The History of Anderson Church

Kilsyth Anderson Church was originally known in 1768 as the RELIEF Church, being a breakaway from the Established Church.

The reason was that many members did not believe that Presbyterianism could only exist in a church united to the State. They wanted a Presbyterianism which would permit them to choose their own minister.

A signed petition from the Kilsyth Parishioners to the Relief Presbytery was submitted asking to be formed into a new congregation under their care. The petition was granted and in cutting themselves off from the State Church, they also cut themselves off from the State Treasury.

They sub-fued a large piece of ground called in the title deeds the "Kiln Yard", and purchased for a Manse the two storeyed house already in the ground The site was located between Low Craigends and Shuttle Street ( where the present St Patricks Halls are situated ).



When in 1768 they built a church this was largely a duplicate of the Parish Church they had just left. It was the same shape, had the same number of sitters, and the same number and arrangement of galleries. One of which was called the BANTON and MOORLAND LOFT. Unlike the Parish Church however there was no pew or aisle reserved for the gentry.

The first minister was Rev. James Graham.

He was followed by Rev. Allan Cornfoot and Rev. James Dun who introduced hymn singing to his members.( James Dun was born in Kilsyth, a weavers boy ).

Rev. John Anderson followed in 1793 and he lived until he was 92.

For one hundred and twenty-five years the Relief Church in U.P. Lane was in use until 19th of January 1893 when the handsome new church at the foot of the town was opened. It was built to accommodate 559 sitters. Galleries had afterwards to be added increasing the accommodation to over 700. The Manse alongside was built in 1893. The remarkable ministries of Father and Son in the Relief Church covered a Period of one hundred and fourteen years:-

Rev. John Anderson 1793 - 1862

Rev. Robert Anderson 1847 - 1907

When in October 1900 the Union of the United Presbyterian and Free Churches took place, the congregation properly decided that the building be known as the ANDERSON CHURCH.

Rev. John Goodall was ordained in 1890 as a colleague to Rev. Robert Anderson. In 1897 he was followed by Rev John Weir.

In 1908 Rev. Joseph D. Caskey became minister and served for 41 Years.

After Mr. Caskey's Retiral in 1949, for five years there were difficulties with Glasgow Presbytery but finally Rev. James McDonald was appointed in 1954 he served 14 years. In April 1968, the members welcomed Rev. James Ross, who became the 10th minister in 200 years history of the church at that time. Mr. Ross retired in October 1998 after 30 years of faithful service. In August 1999, members welcomed Rev. Charles MacKinnon as minister but he had to very. regretfully retire in September 2009 due to ill-health. Gordon Mcinally faithfully served as Locum Minister from January 2010 to March 2013. In March 2013 the congregation warmly welcomed Rev. Allan Vint B.Sc. B.D. M.Th. as their new minister.

Prepared by Charlie Waddell.
The details of the earlier period
were obtained from a book written by
the Rev. Robert Anderson
and published in 1901

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