Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald
of 16 October 1959 carried the following report.
NAZARENE CHURCH MOVE TO THEIR NEW HOME
Call For Re-Dedication At Opening Service
For 47 years, the congregation of the Church of the Nazarene, Ardrossan have worshipped in what used to be the Evangelical Union Congregational Church in Bute Place. Recently, however, they were forced to relinquish that building when the lease of the ground on which it stands - and which belongs to Ardrossan Harbour Company - expired. In search of new accommodation, the congregation, small in numbers but continually growing, turned their attention to the former Park Church in Glasgow Street. And having acquired that property, they moved into their new home last Saturday afternoon (10 October 1959) when special services were held to mark the occasion,
"Just a few months ago, some of our friends had fears and misgivings about the future of the Church of the Nazarene in Ardrossan" remarked the Rev William Henson, minister for the past five years who welcomed the opening of 'this new era' in the congregation's history. For the provision which He had made for His people and for 'enabling us to come and take possession of this lovely sanctuary, we desire" he said "to place on record our thanks to Almighty God.". They also wanted to thank the minister, trustees and congregation of Park Church for the Christian courtesy and for the kindly consideration which they had shown. "One is" he said "quite convinced that the Park people could have done better for themselves financially. But, knowing that the work of God was going to be continued here in the coming days, they were very considerate towards us when an approach was made for the purchase of this building.". To all who had helped by monetary gifts, they wished to express their most grateful thanks, said Mr Henson. Assistance had come from far and near, from widows and young people, from patients in hospitals and from various other sources - even from friends in America. "It would" he declared "have been an additional joy if one could have said that we were opening here entirely free from debt. But we do believe that very soon the outstanding debt which is presently £1400 will be cleared. Within a period of only a few months, we have already raised the sum of £2100. By God' grace, we mean to continue the Ministry of the Word in this church and we do desire that this location in Glasgow Street should stand out as a centre of Gospel witness. We intend to propagate the message of free and full salvation which is so badly needed in this day and generation.".
Acquisition of the building was described by the Rev George Frame, MA DD, Superintendent of the British Isles North District, who presided, as a takeover to which no opprobrium could be attached - a takeover inspired by Christian brotherhood and benevolence. He expressed appreciation of the spirit shown by all concerned and of the cooperation given to them 'in this time of crisis in the history of the congregation in Ardrossan'. In the new circumstances, he found both a challenge and an opportunity, the demands of which would, he said, only be met by rededication to the mission and vocation to which God had called them. Prophesying that the tradition which had brought into existence 'this fine building' would, in future, be not only maintained but enriched, he declared "I am more than ever convinced today that the message of full salvation and perfect love is not only God's message but the message which this generation needs.". Dr Frame also stressed the need for evangelism to meet the 'tremendous challenge' presented to them by their possession of a large building which, he admitted, did not always form an asset. "Vast numbers of men and women are not vitally related to any church" he said. "We want to share with the other churches in Ardrossan in a ministry which will reach out, not only bringing people to church, which is only secondary, but bringing them to Christ.". They were, he explained, taking upon themselves great and new responsibilities. But he did not think it a bad thing for a church or for an individual to be confronted in middle age with a fresh challenge. The danger lay in taking it easy and sitting back. Because the church which carried no burdens and no loan was, he maintained, the church which was in imminent danger of dying. "You have" he said "our warmest greetings and best wishes that God will use you to bring an old-fashioned holiness revival to Ardrossan.". Congratulations and good wishes to the congregation were also extended by the Rev Arthur Fawcett, MA, BD, PhD of Johnstone High Kirk, an Englishman who, in the course of his address, recalled his initial visit to Ardrossan thirty years ago when, on the Glasgow Fair Saturday of 1929, he arrived in the burgh to experience his first camp meeting. Dr Fawcett also preached at a service held later on Saturday evening and both services on Sunday were conducted by Dr Frame.
Taking part in Saturday's afternoon service was the Rev A J Doherty of Irvine. Other Church of the Nazarene ministers attending included the Rev J Henson of Twechar, Mr Henson's brother; the Rev D J Zimmerlee of Uddingston; the Rev George Stewart of Ayr; and the Rev David Paterson of Troon. Also present were the Rev T Williamson, Ardrossan Barony; The Rev Donald Currie, Park Parish Church; the Rev W J R hay, Saint John's; and the Rev W Christie, United Free Church, Saltcoats. To the service came representatives from, among other localities, Leeds, Skipton, Dumfries, Perth, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire. And a welcome visitor was Dr Delbert Gish, Professor of Philosophy in the Nazarene Seminary at Kansas City who had, with his wife, travelled from Edinburgh specially for the occasion.
In expressing thanks to all those responsible for the arrangements for Saturday's services, which were tape-recorded, Mr Henson intimated that a team of evangelists from the west coast of Scotland would this weekend begin a special campaign due to end on Sunday 25 October.