By Jon Galloway
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND (BNc)- With the end of 2007 we concluded our work on a regular basis in West Dunbartonshire with what is now the Lomond congregation. We helped to begin this work in August 1988 and moved into the area in December 1989. We have enjoyed living and raising our family in Clydebank as we endeavoured to see a group of the Lord’s people established in a new area.
The beginning of this work was in the West End of Glasgow. Many had longed for years to see Christians in other areas of Glasgow.
While working with the Castlemilk congregation from 1985-1990, we began in 1986 to search for a new area of work. After extensive distribution efforts in various areas of Glasgow, we settled on the West End because of greater interest there in our Bible courses.
The first baptism was in April 1988. We began to meet as a congregation that August. During the first ten years, from 1988-1997, we met in a converted shop in the Whiteinch area of Glasgow and were known as the Northside congregation.
During this time I worked with Alastair Ferrie, being assisted during the first few years by Steve Gereg and Buddy Burns. We were joined the last year by Colin Hinde and Iain Cameron.
During this time 32 became Christians as a result of our work and the congregation grew from an initial 6 to 23 (with several moving into and out of the area).
From 1998 to 2006 the work moved to the town of Clydebank in West Dunbartonshire, just outside the city boundaries of Glasgow (although this is one continuous builtup area) and began meeting as the Clydebank congregation.
We continued to work in the West End of Glasgow but expanded our work to include West Dunbartonshire. During this time I worked with Colin Hinde and Iain Cameron. The Camerons left this work at the end of 2005. It was good having David Chapman working with us for a year 2006-2007. We met during this period in local community centres. As a result of our work 17 people became Christians.
At the end of 2006 the congregation numbered 17 due to many moving away. Even though we had several move into the area, those moving away were greater.
In the autumn of 2006 the elders at the congregation in East Kilbride invited us to work with them. After discussions with our family and sponsoring elders we decided that this was the opportunity we desired as we continued to grow older. With 2007 as a transition year, we decreased our responsibilities and involvement in West Dunbartonshire while increasing at East Kilbride.
With our impending move the congregation decided to relocate at the beginning of 2007 to Alexandria (still in West Dunbartonshire) where the majority of the congregation live. Initially meeting in a local community centre, the congregation now meets in the staff room of a local primary school. They now meet as the Lomond congregation.
Throughout this year it has been good to see Colin take on more and more responsibilities. I am confident that the work there will continue in his capable hands. Around nine remain as part of the congregation.
The last Sunday of December was our last at Lomond. We were presented with a nice card, which all the congregation had written something in, and a beautiful framed pewter etching, as well as a pot-luck meal.
During November and December I moved my books to the East Kilbride building. As of January I am working from the building four days a week. We will move to East Kilbride later this year.
A total of 50 became Christians as a result of the work we have been involved in for the past 19 years. An additional 36 have been part of the congregation. We pray God’s blessings to continue on the work there.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us