Brotherly help in action
When Luis Palau was in Inverness recently he spoke of one thriving church in an American city which, every time there were 5 Sundays in a month, took the offering on the 5th Sunday as a gift to another church in the same city that was not so well off financially.
The Argentinian evangelist suggested that acts of generosity like this were very good examples of love and care for one another within the Christian community.
Whilst there is undoubtably much done that is "unseen", it is not so very often that one hears reports of one denomination giving assistance to another. Yet this is exactly what has happened recently in Glasgow.
The Brethren Assembly who worshipped at their "Free Church" (Gospel hall) in Knightswood Cross, Glasgow had become small and elderly and their leader felt that he could not continue due to ill-health. Accordingly services ceased in September. In deciding what to do with the building the church membership were determined that it would continue to be used to spread the Gospel. In their desire to donate the Gospel Hall (buit in 1936) to an evangelical congregation, theyfelt that they would wish to give the church premises (worth £500,000) as a gift to a congregation of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) who had been praying for a building.
In receiving the premises and commenting on the generosity and the situation, Rev. William Macleod of Thornwood congregation and formerly of Portree in Skye has said:
People say there is no such thing as a free lunch but they are wrong. With our loving God all is free. He gave us His Son to be our Saviour. Daily He pours down upon us His gifts and mercies. We in Thornwood congregation of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) have recently been amazingly reminded of this in God's provision for us. We had been without a church building since the division in the Free Church in 2000, and had worshipped in the assembly hall of Thornwood Primary School. We were thankful for this convenient location, but there were times when we longed and prayed for our own church building. However with the high price of property we had become more or less reconciled to the impossibility of owning our own building. Then, out of the blue, we were offered a well-fitted and highly suitable church building just ready for us to walk in. If we had been given several million pounds to spend in building a church for ourselves this is exactly what we would have desired. God knows what we need.
The church is of an ideal size for us (seat 200, with a hall that will seat 40) and is in excellent condition, well-maintained and smartly decorated. Seating, sound system and everything is included. We just have to walk in, begin services and change the notice board. What a wonderful God we have!
Please spread the word. Thornwood Free Church (Continuing) will be meeting in our own church at Knightswood Cross. We are calling ourselves Knightswood FCC though technically for the time being we will have to stick with the old name till we can get it changed.
With great thankfulness
Other pictures show the interior of the building.
Services are now being held in the church, while the Rev. Hugh Ferrier, formerly of Partick Free Church and Free North Church (Inverness) will preach (d.v.) at the official opening on 21 November (2008) at 7.30pm
No doubt the unselfish actions of the Brethren folks will have pleased the Head of the church who said: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34,35)
Brethren Assemblies function independantly of each other and are distant descendants of the Anabaptists who were violently persecuted by both the Reformed and Roman Catholic churches in the 16th century mainly because of the former's belief in adult (believers) baptism and the distinction (separation) between church and state.
In Britain the Plymouth Brethren formed in 1827 and most Brethren Assemblies - both in "open" and "closed" form - stem from this time.
There are Assemblies throughout the UK, with Inverness having two Brethren fellowships - one in Celt Street and the other meeting at Culloden.
The Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) separated from the Free Church of Scotland in 2000 over matters of a "conservative/reform" nature and a particular issue relating to internal discipline.