The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy’ – Psalm 126
Rev Alistair Purss shares the exciting story of how the recently opened Dumfries Baptist Church Centre connects with the story of the church’s past, present and future.
In the late 1870’s Christian believers belonging to the Baptist tradition in Dumfries built a church building which was a scaled replica of Spurgeon’s Tabernacle in London. This was a remarkable step of faith and incredibly visionary thing to do! The building our forefathers built was our spiritual base until the closing service on Sunday 18th March 2018.
In the 1960’s DBC was on the brink of closure. A handful of ladies with the support of the BUS decided to pray and see if God would revive the church. He did! Once again this demonstrated remarkable faith and vision. Through the 70’s-2000’s God has built the church up and today we have about 300 adults and 50 plus children and young people who consider DBC as their church family.
Over 20 years ago a group of people from DBC had a vision to plant a church in the Georgetown area of Dumfries. This is mainly an owner occupier estate built in the 70’s and 80’s, which has never had a church building or any significant community facility within it. The area also includes the second most socially challenged area in Dumfries. Although the vision was right the timing was wrong!
About 13-14 years ago we decided that we either had to renovate and extend our existing building, find a new bigger building or build a new building to accommodate our growing congregation. About 11-12 years ago we moved our Sunday morning services to Dumfries High School. The decision to move our Sunday morning service to the High School was a significant and strategic step forward.
Just over 6 years ago we found and purchased a 3.2 acre green field site in the Georgetown area of Dumfries and began the process of designing our new church centre. Our new centre has extensive facilities including a 500 seater auditorium, sports hall, 8 meeting rooms and a Cafe. The vision for the use of the building is fourfold; Church – Community – Commercial – Cafe. We officially opened and dedicated the Dumfries Baptist Church Centre to the glory of God on Saturday 12th May 2018. It was a day of fulfilment and at the same time the beginning of a new chapter!
We are thankful to God for his incredible provision and for those who have stood with us in prayer and in giving, which includes friends and churches within our Baptist family in Scotland, other trusts and grant giving organisations as well as the remarkable people of DBC who have and still are giving sacrificially through finance, time, gifts and Christian service. We raised over £4,850,000 to build the centre through financial gifts and interest free loans, we have a bit over £850,000 of interest free loans to pay back over the next few years.
One of the greatest lessons we have learned as a church is that, ‘God chooses to work through obedience that is rooted in faith’.