History of the Church - Part 1

The following extract was written sometime in the first half of the 20th century. It has been passed through the generations of the family to a current member of the church. Perhaps someone may be able to help fill the gaps between 1912 and the present day - please contact John Noble if you can help in this respect.

The Baptist faith was an unknown quantity in Fraserburgh till nearly the middle of the 19th century. Without meaning anything disrespectful and purely recording facts, it has to be pointed out that the fisher people of the district have all along had a decided penchant for embracing every new form of religion that came around. It would almost seem that the more extreme the views from the standards of Old Zion, which at this time was a hated if not despised church, profounded by offshoot after offshoot, each one claiming greater spiritual perfection than the other, the greater attraction they had for the fisher people.

Some new body with strong claims for all that was good; as it opened its doors in Fraserburgh received its quota of supporters. Another new body with still greater claims if finer dogma and Christian perfection followed. So many seceded from the older bodies and joined the latest arrival and so the movement went on ad infinitum. The simple life and emotional temperament of the people had no doubt much to do with the religious revolution which was so marked in the district the first three quarters of the 19th century.

The first disciple representing the Baptist faith who proclaimed the cause in Fraserburgh was Mr G. C. Reid, who visited Fraserburgh in 1840. He represented what at that time was known as the "Campbellites", and his great doctrine was immersion. This first visit must have been encouraging, for he returned to Fraserburgh in the spring of the following year. His mission took practical shape, for several people applied for admission to the church, and this being granted were immersed in the water of Philorth, where many baptisms have since taken place. The first meeting place of the little band was in the house of one of their number. Thereafter in a room in Cross Street, and next in the old Episcopal House in Mid Street. Afterwards a school room in the same street was secured. For years these Baptists had no minister or preacher, the services being conducted by the leading lights among themselves, many of whom had a wonderful power of extempore praying and preaching.

part 2  >>