The Albert Gospel Hall Christian Fellowship brings to mind over a century of gospel witness in the town of Grangemouth.
In the early years at the turn of the 1900’s, the task of bringing the good news of new life in Jesus Christ to the people of Grangemouth, was carried on by Portonians from various walks of life who’s names are still remembered.
Among those Christians were John Nicholson, a joiner; John Farquahar, a master builder; Sam Cupples, of McPherson & Maclaren; James Scott, a Co-operative vanman; Mr Harrower and Mr Penman of the canal office; and George Thomson, a foreman sheeter on the railway.
These and others carried out active gospel work in the Grangemouth Old Town Burgh Institute, long before the Albert Hall in York Lane became the centre of gospel witness.
Around 1868, following a special gospel outreach in the Zetland School, a number of young men believed the good news of the gospel and trusted in Jesus Christ as their saviour, committing their lives to Him. These young men later went on to form the Y.M.C.A. in 1869.
The first secretary of the Y.M.C.A. was the aformentioned Sam Cupples who was around seventeen or eighteen years of age at the time. At that time, Mr Cupples was a member of the Free Church of Scotland but later joined with two other like-minded Christians who met in a house or shop in Dundas Street.
It was a time of increased activity as many others in the town believed the good news of the gospel and an increasing number of Portonians became interested in the new life that could be found in Jesus Christ. With the growing number of new Christians in the town, more commodious quarters were sought in order to accommodate the growing church and their commission to spread the message of the gospel.
By 1894 – 95 the growing number of Christians were joined by like-minded Christians from the Camelon area. Together, they rented a vacant building in York Lane from McLagan Chemist who also owned the adjoining properties in Lumley Street. The building was renamed the Albert Hall and those early Christians met there regularly as a church.
Around 1903, the number of Christians who met in the Albert Hall had grown and the building, named as the Albert Hall, was purchased outright by those Christians in 1923.
By the mid-1960’s, the operations of the Central Re-Development Scheme called for modernisation and refurbishment of the commercial area of the town which we now see as Grangemouth Town Centre. This program called for the demolition of the Albert Hall in York Lane. The building, which has a long and interesting history was situated in the area we now know as York Arcade, in the approximate vicinity of Ross Philip the jewellers. Whilst the ‘march of progress’ in the town required the Albert Hall to move from the well-known and well-loved town centre, the work continued in the more populous part of the town, the Bowhouse area, reaching out, as before, to all parts of Grangemouth with the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Those early Christians have gone to heaven but the work of spreading the good news of the gospel to our fellow Portonians has carried on over the years by successive generations. Over those years, many townsfolk have had association with the Albert Hall whether by simply visiting on occasion or by believing the message of the gospel and joining the Christians there.
The Albert Hall, situated in Myreton Road, changed its name to Albert Gospel Hall Christian Fellowship in 2010 and is currently expanding to accommodate the growing number of townsfolk who visit or join in the regular number activities on offer. We are always pleased to welcome visitors and look forward to continuing to reach the town of Grangemouth, and see lives transformed by the power and the message of Jesus Christ.