Church of God
A Brief History of the Church of God Scotland
The Church of God Scotland is a member of the Church of God with International headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee USA. The Church of God is a mainline Pentecostal denomination in 172 countries with a worldwide of membership of over 7 million. Scotland occupies the Northern section of the British Isles. Historically Scotland has been known for sending out missionaries to other countries and has experienced many revivals in the past. It was once known as the Bible country.
In the 1970’s, Mike McKerracher came from the USA to Scotland to work for the Church of God in Dunoon as the Christian Servicemen’s Director. He came in contact with Jim McLaughlin and David Lawson who were part of an open-air ministry team in Glasgow. A church was started in Partick and David Lawson became the first pastor of that church. In 1978 Paul and Sheila McLaughlan moved their family from England (Lancaster) and started a church in Inverness.
In 1980 the Church of God was formally established in Scotland. US Missionary Jake Popejoy was appointed the first National Overseer for the country.Jim McLaughlin and David Lawson were holding an evangelism campaign in Glasgow. It was during this time that Neil and Lesley Morrison converted to Christianity and received a call to the Ministry.
The Morrisons were invited to the USA where they completed their Master of Divinity degrees (1981-84). They returned to Scotland in 1984 and started a church in the village of Auchinloch. Neil and Lesley also pioneered the Institute of Counseling (IoC) in the city of Glasgow. Both of these works are still active and viable today. It is noteworthy that the IoC has trained over 30,000 students.
1984 Paul McLaughlan, Sr. became the National Overseer of the country when Jake Popejoy returned to the U.S.A.
1990 Jim Hytte came from the U. S. A. and started a church in Elgin.
1995 Tony Summerfield became the National Overseer while Paul and Sheila McLaughlan went to the U. S. A. to further their education.
1996 Jim McLaughlin started a mission work in the village of Bargeddie.
1999 Billy McLaughlan became the National Overseer when Tony Summerfield returned to England.
2001 a work was started by Billy McLaughlan in Dingwall.
2003 Dereck and Gabi Grant planted a church in Nairn.
2004 David Lawson pastored a work in the Gorbals area of Glasgow which is now the Gorbals Church of God with Pastor Ambakisye Mufala.
2009 Dennis Tanner became the National Overseer of the country after having been a missionary in Belgium.
2012 Rev. Manuel Martín-Arroyo is appointed as Senior Pastor at Elgin Community Church of God.
Today The Church of God Scotland has 13 churches throughout the country, which include ethnic groups from countries outside the United Kingdom. The primary ministerial goals of Bishop Tanner have been to establish new churches, develop spiritual leaders within the local church, and to train men and women for the ministry.