Glasgow

 

Finnieston

Andrew Bonar (1810-1892) was minister of Finnieston Free Church form 1856 until his death.  The building in Derby Steet (G3 7TY), just south of Kelvingrove Park, is now converted to flats.  It is an impressive structure and still carries the text He that winneth souls is wise above the door.

Bonar - preacher, writer and younger brother of hymnwriter Horatius - was a firm supporter of many evangelical projects through most of the 19th century.  He was a close friend of Robert Murray M'Cheyne, and accompanied him on a visit to Palestine in 1839 to investigate the possibility of a Church of Scotland mission to the Jews.  He is buried at the Sighthill Cemetery (G21 1 SA)

 

Townhead

St George's Tron

St George's Tron Church in Buchanan Street (G1 2JX) was established in 1808.  From 1815 to 1823, the minister was Thomas Chalmers  (1789-1847), who had to face the challenge of tens of thousands of very poor parishioners drawn to the city in the early years of the industrial revolution.  Chalmers later moved to Edinburgh and was the leading figure in the Great Disruption, which established the Free Church of Scotland, principally over the right of congregations to appoint their own ministers, rather than accept those nominated by the local patron.

In the 20th century, the ministers included several leading Scottish evangelicals, including Eric Alexander and George Duncan.  In 2012, there was a division over certain ethical issues and a large section of the congregation left to establish Tron Church in Bath Street (G2 1HW).

 

 

Hillhead

Patrick Hamilton

The Hunterian Art Gallery (G12 8QQ), adjacent to the University of Glasgow, has the only known portrait of Patrick Hamilton (1504-1528).

Hamilton, a cultured man from a noble family, studied at the University of Paris and also spent time in Germany, where he imbibed the doctrines of the Reformation.  When he returned to take up a position at the University of St Andrews, he was charged with heresy under Archbishop James Beaton.  After a summary trial, he was burned at the stake in St Andrews, becoming the first Scottish Protestant martyr.  It was the further persecution of Protestants by Beaton's nephew, Cardinal David Beaton, that caused the Scottish Reformation to break out in earnest a few years later.