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The Christians who meet in the Gospel Hall in Annandale Gardens, Crosshouse can look back over a period of more than 130 years of testimony in this area, although only the past 48 years has been within the current building.

The establishing of this Christian fellowship dates back to 1880, when mining in the area was a large employer. West of Knockentiber were the mining areas of Southhook, Hayside and Hemphill, and a Christian Mission was active among the communities there. Some believers in the area sought to meet in the locality according to the clear Biblical truths set out in the New Testament, and they initially met in a room within Hemphill Row, a group of basic miners’ houses. This continued for many years, but the believers wanted a building of their own.

Although the exact year is not known, it was around the mid-1890s that a piece of ground was purchased on Southhook Road in Knockentiber in an area known as “The Plann”. A small meeting hall was built there and became known as simply the Plann Hall. It was simple in design, consisting of a main hall, two cloakrooms and single toilet accessed from the rear of the building. A single coal boiler provided the heating. The ground was positioned just 50 yards along Southhook Road from the junction in the centre of Knockentiber, and even today the land has never been built upon following the removal of the hall approximately 70 years later.

As well as being a place of worship and remembrance on a Sunday morning, the hall was also used extensively for evangelical outreach, with the gospel message being preached there every Sunday evening.

There was however no baptism tank built within the hall, and so when a believer wished to be baptised in accordance with the Biblical command, such an occasion would take place in Ebenezer Hall on Dreghorn’s Main Street.

A Sunday school was soon established at the Plann Hall, where the majority of the children from Knockentiber, Crosshouse and the surrounding area would come along on a Sunday afternoon. Every summer, an annual Sunday School Trip would leave by train initially, from the Crosshouse Station which was then located where the railway passed Knockentiber at the north end of the village. The destination for the day-trip was usually on the Ayrshire coast, with Saltcoats south-beach and Stevenston being popular. Two carriages would be reserved just for those on the trip, but the Sunday School trip became so popular that latterly buses were hired for the occasion.

A Bible Class for teenagers and upwards was established around 1930. This took place on a Sunday late afternoon and became popular throughout the 1930s; there would be hardly anyone from Crosshouse or Knockentiber who was a teenager around that time who didn’t come along to the Bible Class at some point. At the outbreak of World War 2, around 100 young men and women were attending regularly.

Towards the 1960s, there were around 65 believers who were regularly meeting in the Plann Hall, and the building was no longer suitable both in terms of size and facilities.

At this time, there had been much development in and around Crosshouse, with Playingfield Road having been completed for some time but there was no development behind the flats which had been built, and an area of land was purchased from local farmer James Donald for the building of a new hall. This would be the first building on what would become Annandale Gardens.

The new larger building would consist of a main hall with a smaller hall and toilet facilities at the entrance and a kitchen and toilet at the rear of the main hall.

Work commenced in 1965 with local builder “Bell” conducting most of the work.

The first Sunday morning remembrance and worship meeting took place on the first Sunday of October 1966.

In the new building, the ever-popular Sunday School continued, with the addition of a “Children’s Meeting” commencing around 1980, typically on a Wednesday evening. There were evenings when over 100 children from the locality came along to sing choruses, take part in quizzes and learn stories from the Bible. This work continues even today, currently taking place on a Monday evening at 6.30pm.

The Bible Class continued on a Sunday late afternoon initially and then moved to a Monday evening. There was an annual weekend trip away for a time of Bible study and activities to places such as Wiston Lodge near Biggar, Kilcreggan Christian Centre, Machermore Castle near Newton Stewart, Glaisnock House near Cumnock, Auchengillan Outdoor Centre to the north of Milngavie, and to Faskally House near Pitlochry.


Today, over 50 years after moving to the current building, there are still over 60 Christians of all ages who regularly meet together. We have believers in their teenage years, many in their 20s and 30s with young families, and others right up to those who still join with us that are in their 90s.

Looking back over this history, we can see that the Lord has richly blessed His Church here, preserving the testimony and witness, and we pray that He will continue to do so.