Church History Blog
The year is 1887 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Derek Peakman   
Friday, 06 January 2012 20:42

Robert Kerr

The Year is 1887

(the following text is taken from the 50th anniversary Jubilee brochure)

Hopehall or as it was known then - Hope Hall Mission Church, was founded  in 1887 by the late Robert Kerr, a gifted and saintly business man. He was converted in 1857 through the instrumentality of Mr. Brownlow North, the heir-presumptive to an earldom, who, as an evangelist, witnessed marvellous spiritual results, particularly among the wealthy classes. Few of his converts proved to be so successful in after years as this tall, dignified young man of who’s subsequent career Mrs. Todd-Osborne (of The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Homes’ fame and one of his converts) said, “His life was lived for God."

In his early years of religious work he found ample scope for his undoubted abilities in the city of Glasgow, but in the course of time business claims brought him into more intimate and continuous association with Paisley, a town which lay only three miles away from Crookston Hall, the family residence.Robert_kerr_plaque

His education which had been completed in the Madras College, St. Andrews, and the actual contacts which he subsequently made with the social and commercial life of the West of Scotland had combined together to develop a unique personality into a quiet but commanding Christian worker of tremendous power and influence. As a speaker, he had a rich conversational style with a pure and cultured diction.

A keen and penetrating Bible student, he demonstrated its truths with clarity and lucidity. By a clear and comprehensive understanding, he unravelled all doctrinal and prophetic mysteries with unmistakable charm and accuracy, and, all the while, a sense of reverence never failed to pervade his every discourse. He was a true gentleman, a gifted leader, an effective evangelist, and proved to be an ideal pastor. His qualities are beautifully summarised in the memorial tablet that was erected to his memory on the walls of the Church (shown on right), after his death on 23rd August, 1915: “ He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith." ................................

Growing Quickly! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Derek Peakman   
Saturday, 07 January 2012 19:47

railway hall at old booking officeGrowing Quickly!

Around Mr. Kerr the new Church sprang up spontaneously, yet almost imperceptibly, there being no violent upheaval. Its members came from many congregations, and their numbers were supplemented by numerous young converts. The first meeting-place in New Street soon became too small: so did the Railway Hall (on the site of the existing L.M.S. Booking Office at Gilmour Street Station picture on left). A new place was found in High Street, but, pending its adaptation to requirements, the congregation worshipped in the Good Templar Hall (pictured below)


On Saturday, 15th January, 1887, the new place was opened with a characteristic Bible Conference the subjects of which dealt with the fundamentals of the faith. The new building was on Weighhouse Close. Access off the High Street was through the gap at the umbrella and bag shop (pictured below).


The building was originally a joiners workshop (see map below) and consisted of a large hall, accommodating about 600, small hall about 150, and the usual ante-rooms. As became a Church which had come into effective being without fuss or excitement, it was quietly named "Hope" Hall. Undoubtedly, due regard was had to the three Graces in giving it this name, but the primary and more obvious reason was that one of the founder’s daughters was named "Hope."


(below picture Paisley High Street late 1800's)

Paisley High street late 1800'sWhy did these folks detach themselves from existing congregations and found a new Church? The critic is entitled to a reply to this very reasonable question. There were two outstanding reasons. This new Church held the view that insufficient emphasis was being given then to the preaching of the Gospel in the pulpits, and that persons who made no profession of conversion were being too readily admitted to membership of the Churches.

They held that sermons which were no more than literary essays on moral and ethical considerations, however excellent and commendable, would sooner or later weaken the faith of believers without awakening conviction of any kind among unbelievers. They also held that the admission to the full communion of these Churches of persons who afforded no evidence in their private lives and conduct of having accepted Christ as their Saviour automatically and inevitably weakened the whole fabric of the Church militant. Finally, they held that these unbiblical practices were destined to lead to “empty" churches.

Looking around to-day, who could seriously challenge the accuracy of their prognostications? .............. to be continued

Hopehall, The Titanic, and China PDF Print E-mail
Written by Derek Peakman   
Friday, 03 February 2012 17:31

Hopehall,The Titanic,and China!

(the following has been taken from the Hopehall 'Jubilee brochure' with some amendments and additions)Jubilee_Brochure_front_small

The paramount and all-important function of this Church is the proclamation of the Gospel, and its whole organisation has shaped itself to that end. Methods may have changed, but the message never. The Church is truly democratic, and is composed of a Pastor, Managers, and Congregation, with adherents and sympathisers who, although belonging to other congregations, lend a hand in the " Evangel."


The Pastor and Managers are elected by the Congregation direct. The Managers hold office for only three years, but the Pastor holds office so long as he wishes to do so, and is remunerated on a whole-time basis like any other clergyman.

The membership has seldom been less than 200, or more than 250, and in the main very few of these are "sleeping" partners. The Church has a Sabbath School, Church Choir, the_gospel_singing_band2_smallBible Class, Saturday Evening Meeting, Women’s Meeting, Children’s Meeting, Senior Christian Endeavour Society, Junior Christian Endeavour Society, Berean Study Circle and last, but by no means least, a Silver Band.

This does not do justice to the many other meetings that take place, such as Prayer Meetings and Open-Air Meetings, but the former organisations are referred to specially because they are not under the direct and immediate control of the Managers, but are supervised by separate sets of office-bearers. It would be impossible to enumerate all these additional minor but important units.

In this Church the members are generally known as "workers," and compared with most Churches they really, truly and literally “work" from ten o’clock in the Sabbath morning to ten at night is the usual "working " day. The Lord’s Table (Sacrament) is celebrated weekly, and is restricted to believers only. All its organisations, finances and resources aim to concentrate and converge on the Sabbath Evening Gospel Service. When the Band discourses selections, the; Choir sings anthems, or a vocalist sings solos, it is all aimed solely and exclusively at creating a favourable and receptive atmosphere for the Gospel address.
The final test
of the efficiency of its office—bearers, or the excellence of a new method, are judged primarily in relation to the creation of conditions best likely to attain success when " We preach Christ crucified." This policy is further accelerated by the conducting of " Special Missions " twice every year. In the old days when suitable sites were plentiful in the town, one of the Campaigns was conducted in a huge canvas tent, and many have happy memories of the "Tent Missions." For Special Missions experienced Evangelists are engaged for periods of two or three weeks, and they preach every night (with perhaps Friday off)!

rev_john_harperNotable preachers-clergymen and laymen—have taken part in these Missions. One of these preachers was the Rev. John Harper (pictured left) who lost his life on board the Titanic. - 'Rev. John Harper was minister at Paisley Road Baptist Church, in Plantation area of Glasgow, near Govan, (now the Harper Memorial Baptist Church) before moving to London. Titanic12He travelled with his daughter Nina Harper and Miss Jessie Leitch from London enroute to Chicago. Rev Harper was on his way to Chicago to begin a series of revival meetings at the Moody church located on West Chicago and La Salle Avenue. He had been at the church during November, December and January of 1911/12 and his success there resulted in his being recalled to conduct a second series of meetings.On the evening of April 14 the Reverend Harper and Miss Leitch were standing on deck admiring the sunset. "it will be beautiful in the morning," remarked rev Harper before retiring for the night. After the collision, Harper awakened his daughter, picked her up and wrapped her in a blanket before carrying her up to A deck. There he kissed her goodbye and handed her to a crewman, who put her into lifeboat 11 with Miss Leitch. Rev Harper went down with the ship.'

Other notable preachers at Hopehall included  Rev. ]ohn McNeil, William Thomson, W. D. Dunn, Richard Weaver, and J. Hudson Taylor (Pictured below right - founder of the China Inland Mission - CIM now OMF International). hudson_taylor1

Successful as these Missions have been, however, the
main burden of preaching Christ crucified has always devolved finally on the Pastor. Evangelists reaped, but the Pastors sowed! The Church has always been particularly fortunate in its choice of Pastor, an onerous though privileged office.
All of them, without exception, have been men noted for their piety and sincerity who have believed that "He that winneth souls is wise." Converts and former members of the Church are to be found all over the world. As a result of its unique but tolerant attitude to the denominational question its former members are found, too, in every kind of evangelical pulpit, missionary society, or kindred organisations.

Viewing the history of this Church, coolly and calmly, weighing up all the evidence available carefully and dispassionately, and without being influenced by bias or sentiment, it cannot be denied that Hope Hall Mission Church has had a successful existence. It set out to preach Christ crucified; it has kept the faith. Its weight and influence have far exceeded its apparent strength. Were all its former members, converts, and adherents to withdraw from other and distant spheres, like the ancient Roman legionaries who returned to defend their great city when its safety was threatened, their loss would be nearly irreparable in the localities!

Next instalment....... the Pastors of 'The old hall'.........

125 Year Blog - Pastors of 'The old hall' Pt 1 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Derek Peakman   
Friday, 24 February 2012 16:25

Pastors of 'The Old Hall'

Robert Kerr - Founder of Hopehall 1887-1912


Robert Kerr was educated at Ayr Academy, Blair Lodge, The Grange Sunderland and lastly at Madras College St Andrews (pictured below right).


Although engaged in the manufacture of Paisley shawls, a business founded by his father, he began after his conversion to preach the Gospel.

Being a very well educated man with a rich conversational style he soon became well known as a gifted preacher ever faithful to Bible truths. He was married a few years after his conversion and he and his wife soon opened up their home in Barkeley Terrace for Bible readings.

After a period of worship and ministry with a Brethern Assembly who worshipped at Blythswood Hall, Robert Kerr felt the call to start up a place of worship on his own and he started in the Pillar Hall in Queens Rooms, Clifton Street in Glasgow.

The largest and longest part of his life work and Christian testimony however was to be in Paisley where he founded Hopehall in 1887.Pastor Kerr carried on the work at Hope Hall and enjoyed the blessing of God and the joy of seeing many souls saved under his ministry.
Around 1912 he went into semi—retirement but still carried out a busy schedule of Gospel work and Bible teaching until his sudden death at his home in Kilmacolm on August 23rd 1915 aged 80 years.

Pastor A.D. Ritchie L.A. (Edin.) 1912 - 1914


There is little background information on record of Pastor Ritchie’s ministry but it is known that he became pastor in 1912 after Pastor Kerr went into semi-retirement. He was a well educated man having a Literate in Arts degree (L.A.) and was a man of great talents, he did a great deal of Christian journalism, was a novelist and had held the post of editor with the Govan Standard.

Pastor Ritchie’s conversion was remarkable. He had fallen deeply into 
sin and had such a serious drink problem that he was literally in the gutter and was at the same time separated from his wife and family. He met the Saviour and accepted Him as Lord and Master and by the grace of God became a preacher and evangelist.

His was the kind of evangelism that considered it necessary to take the Church toclarks_mill_seedhill_entrance_copy the street corner. He did a great deal of openair work including lunch time openair services at the Seedhill entrance of Clark’s Mill (pictured right) on Mondays and at Inkerman on Fridays.

(Inkerman was a small hamlet set up in 1858 in the Abbey Parish of Paisley to house ironstone miners. Later employment came from ancillary operations, including shale coal and oilworks. There were seven pits in all in Inkerman. The hamlet was named after a recent (1854) British military victory, the Battle of Inkerman, in the Crimean War).

One inovation that he brought to the church was an illustrated Service of Song where suitable subjects would be projected onto the screen while, in the darkness, appropriate hymns would be sung by concealed singers in an antiroom. He resigned from the pastorate in 1914 and emigrated to Canada but returned some years later and paid several visits to the church as a guest preacher, he was also a speaker at the 50th Anniversary of the church. We are proud to say that this distinguished writer and preacher was once a pastor of HopeHall.

to be continued ..............

125 year Blog - From The Great War to The Faith Mission PDF Print E-mail
Written by Derek Peakman   
Friday, 16 March 2012 14:44
125 year Blog - From The Great War to The Faith Mission

pastor_black_copyPastor Thomas George Black  1914-1916

Pastor Black’s time of ministry was overshadowed by the Great War and there are few documented facts about his time at Hope Hall. There is no doubt that he was a man of God with a zeal for evangelism. It was during his pastorate that the well known and respected evangelist Duncan McNeil held a gospel campaign with remarkable results under the power of the Holy Spirit. He also introduced great men of God like P T Robert_kerr_plaque McCrostie of Tent Hall fame and Mr A Galbraith of the seaman’s Bethel. It was Pastor Black who was chairman at the memorial service to Pastor Kerr and also at the memorial service to Mrs Kerr who died on February 18th 1917. 

His farewell service was on Sunday May 13th 1916 when he left to take up Gods work in Leeds. He returned to the church from London to take part in the 50th Jubilee services in 1937. Pastor Black’s was a satisfying ministry guided by a determined resolution to be faithful to the Highest and seeking ever to bring comfort and strength to those in need coupled with a great love for the souls of men.It was Pastor Black who led the service at the unveiling of the memorial plaque to Pastor Kerr on December 22nd 1916 which today is displayed on the wall in the vestibule area of Hopehall.


Pastor Hugh Laughland 1917-1926

Pastor Laughland was born in Coylton Ayrshire and was a pit worker (Coylton pit head picture below right) until he left in 1886 aged 26 to take up evangelistic work with the Ayrshire Christian Union and was also engaged in missionary work in Gibraltar. He worked with the troops at Aldershot under the auspices of the London Evangelistic Society and was later a missionary with John Street Baptist Church Glasgow. His induction was on Saturday lst September 1917 when Mr Cross, president of the church, occupied the chair and gave the address of welcome. Pastor Laughland in reply thanked the congregation for the call and placed his address under three headings:


1 - The need to study the Word.

2 - The disposition to pray.

3 - The determination to advance.

He believed his coming to Paisley was of God and his desire was not only to serve Hope Hall but to reach the churchless masses. Pastor Laughland’s ministry, judging by the frequent baptismal services, was a very fruitful one. His death on February 1926 occured very suddenly at his home in Greenlaw Avenue.

pastor_walker_copy Pastor James Walker 1926 - 1929

The induction social to mark the commencement of Pastor Iames Walker’s work in Hope Hall took place on Saturday 9th ]uly 1926. The hall was crowded and keen interest was taken in the meeting which was chaired by Mr Robert Andrews. In his address of welcome Mr Andrews stated that Hope Hall held a unique and honoured position in the town and that it was essentially a missionary church. In extending a welcome to Pastor Walker and his wife he felt sure that they would maintain the high spiritual and evangelistic tradition of the church. One of the highlights of Pastor Walker’s stay was a special campaign held by Commander Wolfe Murray in October 1927 and it was during this campaign that Helen Kirkwood was saved. Helen was called to full time service and entered the Faith Mission in 1936. FMlogoPastor Walker’s farewell social was held on Saturday 22nd February 1929 after having felt the call of God to return to South Africa. Hector Davidson spoke of Pastor Walker’s love of openair work and commented that he was a man of power because he was a man of prayer. Pastor Walker sought faithfully to proclaim the gospel and to build up a people of God.


125 Year blog - From the longest, the first Currie, to the shortest! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Derek Peakman   
Friday, 16 March 2012 16:39
125 Year blog - From the longest, the first Currie, to the shortest!

Pastor A S Robertson 1929 - 1949 

Pastor Robertson’s introduction to Gospel work was with the Railway Mission under Alan Stewart. He worked with them, conducting missions all over Scotland and England for four years. RoyalScotsBadgeHe joined the Royal Scots at the outbreak of the 1914-1918 war and on returning to civilian life after the war served for nine years with the Fifeshire Christian Union. Later he was in charge of the Seamans Bethel in Methil under the auspices of Scottish Coastal Missions.

His induction to Hope Hall was on Saturday 31st August 1929 and his 20 years of service was the longest pastorate in the history of Hope Hall. Under his leadership all branches of the work made considerable progress, the silver band and choir making a large contribution to the work of the church and also in deputational outreach. Some of the highlights of Pastor Robertson’s ministry. . .the Sunday School trips of 400-500 people marching down the High Street led by the silver band with Pastor Robertson proudly in front. . .the visit of the ‘Globalairs’, Jack Cochrane and Ken & Wanda Cummings from America. . .the mission of Ivor Powell in 1949. . .the open-air work at the top of Storie Street.

During the ministry of Pastor Robertson Hope Hall had the cream of the country in both preaching and instrumental talent and many were blessed and won for Christ. Due to failing health Pastor Robertson tendered his resignation and it was accepted from Sunday 9th September 1949. Pastor Robertson had a great love for visitation, especially the hospitals which he visited regularly. He was a man much respected and loved by all ofthe many people who had been helped and blessed during his ministry at Hope Hall

Pastor James Currie 1950-1954

The induction of Pastor Currie to Hope Hall took place on Saturday 2nd September 1950. He trained for the

ministry at the Bible Training Institute in Glasgow  (pictured below right)and came to Hope Hall after having been pastor of a mission in Redhill Surrey for over three years.bible_training_inst

Prior to that he had conducted the work in The Gordon Mission in Aberdeen.
Pastor Currie came with a high reputation as a pastor and preacher and Mrs Currie was also enthusiastic about evangelistic work and proved to be a considerable help to Pastor Currie and to the ladies of the church.

On May 24th 1954 his farewell social was held with the Rev Iohn Moor of Tent Hall as speaker, musical items were given by the choir and silver band. Pastor Currie had a great gift for preaching, he had a gentle nature and a great depth of spiritual understanding. Both he and Mrs Currie were greatly loved by the members and friends of Hope Hall.

Pastor Leonard Barton 1954-1956 

Pastor Burton had wide experience of gospel work having been pastor of churches at Portsmouth, Leeds, Stockport and Southsea before becoming pastor of Hope Hall. In 1954 he was elected a fellow of the Evangical Preaching Association. His induction was on Saturday 4th September and he was pastor for two years preaching his final address on ]uly Ist 1956.

125 Year Blog - Selling the Old, Building the New PDF Print E-mail
Written by Derek Peakman   
Saturday, 14 April 2012 15:49

pastor_evans_copySelling the old, Building the new

Pastor Rev D Leonard Evans 1957 - 1965

Pastor Evans preached for the pastorate and received a unanimous call on Sunday 16th Iune 1957, his induction service was held on Saturday 2nd September and was chaired by Mr Tom Dallas.

The pictures below show the band and choir around the time of Pastor Evans. A few of the faces are still around today!



Pastor Evans came to Hope Hall full of vigour and enthusiasm for the work and was the catalyst in the revival of spiritual life in the church and also in fulfilling the long cherished vision of the congregation to build a new Hope Hall. It was largely thanks to his efforts that plans were soon underway to sell the premises in High Street and acquire ground for the new building. Eventually ground was purchased in Alice Street. The vacant plot was where Charleston Cottage used to stand and was owned by the Catholic Church. The picture below shows an old 1860 map of the Charleston Cottage plot with Alice street marked on it.


Plans were soon passed for the new building. Below is a newspaper clipping from the Paisley Daily Express.

clipping from Paisley Daily Express 1960

Below is an avert from the same edition of the newspaper - how times have changed!

Advert from same paper

The old church had to be vacated before the new one was completed and the closing services to commorate 73 years of work from 1887- 1960 were held over the weekend 20-21st August 1960. The front and back page of the 'Souvenir Programme' is shown below.

"For a number of years the members have envisaged, a new building to replace the present one, which is now old and unsuitable, and hearts are new filled with gratitude to God as these hopes become reality. ln 1959 a site was purchased in Alice Street in the South end of the town, and work on the new building has started and all look lorward te the Spring of 1961 when this will be opened, and a further chapter in the life of Hope Hall will he entered. The enthusiasm among the members is tremendous, and the financial giving such that the Church remains sell-supporting, gives towards Missionary work, etc., owns a modern manse and now, is enabled to erect a new building.

Hope Hall Mission Church looks to the future with great anticipation of further service for Christ and, whatever the past record may be, the praise and glory is given to God."

Between the closing of the old church and the opening of the new the members met in the Storie Street hall of the Orr Square Church of Scotland.

Miracle in Alice Street PDF Print E-mail
Written by Derek Peakman   
Thursday, 26 April 2012 00:00

news_clip3reducedMiracle in Alice Street

On the afternoon of Saturday 11th October 1960 a service was held at the site of the new church building to mark the laying of the foundation stone. A large number of freinds attended including many of the elderly members who were conveyed by car.

The congregation gathered round the foundations and sang a hymn accompanied by the silver band. Following prayer, bible reading, and suitable remarks from Rev. D. L. Evans, the foundation stone was unveiled and laid by Mr. William Young, a formar Hopehall Manager (Deacon) and the oldest male member of the fellowship. 


The architect Mr J. Angus presented a silver trowel to Pastor Evans. Following the closing hymn and Benediction the congregation made their way from the service rejoicing in having witnessed this memorable occasion.

The photograph below shows the entrance to the church before the development of the new small hall in the 1990's. The foundation stone can just be seen in the bottom left.
new_hopehall_frontageToday the foundation stone can be seen on the wall at the entrance to the main church hall.

The Building was set back on the site and was planned on an elongated manner to reduce the need for under-building and to minimise the number of steps up to the entrance.
When the site was being cleared it was discovered that there was no adequate water supply for the building works.

The newspaper clip below tells the rest of the story.


125 year blog - 1961 The opening of the new building PDF Print E-mail
Written by Derek Peakman   

On Saturday the 6th of May 1961 the new church building was opened at 25 Alice street. Despite a wet start to the day, the sun shone brilliantly in the afternoon.

A crowd of over 500 people watched the opening ceremony. After a hymn and a prayer, little Irene Cumming, a Sunday School scholar, opened the gates at the bottom of the drive and slowly led the silent crowd up to the doors of the new building.

Then the oldest member of the congregation, Mrs. M Hamilton performed the ceremony of opening the door to the church.

The congregation assembled for a service of dedication led by the Rev. D. L. Evans. The picture below, although taken some years later at a certain young couples marriage shows the frontage of the building as it was then.

new_hopehall_frontagewedding2_copyAmong those present were representatives of the Presbytery, the various denominations in the area and Bailie and Mrs W Semple representing the town council.

Mr George Campbell, the Sunday School superintendant, presented a bible to Irene Cumming to mark the occasion while Mr. D Ralston, treasurer, presented a silver key to Mrs. Hamilton.

Mrs Young of Kelvinside, Glasgow, unveiled a Communion table and chair gifted by her mother in memory of her father who was for many years the president of Hopehall.

The Rev. John Currie, a former pastoer of Hopehall preached the dedicatory message to a hall packed to over flowing and at an evening service where so many people arrived that some had to be turned away.

A souvenir brochure was produced to comemorate the opening of the new building shown below.
opening_services_brochure1small opening_services_brochure2smallpage1


The text below is a description of the new church building taken from the brochure.

The New Church Building

The new church building has been carried out with clarity and distinction, and sets a high standard for Hall/Church design in this area.

Designed on an economical budget, it is simple—yet dignified. The building is set back on the site, and was planned on an elongated manner to reduce under building and to minimise the number of steps up to the entrance.

The approach is pleasant, and the predominance of flower boxes at the entrance and below the cloak-room window, will give much pleasure to users of the Church.

The small Hlall is situated at an elevated level to save excavation costs, and in turn, forms a gallery to the Church when a folding partition is opened.

The Main Hall portrays a very dignified appearance with its hardwood floor and natural beams. The colour scheme is light blue walls with terracotta and gold background and royal blue carpets.

The kitchen is planned in an advantageous position, and its modern equipment will prove popular with the ladies. Purveys can be brought into the kitchen without disturbing any other users of the Church, and in turn, service is carried direct into the Main Hall.

The cloakrooms are spacious, pleasant, and provide ample accommodation. The fittings throughout the building are of the latest design, and the whole project is indicative of the continuing enterprise and energy of the members.

The motto at the entrance hall reads: "Enter to worship, depart to serve".



Pastor Evans ministry was marked with great blessing and it was during his ministry that the choir was at its best under the leadership of Mr. George Watson and was in demand for deputation work all over Scotland and Ireland.

Below is a photograph of the choir taken at the opening of 'the new hall' in Alice street. Note the old tenemant buildings on the other side of Alice street which were demolished soon after.


125 year blog - Pastors of the new hall pt 1 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Derek Peakman   
Tuesday, 17 July 2012 18:38

Pastor Rev D G Hunt 1965 - 1971

Pastor Hunt had been a missionary in Jamaica and was pastor of Barn Gospel Mission Southall when he came to preach with a view to the pastorate on ]une 27th 1965. He was unanimously accepted and a welcome social and induction was arranged for Saturday 24th September. Looking back over his ministry it was not an easy one. It was a period of change but it was also a time of challenge and saw the start of the holiday camp work held for Sunday School and Christian Endeavour members. It was a great success. It was during Pastor Hunt’s ministry that the manse at 6 Cheviot Road was purchased. In summing up his ministry it was a changing but challenging and satisfying time and Pastor Hunt endeared himself to all the members of Hope Hall. On Sunday May 23rd, after morning service he advised the managers that he had received a call and after much prayer was certain it was the Lord’s leading. As was to happen again in the future to another pastor, he 'left' one of his daughters behind who married a 'Hopehall' boy. His farewell service was held on Saturday 28th ]une 1971.

Pastor Rev Graham Philips 1972 - 1981

Pastor Phillips was the youngest pastor in Hope Hall’s history and was inducted on Saturday 13th May 1972. He trained for the ministry at the Bible College of South Wales, continued his studies at Wolsey Hall Oxford and became minister of Cornwall Street Baptist Church, Cardiff in 1965. He was an accredited F.1.E.C. minister and had charge of the assembly of a local school in Cardiff. During the nine years that he was with us he fulfilled his duties with thoughtfullness and conscientousness and it could be said that he was at his greatest in the pulpit and on his knees. He had a wonderful command of the English language never repeating himself in his prayers or in his preaching which was most challenging. It was with regret that we learned he had received a call from Ilford and he felt God was leading him there. His final service was on Sunday 8th November 1981.

The picture below was taken at the sunday school around the time of Pastor Philips. 


Below is a scan of the 'General Fund'  church accounts for January 1974


Hasn't money changed value!

125 Year Blog - Pastor McClatchey PDF Print E-mail



Rev J.K.McClatchey 1982 - 1987

Pastor McClatchey was born in Northern Ireland and was employed by Rolls  Royce in Belfast as an Aero Engineer before leaving in 1970 to be trained in the Irish Baptist Theological College.
His first Church was in Portadown, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland and he then went to a Church in Leigh in Lancashire.

He came to Hope Hall in December 1982 with his wife Irene and two of his daughters Deborah and Alison. His induction service was held on 14th January 1983. The preacher on that occasion was Rev.(now Dr.) Liam Gologher.9759147

Pastor McClatchey will be remembered for a few firsts in the Church. He started the Holiday Bible Club for the children of the
 Church, Sunday School and the surrounding area with great success.

We also had our first Church weekend away which was held at WEC Kilcreggan (photo right). Much fun was had then as well as beneficial teaching sessions. It was at our first weekend away that he taught us a new chorus – “MAJESTY”.


Pastor McClatchey was involved in all aspects of the Church . He was a frequent speaker at the Ladies Fellowship. He had a great love of visitation and along with Mrs McClatchey regularly visited members and friends. Many people were blessed by his ministry and visitation.


Pastor McClatchey with C.E. President chain of office

In 1985 he was President of F.I.E.C. to which the Church was affiliated at that time and was on the Scottish Committee of I.C.F. and also F.I.E.C. Committee for Scotland.  During that time we organized an annual conference and had regular rallies around the churches.   We also sent David and Morag Flower out to Pakistan with I.C.F. and regular prayer meetings were held in the manse for them.

In 1986 Pastor McClatchey was elected President of Scottish National Christian Endeavour Union


At that time the Church had a Junior and Y.P Society and during his year of Presidency, Hope Hall Juniors won the National Bible Quiz and were awarded the Sheild for their achievement.

They were tutored regularly by Pastor McClatchey. They also won the Murdoch Cup for the highest number of awards in the Christian Endeavour Award Scheme.

Hopehall centenery booklet

1987 was the year the Church celebrated its centenary and Pastor McClatchey led much of the celebrations. We also had a special time with Ministers and their wives from the past being involved in the special meetings.

At that time there was a large Sunday School and the Church had a mini bus which was always full of children on a Sunday for Sunday School. Many of the older adults also enjoyed trips on the bus.

Pastor McClatchey was called of God to T.C.M Babtist Church in Lincoln in 1987, leaving behind one of his daughters, Alison who was engaged to be maried to a 'Hope Hall boy' the following year.

Pastor McClatchey's farewell service was held on Sunday 27th December 1987.

Below is the leadership team during the Rev. McClatchey's pastorate.
hopehall_managersBack row from left - David Clark, Billy McKee, Jack Peakman, David Nichol, Donald Kennedy. Front row from left - Tom Ingram, Rev. McClatchey, and Jim Shields.

125 Year Blog - Pastor Mark Fleming PDF Print E-mail
Written by Derek Peakman   
Friday, 24 August 2012 14:29

      Pastor Mark Fleming 1988 - 1998

Mark and his wife Aileen, came to Hopehall (his first ministry) in 1988 and at 25 was the youngest pastor to be called to theFMlogo church. He had 
trained at Faith Mission College in Edinburgh. This would be Hopehall's second connection with the Faith Mission College with Helen Kirkwood, who became a full time worker at the college, coming to faith at Hopehall in the 1920's.


During his 10 years at Hopehall many areas of ministry were introduced and other aspects developed. This included house groups, the leadership structure, contact with university students, worship format and Mums and Tots (led by Aileen). 

It was during this time that a major building development took place with the addition of the smaller hall being added along with a more substantial kitchen area. This development increased the capacity for more and different ministries within the fellowship. The photo on the left shows Dan Ralston, who was the oldest serving member, opening the new extension on Friday 8th May 1992.

Hopehall was blessed at this time with growth both spiritually and numerically. Below is a newspaper article that was published May 8th 1992.

news article

Mark was very involved in linking with other churches in the area.  He helped establish the Paisley and District Evangelical Alliance.  This included a summer outreach called 'J in the Park' where many of the local churches got together and worshiped in the local parks on a Sunday afternoon with singing led by a worship band and testimonies from church members.


When Mark came to the fellowship its name was ‘Hope Hall Mission Church’.  To help better reflect our church’s beliefs and Christian church position it was decided to rename the church ‘Hopehall Evangelical Church’

Also during his time at Hopehall, Mark and Aileen’s two children, Kirsty and Beth were born growing up in the new manse which was part of the building development.

Mark had the God given gift of an evangelist and during his time in Hopehall many came to know the Lord and committed their lives to Christ. This was through one to one contact while also organising special outreach events like ‘Food for Thought’ where members were encouraged to bring along friends for a meal in a local restaurant where someone spoke during the meal about Jesus and his saving work.

Mark, after 10 years, felt that God was leading him and Aileen to a new ministry and sometime later left to take up the position of pastor in Kilsyth Congregational Church (now called Kilsyth Community Church).

125 Year Blog - Pastor John Kynaston PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 18:35


Pastor John Kynaston 2001 - 2008

John Kynaston came to Hopehall as Pastor in August 2001 with his wife Katrina and 4 teenage daughters, Emma, Jo, Laura and Hollie so ending the 3 year vacancy. The whole family became very involved in the life of the church.

He had moved from Leicester where he had been an Assistant Pastor.  Before this he had qualified and worked as a Sports Teacher in the south of England. He was soon called to train for ministry and served as a missionary in Asia with SIM.  He continued his involvement with SIM along with his role as Pastor of Hopehall. He also continued his sports’ interest especially with running and enthusiastically enjoyed the many ceilidhs despite his English roots.


During the 7 years John Kynaston encouraged everyone to become more involved in serving in the church.  Strong teams of leaders and helpers were built up especially working with youth groups of all ages. With his previous experience of work overseas he influenced a number of the fellowship – young and old – to volunteer for short term work in missionary projects abroad.  When approached with any pastoral issues he was completely confidential and much work was done by him behind the scenes unknown to many. He was a good listener, encourager and wise counsellor.  He was strikingly gifted with openness, organisation and integrity.

blaithwaite2004John was responsible for reviving the church 'weekend away' and organised the first of many weekends at Blaithwaite House in Wigtonshire. The weekend was a tremendous success and enabled us to spend quality time together as a fellowship in a relaxing environment.

He encouraged the changes necessary to keep the church contemporary without losing values. The pews were removed and replaced with comfortable soft chairs which could be easily stacked so that the main hall could be used for multiple activities throughout the week.

During this period the mission statement was further developed and extended to “Moving forward together, sharing Christ in the community.”  

His regular Sunday morning teaching was bible based, clear and challenging.  He also taught on discovering and using the talents given by God.  House groups were encouraged and he organised groups to study the same themes which improved unity.  “The Purpose Driven Life” and later the book of “Nehemiah” were significant studies which united the church to come together for a week of prayer in January 2008.  There followed a great expectancy in the fellowship that God was about to move in a wonderful way.  It was a great surprise to all in May 2008 that John Kynaston courageously revealed his belief that he was not God’s man to lead the church into the new “promised land” and resigned in August 2008.  

Christine Murray 10th August 2012