The year 2016. marks eighty-seven years of Christian testimony at Bethany Hall, Shaw Road, Glenburn. The following text tells how it all began.
It was in the year 1911, the year when King George the Fifth was crowned King, that the firm of Bairds & Dalmellington brought to the surface the first coal from the collieries, Auchincruive Nos. 4. and 5, better known as Glenburn Pit. At about the same time, they decided to build the model village of Glenburn. This was to be a great improvement in the accommodation of the miners’ families. There would be no more going to the pumps on the street for water, and no more paraffin lamps. Instead, this grand new complex was to be fitted with the latest gas lights, and the rows of miners’ houses were to be provided with similar street lighting. There were to be no wash-houses, but a brand-new laundry, known locally as “The Steamie,” was to be built in the centre of the village. The laundry had twelve boilers and two washtubs for each boiler. A great boon was the electric wringer, and there were twelve heated racks for drying the clothes in wet weather. One hundred and eighty-four houses were built in the village, and these were ready for occupancy in 1912.
Around this time, one of the local churches decided to build a new church, and the hall in which they had been meeting - a modular construction, made up of sections which were bolted together - was offered for sale. The Christians felt that this was God’s answer to their prayers, so they purchased it. Also at this time, a suitable plot of land came on the market. At first, the owner of the land was reluctant to sell it to the Christians, as he did not like what they were going to use it for. However, after they had spent much time praying about the matter, they saw the owner change his mind, and the land was acquired. The old church hall was then erected on this new site in October 1929, and around forty Christians moved from the other Gospel Hall in Prestwick (Bute Hall) to continue their outreach work from Bethany Hall, Glenburn.
Over the years, the number of Christians meeting at Bethany Hall increased, so, in the spring of 1959, a larger hall was built on the same site. This hall, although having been altered slightly, is still there today, and the same Gospel message is still being proclaimed.
Among those who moved into the village of Glenburn at this time were several Christians, who initially met with the Christians in Bute Hall in Prestwick’s Main Street and were involved in the outreach work there. A Sunday School was started in Glenburn Public School, and the Christians started to take it in turns to have gospel meetings in their homes. However, some of them were keen to have a Gospel Hall in their own community, so they prayed to God about this.