Baptist Union of Scotland
ClassificationEvangelical Christianity

The Baptist Union of Scotland is a Baptist Christian denomination in Scotland. It is affiliated with the Baptist World Alliance. The headquarters is north of the M8 in the Port Dundas areas of Glasgow.[1]


Culloden-Balloch Baptist Church in Inverness.

From the 1650s to 1869

Baptists first arrived in Scotland with the armies of English republican Oliver Cromwell in the 1650s, who established small churches in Leith, Perth, Cupar, Ayr and Aberdeen, but they did not survive for long, partly because of their association with Cromwell (who was generally not welcomed in Scotland), but more especially as a result of strident and often violent opposition instigated and inspired by the Church of Scotland and the Parliament of Scotland which it controlled.[2] Baptists later emerged in the 18th century—in 1750 at Keiss, where the leader was William Sinclair and the church was established on the English Baptist pattern. The group who in Edinburgh came to Baptist convictions in 1765 under the leadership of Robert Carmichael and Archibald McLean became known as Scotch Baptists. Like other Scottish Protestant Christians of the time they were very conservative and adopted the opinions of a particularly strict form of Calvinism. Somewhat later, a different form of Baptist witness emerged, this time influenced by the Haldane brothers, James Haldane and Robert Haldane evangelical preachers who came to Baptist convictions around 1808. Along with the English Baptists, they were distinguished from the Scotch Baptists by their more moderate and less Calvinistic attitudes. After overcoming initial hostilities, all these groups were able to unite in 1869.

1869 to the present day

The Baptist Union of Scotland was founded in Hope Street Chapel in Glasgow (later Adelaide Place Baptist Church)[3] in 1869, with 51 churches in its membership, which represented almost 4000 members.[4] One of its early presidents (in 1873) was the philanthropist Thomas Coats.[5]

According to a census published by the association in 2023, it claimed 9,946 members and 156 churches.[6]

The Baptist Union of Scotland is served by a National team comprising: Rev Martin Hodson (General Director), Rev. Lisa Holmes (Deeper Church Lead), Mr Brian Windram (Finance Director), Ms. Lyndsay Cameron-Ross (Communications Lead) Rev Ali Laing (Younger Generation & Digital Church Lead), Rev Professor Andrew Clarke (Leadership Development Lead) and Rev. Glenn Innes (Future Church Lead).[7]


The Convention has a Baptist confession of faith.[8] It is a member of the Baptist World Alliance.[9]

See also


  1. ^ "Contact". Baptist Union of Scotland. Retrieved 2024-05-12.
  2. ^ James Leo Garrett, Baptist Theology: A Four-century Study, Mercer University Press, US, 2009, p. 201
  3. ^ Fisher, John S (1996). Impelled by Faith: A Short History of the Baptists in Scotland. Scottish Baptist History Project. p. 24.
  4. ^ William H. Brackney, Historical Dictionary of the Baptists, Scarecrow Press, US, 2009, p. 508
  5. ^ Fisher, John S (1996). Impelled by Faith: A Short History of the Baptists in Scotland. Scottish Baptist History Project. p. 25.
  6. ^ Baptist World Alliance, Members,, USA, retrieved May 5, 2023
  7. ^ Wilson, Jenny (2021-06-30). "Exciting Times for our Staff Team – Welcoming New National Team Members!". Baptist Union of Scotland. Retrieved 2024-05-12.
  8. ^ Baptist Union of Scotland, Becoming Who We Are,, Scotland, retrieved December 5, 2020
  9. ^ Baptist World Alliance, Members,, US, retrieved May 5, 2023


Further reading