Low Waters Gospel Hall, Hamilton, Scotland
During the summer of 1899, a gospel tent was pitched on the open space at the bottom of Cadzow Rows. The gospel message was earnestly and faithfully preached by an evangelist, Mr. Alex Lamb from Dalmellington, Ayrshire, with the help of a number of believers, who lived in the Cadzow, Low Waters and Eddlewood districts.
The meetings were well attended and there were quite a number of conversions. At the time of the tent being taken down the question of continuing this work was discussed. There was a need to keep the new converts together and to instruct them in the Scriptures. It was also clear there was a need to continue with the preaching of the gospel in the district. Most of the Christians who were active in the work were in fellowship in the assembly at Baillies Causeway, Hamilton. The distance of three miles was important as no bus service was available. These factors guided the saints in their exercise to see a new assembly commenced in Low Waters.
At that time there was a small hall next door to a grocer’s shop at the top end of the buildings called Cadzow Square. This was the property of Cadzow Coal Company, but is now demolished.
This hall had occasionally been used by a local man for gospel meetings and was also used for meetings of a local football team. As it was felt to be a suitable place for the new assembly to meet, a deputation was appointed to meet the directors of the Coal Company to see if they would grant the use of it.
Much prayer was made to God in preparation for this meeting. As in Nehemiah, the Lord was asked to prosper them in their business, and give them favour with the directors, and that they would grant them their request. At the meeting they were well received, and when they had explained the purpose for which they wished to use the hall, the directors not only consented but gave them its use completely free of charge.
The hall was cleaned and painted, new seats were made and Mr. Gilchrist gave the table which is still in use today in the assembly. On Lord’s Day 1st October 1899, the first meeting to remember the Lord in the breaking of bread was held. That same night the gospel was preached by Mr. Lamb. The number of names on the roll at the beginning was approximately forty.
The assembly gatherings continued in this hall until 1906. During the intervening period the Lord had given such increase in souls that 73 were then in fellowship. There was also a very large Sunday School and the hall was too small to accommodate the requirements. This situation was temporarily resolved because the hall was extended by the new owner, Mr. Brown, who had purchased it from the Coal Company. At that time a concrete tank was also built for baptisms, as previously the Baillies Causeway Hall tank had been used for this purpose.
Despite these changes the accommodation was not very satisfactory. It could not be adequately heated in the winter, and the roof was too low for comfort in the summer. For these and other reasons, a proposal was made at the beginning of 1910 to make the effort to obtain a different hall.
There was a very real conviction that the assembly should have its own hall, and that every effort should be made to realize this. Application was made to a Glasgow firm to obtain relevant plans and estimates. A sister in fellowship had a real heart for the work of the Lord and also sufficient money to lend to the assembly for this purpose. After she had seen the plans and the whole project had been explained, she readily made the required amount available as an interest free loan to be repaid in twelve years. The amount involved was £300. These arrangements were formalized with a written agreement which was signed by nine brethren guaranteeing the money would duly be repaid. Application was made to the Factor of the Duke of Hamilton to obtain a piece of ground to build on. This was granted on lease for a limited number of years at a yearly rental of £1.10p but some years later the ground was bought for £45 and became the property of the assembly. Then began a time of activity. A number of brethren were soon at work digging the foundations etc., and so the new hall was built. The total cost was £299.19, and this included all the furnishings. Mrs. Lochhead, the sister who gave the loan, received all her money back in eight years. The corrugated hall was demolished in 1950- 51 and was replaced by a brick building with a new roof and entrance, and cloakrooms.
In 1984 it was decided to enlarge the building with a new entrance hall, and new cloakrooms, kitchen and toilets. The work started and was proceeding well when disaster struck on 27th June. Vandals set fire to a floor that was newly laid that day. The small hall and the main hall were so badly damaged by smoke that they could not be used again until 1st June 1985. In the intervening period until the hall was repaired the assembly was allowed use of the Council Hall in Eliot Crescent for its services on the Lord’s Days. It was let for a very nominal fee. The assembly at High Parks gave use of their hall, on Tuesdays, for Prayer and Bible Readings, and for the monthly Saturday night meetings and Annual Conference.
The present hall is both adequate and comfortable. There are currently sixty in assembly fellowship.