The History of Our Church … contd
Among those who transferred were Mr. James Wishart and Archibald Bowman -
The first Pastor, Rev. Wilson, spent thirteen fruitful years at Pathhead. He left to take up the ministry of Knightsbridge Baptist Church, Adelaide, Australia. Sadly, he took ill and died three weeks after his arrival in Australia.
The Rev. T. Esplin came to the church in January 1913 and ministered for three years before passing on the task to the Rev. W. Ruthven from Gourock. His ministry ended after five years with his sudden death in May 1921.
After a short vacancy the church called Rev. J. T. Stark M.A. It seems that the seed sown by the previous pastors blossomed during Mr. Stark’s time. The church prospered and numbers at services were such that it became necessary to increase capacity. There are none now remaining who can recall such congregations, but the late Mrs. Margaret Muir told of how, as a teenager, arriving early for the evening service and having to sit on the pulpit steps.
Extra seats had been placed down the aisles but even then, latecomers had to stand in the vestibule with the inside doors open so that others could stand in the passageway behind the pulpit. The seating capacity at that time was 230 but often a further 60 or 70 would crowd in.
Although the Deacon’s Court was unanimous on the need to increase the building’s capacity, it was William Anderson, a revered Deacon and founding member who first presented and pressed the case for the addition of a gallery.
The following is based on the minutes of the meeting when it was agreed to install the gallery. "After a great deal of prayer and research, it was decided to build a gallery with seating for approximately 100. A ‘gallery committee’ was formed to oversee the project and they set 11th November 1922 as the completion date.
One of the fellowship, Robert Walker, a stonemason to trade, was allocated the task of building the stone stairway and all able bodied men would assist. The gallery was completed in time at a cost of £137.2s.5d. The electrician was paid £2 for his services and the seating was bought for £20." As a thanksgiving, a conference was organised to take place on completion date, to be followed by a fortnight’s mission.