Two years ago the Free Church of Scotland returned to Stirling after an absence of well over half-a-century from the city.
A core group have been meeting in the city since the summer of 2013, and regular services are now taking place in the Smith Art Gallery near the centre.
The next step for the congregation is to attract a minister for regular systematic preaching as well as help provide leadership for the future direction of the fledgling church plant.
The Free Church’s Mission Board has made part-funding available to Stirling Free Church to help with the costs of ministry.
Recently the congregation has been making contacts at the Stirling University freshers’ week, and participating in an international students’ café.
There is also an outreach Bible study in a city-centre café on a Thursday evening, in addition to monthly testimony meetings in one of the homes of the congregation.
Through participation in Stirling Street Pastors, vulnerable young people in the city centre at the weekends are being reached with the gospel and ministered to in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are around 25 regular and committed members at Sunday worship, though attendances can reach over 40 with visitors.
Session Clerk Clive Bailey said: “We wish to express our thanks to God for the progress made so far in establishing a witness to Jesus Christ in the city of Stirling, but recognise that there remains a huge task before us.
“Our forward plan envisages our securing a pastor for the congregation, but we are also looking to expand the direct ministry team to facilitate contact with the many thousands of students from both the UK and overseas at Stirling University who need to hear the gospel.”
Fellow Stirling elder Murdo Murchison added: “Please pray that, just as God has clearly worked in our coming together, he will continue to bless.
“Our purpose and aim are to bring people to the Saviour and we would think of ourselves as a church with a real heart for the lost.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that a group of lay people, on our own and without a pastor, will not sustain a Presbyterian Church.
“We ask you to pray that we will find the right leader, he is out there!”
The aim of the Stirling church plant is to be a gathered church in the city, welcoming a diversity of people of all ages from a range of backgrounds – both those new to Christianity and those familiar with it.
Please particularly pray that the congregation will find a minister who is a mature preacher, a strategic thinker, a team builder and also a team leader.
The Free Church’s Mission Board chairman Rev Alasdair Macleod said: “Stirling always has been a strategic location for a church plant, and the Mission Board are delighted that the vision of the founders of the church plant has got the group to a stage where they are ready to call their first full time worker.
“With tens of thousands of souls in the city and surrounding area we need to support this plant with prayer throughout the church as well as give financial support.”
If you would like to contribute to the Stirling church planting work in a city of almost 50,000 people, and the wider work of the Free Church’s Mission Board, you can do so online by clicking here.