The Lord's Church in Cumbernauld, Scotland
By Graham McDonald
The Cumbernauld Church of Christ began as an outreach of the East Kilbride congregation in 1983. Jack Strachan, evangelist at East Kilbride, baptized Ronnie and Mary Neilson and they began meeting in their home. Members from East Kilbride helped the new congregation by traveling to Cumbernauld to meet with them. They also assisted in conducting cottage meetings which resulted in several more baptisms.
In 1986, Mike Ireland and his family moved from Searcy, Arkansas to Cumbernauld to assist the young, struggling assembly. A local community hall was secured for Sunday and midweek services. In 1987, Adam and Melanie Barr joined the work at Cumbernauld. A youth program was initiated to reach out to children and young people in the community. A Vacation Bible School in 1988 resulted in a record attendance of 135. Children's classes are conducted on Tuesday and Thursday nights with over 30 enrolled. Efforts are made to reach the parents through visits and invitations to attend various programs.
In 1989, Craig Miller and his family moved from Arkansas to Cumbernauld to assist the Barr and Ireland families in the work. When the community hall where the church had originally met was put up for sale, the church made an offer which was accepted. Adam Barr toured churches in Britain and the United States to raise the funds to pay for it. The congregation renovated the old hall to make it into a comfortable meeting house. Having our own building has greatly facilitated the work.
In 1990, Ronnie and Mary Neilson enrolled in the Harding School of Biblical Studies to prepare themselves for fulltime work. They returned to Cumbernauld to serve the church. Daryl Rogers, another young member of the church, attended Harding University to prepare himself for mission work in Italy.
Over the years, the church has been hindered because of internal strife. A need was seen for a strong stance to deal with the problems which had resulted. After a great deal of teaching on love and unity from the pulpit, some members who had been causing the problems were disfellowshipped. Peace and harmony returned to the church.
In May 1994, Graham McDonald, from Edinburgh, a graduate of the Florida School of Preaching, joined the evanglistic team in Cumbernauld. He began editing a bulletin which is mailed to a number of homes in the community. He also organized a campaign which resulted in the congregation's becoming involved in mission work in Albania and Malawi.
The evangelists serving the church in Cumbernauld believe the congregation should become fully selfsupporting. They have encouraged the church to work toward this goal. As a result, the church has begun supplementing the support of their preachers and plans to increase the amount each year until all outside support has been replaced by local funds.
New methods of reaching the lost are constantly being used. Among some effective methods have been a religious census, questionnaires, a tape library, campaigns, Bible correspondence courses, marriage enrichment seminars, a printing ministry and counseling courses.
We are in Cumbernauld to preach Christ and him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2). Christ did not send us "to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect" (1 Cor. 1:17).
Brethren, pray for us!