A Brief History of Dunoon Baptist Church

An early church, founded in 1803 closed after a few years, and it was not until 1863 that a more permanent witness was established.  In that year the Glasgow industrialists and philanthropists William Quarrier, Thomas and William Coats and James Wilson founded the church, although it was only a summer church, catering for holidaymakers coming “doon the watter” from Glasgow.

On 12th December 1883 the early pioneers were happy to hand over the reigns to the local congregation and Dunoon Baptist Church was formally constituted, although ill health forced the first minister, R C Sowerby to retire after two years.  His successor, Rev Duncan Macgregor had an outstanding ministry from 1886 to 1909, during which time he oversaw the building of the new church in John Street (the existing church adjoining the new building became the church hall).  Macgregor also formed the Dunoon Baptist College at Dhallingmhor and one of his outstanding students, also a member and deacon of the church, was Oswald Chambers.

In 1961 the United States Naval Base opened on the Holy Loch and, with it, a fostering of relationships which played a major role in church life and beyond.  The unexpected announcement in 1990 that the base was to close had one very major repercussion as  the American YMCA building was put up for sale in 1991 and Dunoon Baptist Church, with unanimous approval of all members, has been able to move from John Street to its present beautiful strategic waterfront premises.