Extract from "History of the Baptists in Scotland from Pre-Refornation Time

"The Baptist Church at Wishaw had a very small and humble beginning.

Three Baptist families from Glasgow discovered each other, and felt that they ought to do something to preserve their Baptist identity and to keep the Baptist principles before their young people. After meeting for some time in the home
of one of the three, they proposed commencing a Baptist cause, as there might be others in the district holding similar principles of whom they had not heard.


They appealed to the recently formed Baptist Union, who readily granted theservices of the Rev. J. Munro Campbell, formerly of Lossiemouth; and, having hired a room in the old Public School, they commenced regular services in
April, 1871.

The names of these pioneers are: — Thomas B. M’Farlane, Thomas Lambie, Thomas Fisher, and their wives.

At the evening meeting held in a small hall in Pather Street, these Baptist pioneers had to encounter some opposition, especially from the Roman Catholics in the neighbourhood. Notwithstanding the opposition, the work prospered. At the end of the first year of Mr. Campbell’s ministry the Church was formed, on 8th March, 1872, at a meeting presided over by the late Rev. William Tulloch. There were 27 members.  Unfortunately Mr. Campbell’s health failed, and he had to retire.

In 1873 the Rev. James Stockdale, of Molden, Yorkshire, was called.  The Church found better accommodation in the Good Templars’ Hall, and there the work was carried on until a permanent building could be erected. All the branches of church work were engaged in. The new building was opened in March, 1875, free of debt. It was seated for 270, and cost £900.. As soon as the building was opened the erection of a manse was undertaken. The three pioneers were appointed as the first Deacons, and when the building was opened four others were added. Mr. Stockdale resigned in October, 1875.

Rev. George Whittet, of Lossiemouth, was invited for a series of special services, and together with Rev. W. Tulloch, conducted meetings at both Wishaw and Carluke. As a result fourteen new members were added, some of whom resided in Carluke. The Church sent Mr. Whittet a unanimous call, and he was inducted on 16th April, 1876, when a ministry commenced which lasted for 41 years. From this time on to 1917 the history of the Church is interwoven with the consecrated life and work of the Rev. George Whittet. He did not confine himself to the Church services, but organised kitchen meetings, and visited the outlying districts. When he came the membership was 46. At the close of the second year it reached 120, and soon rose to 400. Two wings and a hall were added to the building at a cost of £1,000, and opened in July, 1899, in the 23rd year of Mr. Whittet’s ministry. Several of the members hailed from Motherwell, Hamilton, Carluke, and Shotts; and in course of time churches were founded at each of those places, members of the Wishaw Church forming the nucleus of membership in every case. Mr. Whittet gave all the help he could to these new causes. For years he preached at Motherwell and Carluke on Sundays as well as at Wishaw. During his ministry several young people went into training for the Christian ministry, and are serving to-day both at home and abroad. At his fortieth anniversary he was made the recipient of a cheque for £256, and when he retired a year later, the Church presented him with an illuminated address and other gifts. His memory is fragrant in the hearts of his people, and his name will be long remembered. Mrs Whittet proved a valuable helpmate, and she, too, endeared herself to the members of the Church.

The Rev. John Dick succeeded Mr. Whittet, and exercised a vigorous ministry for four years. During his period of service 230 members were added to the Church, most of these by baptism. To Mr. Dick belongs the credit of commencing a fund for church extension purposes, and of raising it in a few years to nearly £2,400. Mr. Dick laboured in Wishaw with marked success, and persuaded many to make “the great confession.”

After a vacancy of ten months, the Rev. James Scott, M.A., was inducted to the pastorate, and maintained the traditions of the Church till his removal to Kirkintilloch in 1926. The Church has suffered in common with others by the general depression of trade and by emigration, but notwithstanding, the membership has substantially increased, and the blessing of God continues. The membership is 379. Several members have gone into the home and foreign mission fields."

Yuille, George– History of the Baptists in Scotland from Pre-Reformation Times Glasgow: Library and Publications Committee of the Baptist Union of Scotland 1926


Printer Printable Version