The history of the church
Inverness Baptist Church was founded in 1898 and started holding Sunday services in the School Lane. In 1900 the Church called its first pastor, Rev Bremner. Interestingly as the fellowship did not have their own building at that time, a number of baptismal services were conducted in the Inverness Public Baths. In 1901 the Church acquired a site on Friars Lane and constructed what was to be a temporary corrugated iron building and thereafter known locally as the “tin Kirk”.
The fellowship continued to grow and was blessed under the pastoral care of Rev Bremner (1900-1908), Rev Richardson (1910 -1914), Rev Gunn (1915-1919), Rev Martin (1920-1928) and Rev Young (1928-1930).
It was during 1930 that the fellowship started to think about moving into a new building, as the temporary “tin Kirk” was starting to show both its age and limitations. For instance it had no hall so all different types of meetings were held in the sanctuary. The corrugated iron was rusting and inside was well worn.
The fellowship were looking to build a new building on the Friars Lane site, however at the same time the local Council was being pressed to do something about vacant land on Castle Street which was seen as an eyesore. It was suggested that the simplest solution would be to invite Inverness Baptist Church to exchange the Friars Lane site which would enable the Council to widen the road and clear a slum area for the castle street site which would remove an eyesore and enable the church to have a central location in the heart of Inverness. In May 1931 approval was given and Inverness Baptist Church had a site on Castle Street to build a new Church. It was also in May 1931 that the Rev Fisher was inducted as pastor and it was to him that reasonability fell for building up the fellowship and building a building for the fellowship.
After much fund raising activity, the stone laying ceremony took place in July 1932 and thereafter building work proceeded apace. The last baptismal service in the “tin Kirk” took place in November 1932, and on 14 January, 1933 a new chapter in the history of Inverness Baptist Church commenced with the move to the new building in Castle Street which was dedicated to the glory of God and the proclamation of the Gospel.
In the years that followed, the fellowship, under the pastorate of Rev Fisher established themselves in Castle Street engaging in various outreach and mission activities. It was in 1939, following a period of illness that the Rev Fisher when home to be with the Lord.
In 1940 Rev McBeath was inducted as Pastor of Inverness Baptist Church and during his pastorate saw increases in membership. There were also a number of evangelistic campaigns and missions. It was while on holiday in 1959, that Rev McBeath was called home to be with the Lord. Rev Moore was called to pastorate in 1961. He had a great musical gift and composed a number of spiritual songs. In 1965 he accepted the call to New Prestwick.
In was in 1966 that Rev Seaton was inducted as pastor, and he served until 1969. He was followed by Rev French (1972-1975), Rev Moore (second pastorate 1976-1978) and Rev Mclean (1979- 1983). Rev Freel was inducted as pastor in 1984 and under his pastorate the Church grew with many coming to salvation and being baptised. It was during this time that the Church established two sister churches at Kinmylies in 1990 and at Nairn in 1992. In addition a number of projects were undertaken such as constructing a balcony to seat additional people.
Following Rev Freel’s retirement, Rev Mitchell was called to the pastorate in 1995 and served until 2003. It was during his time as pastor, in 1998 that the fellowship celebrated their centenary of proclaiming the gospel. Rev Tom Urquhart become our fifteenth pastor and served until he retired in November 2012.
The sixteenth and current pastor of Inverness Baptist Church is Rev Iain Morrison, who was inducted to the pastorate on 29 March, 2014. To find out what we are doing today please have a look round our website or come along for a visit. We would love to meet you.