Gilcomston South Church
|Gilcomston South Church|
|Previous denomination||Church of Scotland|
||This article needs to be updated. (May 2015)|
Gilcomston Church is a congregation, formerly in the Church of Scotland, which meets in the recently refurbished church buildings of the Gilcomston South Church of Scotland on Union Street, Aberdeen. The formal structure of a Church of Scotland congregation in the building has been dissolved.
The church almost closed during World War II, but a subsequent new approach proved controversial but ultimately highly influential. The church became one of the Church of Scotland's most notable evangelical congregations, with a strong emphasis on biblically based expository preaching. The Rev William Still, minister of the congregation 1945–97, developed this approach and gained international recognition. The systematic preaching of the entire bible, verse-by-verse and chapter-by-chapter, was then an innovation in the Church of Scotland; some others have subsequently copied this approach. The Rev William Still was close friends with the brothers Rev James Philip of Holyrood Abbey Church in Edinburgh and Rev George Philip of Sandyford Henderson Memorial Church in Glasgow, where similar approaches in ministry were also developed. William Still never married.
This Aberdeen church is well attended, especially by students responding to this distinctive type of Christian ministry and witness. As of 2014[update], the minister (since 1998) was the Rev Dominic Smart. In June 2011, Rev Dominic Smart indicated that the congregation were considering leaving the Church of Scotland due to the General Assembly's decision to move towards the ordination of homosexuals to the ministry. In February 2013 the Rev Dominic Smart announced on the church website that he was leaving the Church of Scotland. The Elders and almost the entire membership also left the Church of Scotland, and formed an independent congregation with the Minister which rents the buildings back from the Church of Scotland. As of Autumn 2016 the minister is Rev. Jeremy R H Middleton, who had been minister at Davidson's Mains Church of Scotland from 1988 until 2015.
- "Scots congregation set to quit the Kirk over 'gay' minister row", The daily record, UK, 10 June 2011.
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