Worship in barn
“An 1829 communion token for the congregation of the United Associate Congregation, Balgedie in Kinross-shire is made of white metal and rectangular,” writes Donald Abbott of Invergowrie.
“Its obverse states United/Assoc/ Congn/Balgedie and the reverse Revd/ Wm/MacKelvie/1829. The minister from 1829 until 1863 was Rev William MacKelvie. Initially, this Secession congregation had met in a barn at Easter Balgedie after the supply of preachers had been granted to them in 1800.
“The barn continued as a place of worship and the farmer, David Whyte set out the seating etc for 11 years, providing board and lodging for the visiting preachers, free of charge. The first church was built in 1811. However, it proved to be unsatisfactory and it was abandoned. A successor was built on higher ground.
“The site chosen was claimed to be the location from where two of the fathers of the Secession of 1733, Revs Moncrieff and Fisher, had preached in 1738 and from where Rev Ebenezer Erskine had addressed his former Church of Scotland parishioners, several years after he had left the area.
“Rev William MacKelvie was the second minister of this congregation arriving from Kirkgate, Leith. He was ordained in August 1829 and obtained his DD from Hamilton College, New York State in 1846.
“He was the driving force and originator of the movement behind the union of the United Associate Church and the Relief Church in 1847 to create the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland. He served as Moderator of the United Presbyterian Church in 1856.”