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Pastor Arthur joined Pastor Alex Gillies at Victory Christian Centre in Govan, Glasgow in 1995, where he quickly became involved in pioneering churches under the leadership of Alex before going on to be his assistant pastor.

Arthur and his wife Linda live in Foxbar, Paisley, and have four children; Dee, Allen, Ben and Katie and a new grandson Oscar.

The church started on 30th January 2000 with a core group of six which included our Laura who headed up our praise and worship. We started off holding services in the Village Halls in Elderslie every Sunday morning and at one of those services Pastor Arthur looked out the window behind him and said "See the derelict church building behind me, God is going to GIVE it to us!" What a bold statement - I think there were now about 10 of us and we thought, how are we going to buy that, in fact could it even be bought?

Well, sit back and enjoy this wonderful true story of what happened next...

Pastor Arthur made enquiries as to who owned the building and he discovered it was in the process of being sold by the Renfrewshire Council (the present owners) to a group of property developers who were going to turn the old Church of Scotland building into six 1 bedroom flats - Pastor Arthur spoke to the council administrator and said "That can't be, because God has told me he is giving us that building". Silence! The council administrator eventually responded and said "Well if there are any changes I will let you know". Sure enough the administrator called to say that the sale had fallen through and that the property would again be advertised for sale shortly.

The property was advertised in the Glasgow Herald at offers over £35,000, the low asking price was due to the very poor condition of the building. Pastor Arthur was excited, he was excited with the hope of knowing God was in this project and therefore appointed Lawyers to make and official offer to the council. We knew it would be a few months before we would know the outcome but it seemed to take forever, but Pastor Arthur was confident it was ours and he was right, the phone call came to say that they had accepted our offer - our offer of TEN POUNDS! Isn't that amazing? Isn't God AMAZING? God told Pastor Arthur he would GIVE us the building and so on the day when the offer was due Pastor Arthur was given £10 to make an offer with.

But this was just the start, the start of a lot of hard work carried out by Arthur and a few loyal members and friends... but God was in this whole project. The church had to be totally stripped, walls knocked down, floors lifted and everything dumped. The main hall had plaster board painted blue which was soaking wet so that came off quite easily but what was revealed underneath stunned us all, it was stonework which had never ever been a feature and so it was decided there and then that the utmost care would be used to bring those dead stones back to life, and that's what they did. That job of working with the stonework in itself took over 3 months to devotedly clean it and then have the pointing done in between all the stone. You should see it now! Wow! An amazing feature! There were no toilets, so toilets had to be plumbed in and so three sets of toilets were erected. A large kitchen and cafe area was also made with lovely leather couches being donated by Reids furniture, tables and curtaines from Ikea - made the place look just beautiful! Back in the main hall, the sanctuary, we needed new windows, we saved what we could from the stain glass windows and renewed the small back windows with this but it was plain glass we had to use for the long side windows. The mahogany wood paneling was given to us at 50% discount. What about the heating? We didn't have any! It was freezing! Well we had a firm come and see us on the Monday evening and he estimated it was going to cost £13,000 (I think we had about £1,000 in the bank now) so we had another firm come on the Tuesday evening and he had a look around and then said "I don't know why I'm saying this but I will GIVE you a new heating system and my men will put it in for you!" Woohoo! What next? Well we needed carpeting so Pastor Arthur heads off to see Stoddard Carpets, no result but hopeful that they would come through with something. He was right, they phoned a few days later and asked him to go up to the factory and have a look at a couple of carpets. We needed loads of carpet, ten thousand pounds worth of carpet - Stoddard's were delighted to GIVE us the carpet!!! And that was how the church continued to be restored, by the generosity of the local businesses such as J.W Grant Merchants who have been tremendous over the years as has been Mr. John Harrigan and of course by good friend Matthew McGregor. But we give all the glory to the mighty God of Israel.

East Gate Church - before and after!

The work began on July 9th 2001 with the official opening of the church which we simply called 'Elderslie Church' taking place in October 2003.

On 4th September 2005, the church was renamed to East Gate Church based on the scriptures Ezekiel 43: 1-5, declaring our commitment to seeing the glory of God back in his temple.

The building itself was originally known as Elderslie East Church and had its origins in the great Disruption of 1843, when around 500 ministers yielded their parishes, manses and stipends to break away from the Church of Scotland and form the Free Church of Scotland. This resulted in the construction of Elderslie Free Church in 1899. In 1925 it became part of the Church of Scotland. Due to falling membership it was decided in 1977 that Elderslie East Church would close and amalgamate with Elderslie Kirk.

The building remained in a progressively dilapidated state until the summer of 2001 when the re-building work commenced and its doors were open again to the community in 2003.

If you would like the play a part in this work or are considering joining East Gate Church please see our contact us page. We would love to hear from you.

stained glass window

The plain three arched windows to the back of the building were replaced with stained glass windows designed and created by Emma Butler Aitken; based upon the scripture in Hebrews 4: 12... 'For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart'. Also detailed in the window is a heart and a thistle, representative of God's love for our nation of Scotland.









 
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