Our Pastor writes
The year 1957 was the first time I ever consciously heard the Gospel though having been brought up in the Church of Scotland in the Presbyterian fold but I still cannot remember ever hearing clear challenge of the Gospel there. Subsequently upon my conversion, which was greatly influenced by my brother’s salvation, I decided to go back to the church, which I rarely attended, and because of the great lack of candidates for any post, I was appointed assistant Sunday School supervisor.
This post enabled me to also have the rule over a young people’s after church Bible study group which met each Sunday evening after the evening service finished. There were around twenty teenagers and perhaps only one of these had any genuine spiritual experience. We made the offer that if any desired some Christian fellowship, we would arrange a little bible study and prayer meeting each Thursday evening in our parent’s little Council house apartment in the Clydeside shipbuilding town of Clydebank. We had a couple of rooms and shared the rent. We never could have envisaged that from that little group of five persons, the Logies, one other young man, my wife and I the whole subsequent ministry of the Reformed Baptist Church Anniesland Glasgow could evolve.
The meetings continued unabated for a decade or more and around thirty would gather faithfully each Thursday. We eventually built a house ‘Fairhavens’, and this became the centre for our meetings and outreach activities for the next seventeen years until we outgrew the facilities and commenced a search for a permanent church facility. It had not been in the original scheme that we should found a church, but rather an evangelistic outreach, utilizing the young people we had at our disposal for this exercise. After much prayer and searching for various premises, the Lord enabled us to purchases our present building which had been the local Station Master’s house for the adjacent railway line. After initial moving in to the building we eventually built on an extension which meets our needs adequately.
There was of course not only an evolution of our building, but also more importantly and evolution of our theological and doctrinal views so that from a loose inclination to a Charismatic approach, though never quite fully convinced of this, we evolved over the years to a thoroughly Reformed theological position, without of necessity, adopting a ‘Reformed’ cultural position. We learned a lot in our explorative years theologically speaking, and to coin a well known but apt cliché; ‘We did not throw out the baby with the bath water!’ It has been our great desire to have practically sought to realise the fundamental critical need of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in all areas of worship and service, for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. 2:Cor:3:6: This perspective was founded on the primary proposition that a local church ought to be indigenous, self supporting under God and being able to supply from within its own resources basically all that is necessary to fulfill its mandate under God to the local area. This we feel does not exclude the possibility from time to time of drawing assistance from supporting brethren and assemblies of a similar disposition, and a reciprocation of such support where or when requested. This of course is not a fully comprehensive statement of our doctrine, but rather a brief resume of our core beliefs.
When we first began to gather in a loosely church fashion in the late sixties, we always felt the compulsion to formulate some kind of missionary interest. One part of the thinking was that Reformed missionary enterprises were not nearly as well served, particularly from a financial standpoint, as those of an Arminian perspective. Some well organised societies had a much bigger ‘catchment area’ than smaller works, and therefore tended to be better supported both financially and prayerfully.
Another important aspect was that we should not be merely supporters of missionary endeavour, but primarily should be missionaries ourselves, and be engaged where possible in going out to various locations and even if for only limited periods, seeking to do something tangible in helping to establish and build up indiginous works. This vision has enabled us to go to diversified places such as India, Brazil, and more recently Crimea and practically assist in the upbuilding of local works by ministry and financial assistance. These of necessity were long term projects and our involvement still continues with some to this day.
Over many decades also we have assisted many Missionary Societies who tend to fulfil the criteria already expressed, though this is not a rigid requirement, as we also have quite generously assisted organisations tending to seek the maintenance of sound Biblical practice in our own land. The Christian Institute and the Barnabus Trust and others, would come into this category.
The Biblical mandate is clear; Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. By the grace of God we have managed to fulfil this Biblical requirement at least in a measure, touching and helping many souls in various continents, and ever spreading the good news that: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners!
The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit.
1. We believe in the one true and living God, in three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, who is invisible, personal, omnipresent, eternal, dependent. on none, unchanging, truthful, trustworthy almighty; sovereign, omniscient, righteous, holy, good, loving, merciful, long-suffering and gracious and the Creator of all things.
2. We believe that Almighty God in His great goodness has revealed all that is necessary to life and salvation in the sixty-six books of the Old and the New Testament Scriptures which are the Word of God. All Scripture was given by inspiration of God, is infallible and inerrant, and is sufficient in all matters of faith and practice. Its authority is derived from its Author and not from the opinions of men.
3. We believe that God made our first father Adam perfect, holy and upright. He was appointed representative and head of the human race thereby exposing all his offspring to the effects of his obedience or disobedience to God’s commands.
4. We believe that Adam fell from his original righteousness into sin and brought upon himself and all his offspring death, condemnation and sinful nature.
5. We believe that Satan is a personal spirit, that he is opposed to God and to His purposes and that he has corrupted and enslaved man.
6.We believe it is utterly beyond the power of fallen man to know God, to love Him, to keep His laws, to believe the Gospel, to repent of sin or trust in Christ.
7. We believe that God, before the foundation of the world, for His own glory did elect an innumerable host of men and women to eternal life as an act of free and sovereign grace. This election was in no way dependent upon his foresight of human faith, decision, works or merit
8. We believe that God so loved lost sinners that He sent his Son into the world, conceived of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, unchangeably sinless, both God and man, born under the Law to live a perfect life.
9. We believe that God’s Son died at Calvary to effect propitiation, reconciliation, redemption and atonement for his elect people. God bore testimony to his acceptance of his Son’s work by raising him from the dead for our justification.
10. We believe that God’s Son ascended to the right hand of his Father and is enthroned in glory, where he intercedes on behalf of his people and rules over all things for their sake.
Regeneration and Salvation.
11. We believe that the Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven to glorify Christ and to apply His work of salvation. By the mystery of His all-powerful work those dead in sin are brought into spiritual life. They hear the call of God through His Word and are given the desire and ability to repent of sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. The Holy Spirit indwells all believers, brings assurance of salvation and produces increasing likeness to Christ. He builds up the Church and empowers its members for worship, service and mission.
Justified by God.
12. We believe the elect, who are called by grace, are justified in the sight of God on account of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ which is received by faith alone.
Perseverance of the Saints.
13. We believe that such as are regenerated, called and justified shall persevere in holiness and enter into the joys of heaven.
14. We believe in the necessity of baptism by immersion, on a profession of repentance and faith in order to enter into church membership. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a privilege of church membership to be administered under the discipline of the local church.
Christs Authority over the church.
15. We believe that the local church is under the authority of Christ alone. The unity of the body of Christ is expressed within and between churches by mutual love, care and encouragement. True fellowship between churches exists only where they are faithful to the gospel.
16. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ shall come again to judge all people, to raise the dead, both righteous and unrighteous, and that the righteous shall be glorified and enjoy everlasting life and the wicked endure everlasting punishment.
17. We believe in church based mission-that it is the responsibility and privilege of the local church to be obedient to Christ’s Commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all mankind, seeking to disciple and baptise believers, establishing them into local churches.
A fuller expression of our Doctrinal position can be found in the 1689 Baptist Confession.
Pastor – Jim Handyside
Elders – Peter Logie and Alan Macgregor
Deacons — Duncan MacDougall and George Tassie