DUNDEE CELEBRATES 100 YEARS
13th October 2017
Early in the 1900s Dundonian Alex Young travelled to the USA and met some strange people who told him Jesus was coming soon and that the 7th day, Saturday, was the true Sabbath. He wrote about this to his sister Mrs Helen Barrie in Dundee who gathered friends to study these things. Soon a group of ladies was meeting regularly on Sabbath mornings for Bible study and in September 1917 they were officially organised as a company of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. 100 years later, on Sabbath 30 September this year, special services thanking God for His continual watch care, took place in the bright, comfortable and attractive new church auditorium. Preparing hearts and minds by first studying the Bible has been Dundee's constant Sabbath practice all down the years. That's how the centenary celebrations also began! With Pastor Marcel Ghioalda winkling from an expectant class Paul's main themes in Galatians.
The next service was enriched with hymns popular in 1917, as well as a lovely medley from Dundee trio Naomi, Samantha and Blossom and a beautiful rendering of “Diyos Ay Pag Ibig” [God is Love] by the “PALS” Filipino Ladies choir. The three Davies-Browne brothers recited the first of several motivating Scripture passages. Dr John Walton presented a colourful pictorial survey of the kaleidoscope of changes, ups and downs and high points shaping church life and activities through the years.
During children's time, Pastor Bob Rodd raised tension to breaking point as he teasingly unwrapped layer after layer of paper from a mysterious parcel. Finally, we learned, it contained a miracle double banana sent to him and his sister, when they were children, as an answer to prayer. Guest speaker Pastor Llewellyn Edwards set a very spiritual tone with an address entitled 'If You Knew'. In the same way that the Samaritan woman Jesus had met at a well, eagerly accepted His gift of the water of life, so would our secular friends, if they only knew the truth! The service was rounded out by Scottish Mission President Pastor Paul Tompkins ceremonially plucking aside the purple veil from a brass-effect plaque commemorating the centenary achievement.
Dundee ladies prepared and served a sumptuous meal in the Barrie Centre; the latter colourfully adorned with 100th birthday decorations. This church Hall is named after Helen Barrie, prime mover in the first SDA company in Dundee. The meal was concluded by the cutting (and eating!) of a centenary cake artistically decorated with the SDA flames and Bible logo by Mrs Abigail Tettey-Addo.
In the afternoon, two former Dundee Pastors, Doug Sinclair and Bob Rodd shared memories and good advice for the future. Former members, Pastors and well-wishers, now scattered around the world, had sent warmest congratulations, blessings and good wishes, accompanied with pictures. A PowerPoint presentation shared all these with the congregation.
Next, the informal open session, when members of the congregation came forward to share memories, contained some surprises and disclosures! Moving and faith-building experiences were shared as well as some hilarious moments from the lives of some of the 'true characters' who had enlivened church affairs. Spirits were refreshed with beautiful music from the Filipino choir, Lloyd Moyo and Adrian Felaar. Pastor Edwards' address encouraged us to move outside cultural barriers with friendship and compassion. To strive to reproduce Christ's character in our lives and to step fearlessly out to the future.
Although no congratulatory telegram had been received from the British Head of State, British Union Conference President Pastor Ian Sweeney, did not forget us. "On behalf of the British Union Conference, I would like to extend my congratulations to the members of the Dundee Seventh-day Adventist church on this your 100th Anniversary… I pray that your example of faithfulness and service for over 100 years might inspire every congregation in the British Union Conference so that soon we might celebrate the return of our Saviour Jesus Christ… Even so come Lord Jesus."
[John C. Walton]