History

HISTORY

Ferniehill Church has been in its current building for over 40 years, but has been active in the local area for longer than that.

The following will explain a brief history of where we have come from. Mr and Mrs Alexander and their daughter Margaret moved to 533 Gilmerton Road in 1948. They were able to use the Society Hall rent free if they had children’s meetings.

They held a Sunday School at 3pm. each Sunday and a Children’s Club on Thursday evenings. Both these children’s meetings were packed out as there was very little for the children in the area to do. Over the years trips were organised to Gullane or Longniddry etc. Games were also played in the summer behind the Society Hall.

They also held Women’s Meetings on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. and a Sunday Evening Gospel Service at 6.30 p.m.

Over the years the church had various meeting places. We met in the Society Hall for Sunday School and Sunday Evening services. We met in the Ravenscoft Annexe (Annexe for the old Gilmerton Primary School) for Women’s Meetings and for Communion Services. We met in the Limefield Halls for Women’s Meetings. We met in the Moredun Community Centre for Sunday Morning and Sunday Evening Services.

Various people helped in the meetings after the Alexander’s departed to New Zealand in the 1950’s. George Johnston ran the Sunday Evening Meetings.

Charlie Mackay from Buccleuch Hall, Dalkeith ran the Sunday School. Mrs Wilson ran the Women’s Meetings. The Kerr family took over the Sunday School and Sunday Evening Service until Ian Campbell and family came in the latter part of the 1950’s. Ian Campbell took the Bible Class when he came and then became Sunday School Superintendant. Later, Bob McDowell led the Sunday School and Jim Knowles the Bible Class.

This outreach at Gilmerton was supported financially by Bellevue Chapel and Dalkeith Assembly, and individuals from these churches and Tollcross. A building fund was in place for regular giving. Manpower was also provided by many University students, who helped with Sunday School and other meetings.

In 1966, those involved decided that there were enough interested people to form a local church, and the first meeting to ‘Break Bread’ took place on 16th October that same year. Gordon and Margaret Birss had joined the group in time for that first meeting of the church, and shortly afterward, he took over the Bible Class and Jim Knowles moved to the Sunday School.

The church met in the various venues referred to above, but a few members had their eye on a number of different locations which might be suitable for a more permanent building. They considered the YWCA Association Hall in Gilmerton . They were also aware of the plot on which the church now stands. It had been set aside for a Baptist church but when the Baptist Union decided to concentrate on Wester Hailes, the plot became available. Ian Campbell heard of it through his work and moved quickly to secure the plot for the church, which was later to become known as Ferniehill Evangelical Church.

The church was officially opened on Saturday 13th May 1972

The Baptist church asked the newly formed church to take over their Sunday School at Moredun which the members agreed to do, and which continued for a number of years.