A Short History of Kilbarchan East
Kilbarchan East congregation began as a protest against the system of "patronage", whereby a local land owner would have the right of "presenting" a Minister to the parish. The "Presbytery for the Relief of Conscience" was a breakaway from the Church of Scotland.
The congregation of the Relief church first met on the 28th of May 1786. The following Sunday the congregation was recognised by the “Presbytery of Relief” when the minister, Mr Bell, preached in the open air in the Steeple Knowe to 1000 people. The foundation stone of the Church building was laid in March 1787 with the congregation worshipping in the unfurnished Kirk a year later.
It remained a relief church until 1847 when the Secession
united to form the United Presbyterian Church which in 1900 joined with the Free Church of Scotland to form the United Free Church of Scotland. With subsequent union with the established Church in October 1929 it was agreed that the church be known as Kilbarchan East Church of Scotland.