East Kilbride Baptist Church owed its beginning to the concern of the Lanarkshire
Baptist Association and the Baptist churches in Cambuslang and Rutherglen. Those
churches saw the vision, God's vision, of a Baptist witness in the new town of East
The first service was conducted by Rev George Hardie. Secretary of the Baptist Union
of Scotland, on 23rd November 1952. The beginnings of the Church ware small: for
the first eighteen months eight adults and six children attended the Sunday services.
31st May 1954 was a memorable day in the Church's history when twenty four members
signed the Constitution and formed themselves officially into a Baptist Church. Jim
Graham a student at the Baptist College, was the Student pastor at that time.
In 1955, Rev Peter Barber became the Church's first minister. At that time the membership
was thirty six. There then followed several years of remarkable growth. As the
new town grew so did the Church. This growth was partly the result of Christians
moving into East Kilbride; but it was also due to many people being converted.
God greatly blessed Peter Barber's ministry in East Kilbride and a solid foundation
was laid, not only for the East Mains Congregation but for East Kilbride Baptist
The following pastors have served in the East Mains Congregation since Rev Peter
1974 - Rev Peter Sampson was inducted as pastor.
1998 - Rev Jim McGillivray, the present pastor at East Mains, was inducted.
On 12th January, 1964, Services were started in the Canberra School in Westwood.
Under the leadership of a student assistant, Alex Rodger, this work prospered and
the congregation was ready to be constituted as a separate Baptist Church. However,
the two congregations at Westwood and East Mains felt guided by God to establish
a United Church scheme in which the two congregations remained one in membership
and shared resources in terms of finance and personnel. The ministers would also
work as a team. The United Church scheme, with the approval of the Baptist Union
of Scotland, was formally adopted in December 1964 and Rev Alex. Rodger was inducted
as the Westwood Congregation pastor in 1965.
With considerable help from Scottish Baptists a church building was erected in Tasman
Drive, close to the neighbourhood centre. The building was opened on 25th May 1968.
1969 - Rev Jim Murdoch was inducted as pastor.
1976 - Rev Ian Roberts became pastor in Westwood.
1986 - Rev Trevor Miller was inducted as pastor.
1996 - Rev Nigel Heath, the present pastor at Westwood, was inducted.
The next development for the growing Church, in the growing town, was in Calderwood.
A weekly house meeting and Sunday School were organised in Long Calderwood. The
development of this work was swift and encouraging. Under the leadership of Jim McKendrick,
a deacon from East Mains, the work grew and the first Sunday morning Service was
held on 5th May 1968 in Allers School.
In October 1970 Jim Hamilton, a student of the Scottish Baptist College, was invited
to serve as Student pastor. Such progress was made under his leadership, that he
was unanimously invited, at the close of his studies, to become pastor at Calderwood,
serving in that capacity until 1982. Again with the help of Baptists throughout
Scotland a church building was erected and was opened in April 1976.
1983 - Rev Hugh Robinson was inducted as pastor.
1991 - Rev Gary Patchen became pastor at Calderwood.
2003 - Rev John MacKinnon, the present pastor was inducted.
United Church to Covenant Agreement
Until July 2006 the three congregations of East Mains, Westwood and Calderwood were
constituted as East Kilbride Baptist Church. Despite having strong links and interaction
the Church were persuaded that there were sufficient differences in the running of
each congregation to warrant moving from a relationship defined by a constitution
to a relationship defined by a covenant. This freed the congregations to write a
constitution for each of the churches that truly reflected the unique aspects of
their practise whilst maintaining and enhancing the nature of their relationship
with each other.
THE COVENANT - Agreed at a United Church Meeting on 27th March 2006
"By the grace of God and to the glory of God we, the members of East Mains, Calderwood
and Westwood Baptist Churches in East Kilbride commit ourselves to:
● Preach the Gospel and make disciples as our common goal
● Collaborate whenever the work of the Gospel can best be achieved through a common
● Support each other in our common mission, by making every endeavour to foster a
spirit of unity
● Encourage one another and build each other up in word and action, refusing to speak
or act in ways that harm fellowship or hinder our common cause
● Respect one another and pray for one another as we further develop unique expressions
● Relate to other like-minded Churches of other denominations in East Kilbride in
the ways set out above and to extend this to any other Baptist Churches which may
come into existence in the future"
So, there you have the outline. Within that are hundreds and hundreds of stories
of God touching lives, of folk turning to Jesus for forgiveness and new life, of
those lives being lived to his glory in a network of loving relationships. Maybe
the next chapter is in your hands.