On the 1 July 2008 George Square Baptist Church and Orangefield Baptist Church united to form Greenock Baptist Church. One of the conditions of the union was to sell both church buildings and seek a neutral home for the new church. In 2011 both George Square Church Building and Orangefield Church Building were sold and the church found itself homeless. The Lord was good, providing a local hall which was leased to serve as a church. In 2012 the church had to move out of the Kerr Hall, but, once more, the Lord provided accommodation in the local cinema for the Sunday morning services and the hall of a neighbouring Elim Church for evening services and other meetings. On Sunday 6 July we were on the move once more, saying a sad goodbye to the cinema and moving into the Saloon of Greenock Town Hall for our Sunday morning services.
During all this time we were busy seeking a new home for the church, either a new build or an existing building. Many options were considered, but in every case the Lord shut the door. At the first service in January 2015 we were given the verse from Exodus 33:15, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” This became our fervent prayer as we continued to seek the Lord’s will for the fellowship. Then, independently of each other, members of a local church approached members of Greenock Baptist Church to inform them that their congregation had agreed to dissolve their church. The hope of the members of this church was that Christian witness would continue from their building in St Andrew’s Square, Greenock.
We had a basic survey of the property and arranged for our church members and friends to visit the building. After the visit there was a very positive feeling about the property, a belief that this was the Lord’s provision for the church. At a church meeting on 22 July 2015 there was a unanimous decision made to enter into negotiations to purchase this church property. On Friday 26 February 2016 all the formal legal matters were completed and the keys of the building were handed over to the Trustees of Greenock Baptist Church.
On Sunday 28 February we held our first services in our new home. The atmosphere was most encouraging for all of us there and the presence of the Holy Spirit was with us as we worshipped the Lord. Already we have a sense of being back home and are settling in to our building really well. There is a lot to be done to the property to make it suitable to meet our needs and we know that, later this year, we will have to move out again as major work is tackled. This is a time of big decisions and big changes for Greenock Baptist Church.
We give thanks to God for his provision during the years when we were without a building and for providing us with our new home. Please pray with us that the Lord will continue to guide us through the many big decisions to be made as we seek to make the property suitable for the needs of a church in the 21 century. Pray that we will be honest and committed to serving the Lord as a fellowship and as individuals, in the new church building, from the church building and in every aspect of our lives, together and apart.