From the "History of the congregations of the United Presbyterian Church, from 1733 to 1900," Volume 1. By Rev. Robert Small

United Presbyterian Church, Carsphairn (United Presbyterian)

THOUGH this congregation is but of yesterday it has served itself heir to another of a much earlier date. This takes us back well-nigh a century and a half. On 24th February 1756 an unpopular presentee was thrust into the parish of Carsphairn. The Presbytery claimed the right to appoint, but the General Assembly in 1755 gave orders to moderate in a call to the patron’s nominee, and go on towards his settlement with all convenient speed. The carrying out of the decision had this effect, that the congregation was dispersed, and during the ministry of sixteen years which followed the Lord’s Supper was never dispensed. In the absence of written records the time when sermon was first obtained from the Antiburgher Presbytery of Sanquhar cannot be given, but it seems not to have been earlier than 1758. On 14th July 1760 four persons in Carsphairn, two men and two women, acceded to the Act and Testimony. For several years after this supply was kept up, but with no approach to regularity, and in July 1762 there were two other accessions given in, "as members of the Associate congregation of Carsphairn." By the year 1768 the name appears very seldom, and on 1st April 1772 they had supply appointed for the last time. The obnoxious incumbent died on 5th February of that year, and this may account for the Antiburgher cause passing out of existence in the parish of Carsphairn. The population was very sparse, and though the name appeared on the list of Sanquhar Presbytery as a vacant congregation it does not seem to have been ever organised, and in 1793 the parish minister was able to testify, in the Old Statistical History, that "sectaries of all descriptions are almost entirely extirpated."

The present chapter does not open till considerably more than a century had passed. This brings us to 2nd February 1886, when the U.P. Presbytery of Dumfries appointed a deputation to visit Carsphairn, and this led to the constituting of a preaching station there on 2nd March under the charge of Dalry session. At next meeting, on 6th April, it was reported that 68 members of the Established Church at Carsphairn had given in their certificates to Mr Mather of Dalry, and he had dispensed the communion among them. They had withdrawn from attendance at the parish church owing to dissatisfaction with the way in which a fama against the minister had been dealt with by the Presbytery of the bounds. It was an affiliation case, and the accused had been absolved in the Sheriff Court; but, as was afterwards stated in the General Assembly, the church was virtually deserted, the communicants not numbering over ten. Preaching, however, was regularly kept up in the school by the U.P. Presbytery of Dumfries, with an attendance, it was stated to the Assembly, of 110. But it was doubtful whether this could go on, as a proportion of the adherents looked on sermon outside the parish church as only "good for the present distress." When the building of a church was being arranged for the parish minister was induced to retire and make way for an ordained assistant, who was to have the sole charge, with £90 from the people and £60 from the minister, and the manse. This end being compassed in 1889 the prosperity of the preaching station was impaired, a considerable number finding their way back to the Established Church. In 1892 Dalry and Carsphairn were conjoined, the understanding being that the two places, which are ten miles apart, could be wrought by Mr Mather with the aid of a preacher. This arrangement, it was certain, could not be permanent, and on 1st June 1897 Carsphairn was erected into a separate charge. The church had been opened on Thursday, 25th May 1893, by Professor Paterson, with sittings for 150, the estimated cost being £500, of which £150 came from the Home Board.

First Minister, WILLIAM FRASER, from Caledonia Road, Glasgow. Mr Fraser, who had been located for some time at Carsphairn, was ordained, 21st July 1897. The membership at the close of 1899 was 64, and the people contribute £50 of the stipend.  

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