Mark and Dave have arrived!



The excitement in Pollok Baptist Church on Sunday 27th August was palpable – finally six months after issuing a call to Rev Dr Mark Bentham and Rev Dave Murray to come and lead a joint ministry with the folks of Pollok, the day we had all be waiting for was here.

A full church listened as Rev Alan Donaldson of the Baptist Union preached a “bookend” sermon from Luke about two couples who had lost Jesus!

Following the morning service we were joined for lunch by friends of Mark & Dave who had travelled from Ayr and Cathcart Baptist Churches.

Wow the folks of Pollok know how to entertain and a huge thanks to all those who organised and contributed in any way.

To borrow a Daveism “we were all buzzing” none more so than Dave himself!

Rev John McKinnon

At 2:15 exactly the Rev John Mckinnon, who had done such a wonderful job as interim moderator, and who was instrumental in bringing about this amazing opportunity for Pollok Baptist to call these two men to lead and serve in our community.  As a congregation we are so grateful for John’s selfless support, guidance and leadership during the vacancy. We could not have had a better interim moderator. He truly was God’s man for the time.

Andy Buchannan, our church secretary, summarised the recent history of the church, and expressed his thanks to the faithful pastorate of both the Rev Harry Tompson and his predecessors.  We all laughed when he talked of the huge footprint of the church and how Mark the engineer saw building opportunities, whilst Dave the evangelist saw a space for a bouncy castle!   (I’m sure there’s room for both.)

Mark and Dave shared something of their own journey to Pollok, with Mark sharing how he has been considering over a few years the order and interplay between theology, ecclesiology and missiology, and it was into that question that the opportunity in Pollok came. Dave’s first words were: “I have no ologies to tell you about, I’m just coming with a great passion for this area.”  And so the complimenting gifts with a good dose of banter between our two new pastors was a delight for all to see.

It was obvious that God had given both men eyes to see the tremendous and unique opportunities along with a burden for Pollok.

Alan Donaldson joined them on the platform and led the induction by way of a dialogue and series of commitments that Mark, Dave and the congregation made.

Mark & Dave being commissioned to serve in Pollok.

Jennifer Purves prayed for the two men at the beginning of their pastorate in Pollok Baptist Church.

And so a new chapter begins.  None of us quite know what it’s going to look like, but all of us have a certainty that God is doing something special with our wee congregation. Whatever the challenges and opportunities the future brings, we go forward in His grace and strength alone. Our hope is not in Mark and Dave, our hope is in Christ and our prayer is that He who has begun a good work will complete it.


We’ve got a Pastor . . . or two!

On Sunday 19th March the church members met with Rev John MacKinnon, our interim-moderator, who outlined the events that led to the search committee and Diaconate recommending two men to come and serve as a team ministry in Pollok Baptist.

Mark & Sally Bentham. Senior Pastor Designate

As we listened,  the excitement in the room grew by the minute, and there was no doubt that God’s hand was all over this amazing story, and so it was that the church members  unanimously issued a call to Rev Dr Mark Bentham and Rev Dave Murray to be the Senior and Associate pastors of Pollok Baptist Church!

Dave & Esther Murray
Dave & Esther Murray. Associate Pastor Designate


We can only look on in awe and wonder and give thanks for what God has done, and with the psalmist say:

“This is the LORD’s doing. It is marvellous in our eyes” Ps 118:23





Be part of Church on the Move!

7 brave (or foolish) souls weighed up dire warnings of torrential localised thunderstorms and decided to go ahead with our inaugural walk through the Dams to Darnley country park. Coffee and doughnuts were produced just as the less fit amongst us were flagging and we had a great time, enjoying the sunshine, exercise and much chat and managing to dodge the big black thunderstorms until we got back to the cars.
Our next walk is planned for Saturday 30th July, leaving the church building (by cars) at 10.30a.m. The venue, a 30 minute drive away, is ideal for all ages/degrees of fitness – along the shores and nearby woods at Lochwinnoch, starting from the Castle Semple visitor centre. It is fairly flat, although the more energetic can do an extra loop up the hill and get some great views and there are shorter options for those who can’t walk too far at all and want to sit and admire the views for longer or pop into the visitor centre for a cuppa and a chat. Bring a picnic lunch, waterproofs/umbrella & comfortable shoes. To help us plan transport, please sign the sheet on the noticeboard in the hall. Speak to Jennifer if you have any questions.

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A great response

Thank you to everyone who completed the survey.

It was encouraging to have around 40 people stay for the church lunch after the morning service on Sunday 13th March, and then spend some time with Rev John Mackinnon considering   “Who we are” and “Who do we want to be”.

As we refine the latter, it will certainly shape the way ahead for Pollok Baptist, and inform our praying and searching for the Pastor that God has for us.



The Journey Ahead

Pollok Baptist is about to enter a new phase – our Pastor of several years is about to retire and from the end of January we will enter a vacancy.

We will be having a lunch for Harry and Christina on the 31st January, be great to have folks along to be a part of that.

We are delighted that Rev John Mackinnon from Calderwood Baptist in East Kilbride has agreed to be our interim moderator – He certainly seems to be God’s man for such a time as this.

As part of the preparation for the next stage, the vacancy committee and office bearers have put together a questionnaire – if you have any connection to the church, then please pick up a copy and fill it in.


Powerpoint Prefences

If you were in church on Sunday 7th Sept am, you will have heard Harry ask for your preference about the use of the powerpoint in the sermon.

Do you like it the way it is?

Would you like more detail on individual slides?

Any other tips for making the powerpoint more useful?

“Fit for a King”

“The Lord really blessed us this week with an average of 25 children every day at the holiday club. 

They have such a hunger for the word and they were happy to learn their memory verses.  Many of the parents came in and were willing to sit and chat with us. Most of them were given new testaments to take away with them . 

I was delighted to see the church so busy on the Sunday night and we heard about Jesus, the King of Kings.  Please continue to pray for these children and their parents and how we can continue to serve them in this community. 

God is very much at work in our church and we must catch the vision knowing that He will bless the work that we do. 

Thanks again for all the prayers and the hard work that the team put into place to make it a wonderful week.
God bless you all as we work for the Master.”


“Only a boy named David, only a little sling . . .”


On the 30th June, 16 children, 4 young helpers and 5 adults made their way to Sunny Saltcoats on Scotland’s west coast.  They set up camp in South Beach Baptist Church in Saltcoats (even the name makes you want to go there!)

The children had a fantastic time enjoying a huge range of activities – some loved the bungee jumping – brave souls – neither love nor money would get me to even try a bungee jump.  For others their highlight was going down the colourful water slides – with some of our campers managing around 100 times!   Sandcastle competitions, ice-skating and ten pin bowling were all enjoyed by the children (and adults . . . . even if some of them admitted to not being very good at the bowling.)

As ever the food was fab, and we all enjoyed seeing the various bracelets and necklaces that the children made.

There weren’t any complaints of homesicknesses nor sleepless nights – which is always a good sign.

At camp this year we were delighted to have some of our previous campers coming as young helpers – it’s thrilling to see them growing in their faith, and beginning to be involved themselves. One of them told us that she discovered “it was very stressful” being a young helper! (I wonder does she now have sympathy for the oldies who have been running camp for years?!)

Food, Fun, Games, Crafts, Competitions, Swimming, Bowling, Ice-skating – sounds like a very full week, and yet there was more! So much more – as one of the leaders said “It’s all about Jesus.”

The centre  of camp was the Bible teaching on the life of David – a young man whose heart was right with God, and who God used. Others saw him as a shepherd, God saw him as King.  In the daily “Happy Hour” the songs, the teaching, the prayers – everything, was a way of showing the children that God is real and has a plan and purpose for their lives.

In the group quiet times the campers had the opportunity to discuss what it means to be a Christian, to learn for themselves the importance of reading their Bibles and praying, and how to live for God – even when others don’t care about Him.

We were so privileged in church to hear some of the campers and young leaders report on their week in camp, to see the joy in their faces – they’d had a chance to catch up on their sleep! But the greatest privilege of all was hearing a young boy tell of how he had made his heart right with God during the week, and was able to truly sing “The Lord is MY Shepherd.”

And so camp is finished for another year, a huge thank you to Anne and the team who invested their time, so that the young people of Pollok Baptist could have not just fun, but learn about the greatest gift of all.


Pollok Baptist Church exists to glorify God through our worship and witness – showing the love of Jesus in our community.