The History of Galashiels Baptist Church: 1782 - 1900

1782: Three men : Archibald Cochrane, Henry Watson & William Johnstone "from searching the scriptures were persuaded that the faith, order and ordinances of a Christian church were vastly different from the generally received opinion, and upon enquiry found a church in Edinburgh corresponding with their views." They were duly baptised and admitted to its Christian fellowship.

1804: The congregation in Galashiels had grown to the point where the worshippers resolved to form themselves into an independent Baptist congregation.

Initially the congregation in Galashiels met in the Cloth Hall , eventually a place of worship was built at the West end of Overhaugh St.

1841: The congregation, having outgrown its premises in Overhaugh St., resolved to enlarge its place of meeting, and ground was bought at the top of Stirling St. The new chapel was duly erected, with the deeds showing it to be in the name of Mr James Leitch (elder) and Messrs Johnstone, Rutherford & Paterson (deacons) and their successors in office.

1868: With a membership of 99, the church was forced to move out of its premises and into the lower room of the public hall. Discussions took place as to whether the existing chapel should be extended or a new chapel constructed. At an estimated cost of £1000, the congregation elected to build a new chapel on ground belonging to the existing chapel in Stirling St.

1870: The new chapel in Stirling Street was opened.

1875: Having been formed along Scottish Baptist principles, which argued for the plurality of pastors, many within the church began to feel that this no longer satisfied the needs of the congregation. As this was agreed by the majority of those meeting in Stirling St., The Rev. Charles Hill of Dunfermline was called as the first full-time paid pastor. Those who disagreed with this change in principles left the church and continued to meet along the Scottish Baptist lines in the Bridge Place Hall.

1880: Mr James Brown, a blacksmith from Selkirk, and 19 others left the fellowship in Galashiels to form a Baptist church in Selkirk. Within their second year, the numbers meeting in Selkirk had risen to 54.

1882: With the help of a loan from the Baptist Union, the present building in Victoria Street was built at a cost of £745, to house the Scottish Baptist congregation from Bridge Place.

History 1900 - Present