of 1874.

Certain wealthy Christian industrialists and businessmen gave generous financial support, setting up funds for several church enterprises. Prominent among them were Thomas Coats of Paisley, the Pullar family of Perth, William Quarrier of Bridge of Weir orphan homes and many others.

"Yielding to New"
Rapid expansion in industry, education and commerce led to greatly increased social concern, especially among young people.

In 1895 the Sabbath School Association was formed, followed by Young Worshipper's League, Christian Endeavour, Girls' and Boys' Brigade and Seaside Mission work. The Scottish Baptist Total Abstinence Association was set up in 1881 to deal with the prevailing problem of drunkenness, with the Band of Hope movement to influence young people.

The Women's Auxiliary, whose motto was "By Love Serve One Another", was founded in 1909 with the aim of uniting Baptist women in evangelistic effort and in practical service to the denomination. Their achievements have been outstanding.

The monthly Scottish Baptist magazine (now discontinued) appeared in 1874, followed by an annual Year Book containing a mine of information about every aspect of Baptist life. A monthly newsletter called Connect is now posted to subscribers and distributed free by e-mail. It also appears on the Resources page of this website.