Church site celebrates two centuries of worship

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Oban Congregational Church has celebrated 200 years of worship in Argyll Street.

The occasion was marked with a special service that went ahead within Covid guidelines, with hopes for a bigger celebration next year.

At the service, the worshippers were reminded of days gone by and some were taken on a walk down memory lane – the church outings, picnics and parties, said the church’s Catherine MacGillivray.

‘We were also encouraged by the letters that we received from other churches and the Congregational Federation.

‘As with all churches, this year has proved to be a real challenge. Social distancing does not come easy to any of us. But with a lot of hard work, prayer and determination, our doors have been open for worship, albeit a little differently, and we will strive to continue to do this as Covid allows.

‘Can we just take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported this church, from near and afar, down through the years. We now look forward in faith,’ she added.

While the early independents had gathered mostly outdoors for the
previous 15 years, the first building went up in 1820 on the site in Argyll Street.

Struggling against opposition but with determined, courageous fundraising,
this was achieved by the Reverend John Campbell, the congregation and some people of the town, tells Catherine.

Reverend John Campbell

‘The building meant the congregation and minister could reach out to
the communities of Oban and the surrounding district so that all
could hear and understand the message of God’s love for them.

‘Lives were changed and by the 1870’s the building, being too small
for the work and witness, was replaced by the present building in
1880.

‘Since then the mission of this church, to the local people and
the stranger, has continued over the years in various ways;
fellowship, care and love to people of all ages.’