From the "History of the congregations of the United Presbyterian Church, from 1733 to 1900," Volume 2. By Rev. Robert Small.

United Presbyterian Church, Creetown (Burgher)

This congregation owed its origin to a mission into Galloway of Messrs Brown of Biggar and Law of Newcastleton by appointment of Synod in the summer of 1819, and on 3ist August of that year several respectable inhabitants of Creetown sent up a petition to the Burgher Presbytery of Annan for sermon. Supply was henceforth kept up with few blank Sabbaths till after the Union in 1820. The station was congregated in April of that year, with a membership of 14, admitted after examination, and in July 1821 three elders were ordained. For a long course of years there was much to try the spirits of the people, though members of Presbytery encouraged them by Sabbath services, and in other ways as opportunity offered. In 1831 it was feared that they might never reach the position of a fully-organised church, and that it might be expedient to place them on the missionary platform. But the people hoped for something better, and in the end of 1835 they asked for a moderation, undertaking to give £60 a year for stipend, besides a dwelling-house, and it was calculated that £10 would be obtained from the Mission Board. This issued in a call to Mr George Morris, of whom some particulars are given under Lumsden, Aberdeenshire. Disappointment followed, as Mr Morris wrote to the Presbytery intimating that the debility of his frame told him he would not consult the interests of Creetown congregation if he agreed to become their minister. They were again disappointed through Mr Andrew Reid, afterwards of Lossiemouth, who had been located a considerable time among them, declining their call. Before this the people had fitted up a place of worship, with 170 sittings, in an economical way, of which more further on.

First Minister. PETER HANNAY, from Wigtown. Ordained as a missionary preacher, 5th May 1835, and located at Oban in that capacity. Remained there till February 1837, when he left with the intention of going abroad. After being stationed for a short time at Kirkcowan he was called to Creetown, and inducted, 26th July 1837. It was a time of embittered feeling, and certain aspersions were thrown out against the Secession cause at Creetown by the Church of Scotland Magazine in the following year. There the congregation is described as consisting of 20 or 30 members, their place of worship an old house rented or bought, and their minister the late missionary at Oban, "to whom salary is no object." The answer was that, though Mr Hannay’s flock was small, the communicants were 70 in number, and we know that before long they made his stipend £80. The relation lasted till 5th December 1848, when he accepted a call to Wigtown, his native congregation.

Second Minister. JAMES R. SCOTT, from Rose Street, Edinburgh. Ordained, 6th June 1849. There was now a membership of 100, and a stipend of £85, which was supplemented to £100. In 1852 Mr Scott had the offer of Mossbank, Shetland, but, as was to be expected, he remained in Creetown. Resolving to emigrate to Canada under the auspices of the Mission Board he was loosed from his charge, with the reluctant acquiescence of his people, on 15th June 1858. Before the end of the year he was inducted to Perry Town, in that colony. He afterwards laboured at Whitby and then at Cambray. He retired owing to failing health in 1875, and died on 25th February 1893, in the forty-fourth year of his ministry. Creetown congregation after a vacancy of half-a-year called Mr George Black, from Hutchesontown, Glasgow; but he accepted Walker, near Newcastle, where he was ordained, 22nd June 1859, and died, 21st September 1864, in the thirty-fourth year of his age and sixth of his ministry. Of one of Mr Black’s predecessors it was said: "The atmosphere of the place, heavily charged with noxious vapours, proved almost fatal to him." He left in time; but Mr Black kept at his post till the lungs were hopelessly diseased, and then returned to his old home to die.

Third Minister. JAMES BROWN, M.A., from Moffat. Ordained, 17th August 1859. The stipend from the people was to be £80, including everything. On Friday, 19th April 1861, a new church, with accommodation for nearly 300, and built at a cost of over £800, was opened by Dr Edmond of London. On 1st November 1864 Mr Brown accepted a call to Morningside, Edinburgh, but during his ministry at Creetown an important point had been gained by the congregation obtaining an attractive place of worship.

Fourth Minister. JOHN MUNRO, who had retired from Gardenstown three years before. Inducted, 6th June 1865, and his demission was accepted, 6th November 1866. He now returned anew to the preachers list, and afterwards resided in Edinburgh, where he died, 11th April 1875, in the sixty-third year of his age and twenty-eighth of his ministerial life.

Fifth Minister. ROBERT LINDSAY, M.A., from Dalry, Galloway. Called also to Sandwick, in Orkney, and to Lochmaben. Ordained, 3rd March 1868. The present manse was built soon after at a cost of £585, of which the Board contributed fully one-half. After he had laboured on for twenty-six years in uninterrupted health illness set in one Sabbath evening in June 1894, and his stately form was to be seen in the pulpit or in the Synod Hall no more. He died on 23rd August, aged fifty-four. In May next year the congregation brought up a call for Mr Donald Ross, who intimated that he had accepted Westray.

Sixth Minister. ALEXANDER W. BLACK, from Berkeley Street, Glasgow. Ordained, 12th September 1895. The membership at the close of 1899 was 91, and the stipend from the people £90, with the manse.  

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