The History of Our Congregation
The Origins of ‘The Tron’
As a congregation we trace our history back over the years through a long period in our former building in Buchanan Street but also, before that, to several other locations and associations.
The story of ‘The Tron’ stretches back to the ‘killing times’ of the late 17th Century, when there was severe persecution of those committed to the biblical, evangelical faith in Scotland. Nevertheless, despite great pressure to conform to the pro-episcopal establishment, in 1687 a group of presbyterians determined to have a faithful and biblical witness decided to build The Wynd Church. This was located down near the River Clyde in the Merchant City area, not far from the old Trongate, in a street called Back Wynd, from which the church took its name. Records tell us that Back Wynd was 'a long, narrow, filthy, airless lane, with every available inch of ground on each side occupied by buildings, many of them far gone but packed from cellar to garret with human life.' Not the most pleasant sounding place to be, but the gospel was planted there, and grew!
As the city of Glasgow grew rapidly after the industrial revolution from a population of 8,000 to one of 75,000, the City Fathers decided to build a new place of worship at the then western extremity of the city. So, on the upper stretch of the newly-begun Buchanan Street, St. George's Church was built in 1808. This became the new meeting place for the congregation of the Wynd Church, which moved there all together. Then, over a century later in 1940, the Tron St. Anne Church united with St. George's, forming the newly named Church of Scotland congregation of St. George's-Tron Church. So the name Tron – from the Trongate area where the congregation originated – found its way into the name of the congregation at last.
In December 2012, the Congregation moved again, just around the corner, to meet in Bath Street. This was because on 12 June 2012, St. George's Tron®, more commonly known as The Tron Church®, seceded as an entire congregation from its former denomination, the Church of Scotland.
It was necessary as a result of the denomination’s clear rejection of the authority of the Bible by, among other things, embracing homosexual relationships for its ministers. Regretfully therefore, in order to remain in fellowship with orthodox Christian churches worldwide, along with other congregations committed to the biblical gospel we had to break fellowship with that denomination, despite very significant consequences for our church family. Having invested millions in our Buchanan Street building during the previous few years we were forced by the Church of Scotland to vacate the premises. Having no other option, on 9 December 2012 we held our last morning service in Buchanan Street, and in the evening had our first service in 25 Bath Street.
The Living Church
Happily, though, The Tron's historic ministry has continued uninterrupted in 25 Bath Street and we have marvelled at God's provision as we lived through our own times of testing and looked to the future. In 2015, renovations to the premises in 25-31 Bath Street were completed to make it more suitable for the varied ministries which continue to grow, and we now sit side by side sharing excellent premises with Cornhill Scotland, which trains around 50 students each year for gospel-teaching ministries all over the country, and beyond.
In March 2016 we planted out a new morning congregation to the west in the Kelvingrove area, and in October that year added an afternoon congregation in the Queen’s Park area on the south side of the city. We currently have 5 congregations meeting each Sunday across the three locations, including a large Farsi-speaking fellowship which has grown up since 2012, as well as the fortnightly ‘Chinese at The Tron’ service, in Mandarin, and ‘Tron at Two’, a congregation in partnership with Hope for Glasgow.
Over the centuries, then, this church has remained at the heart of the City of Glasgow, moving its meeting places and relocating for the sake of the gospel on various occasions, but unmoved in its commitment to that unchanging biblical gospel. Our prayer is that in future years we shall continue to witness to the Living God made known in Jesus Christ, both in the city centre and throughout Glasgow, as we seek to help nurture and establish gospel ministries in partnership with other churches which honour the truth that is in Jesus.
A Trustworthy Standard of Truth
“A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a sound weight is his delight.”
The name ‘Tron’ means ‘a weighing place’. It derives from the medieval French word tronel or troneau, meaning a balance, and a Tron was weighing beam with its set of weights giving the city a standard which could be trusted. Without the trust a true Tron enabled, neither trade nor taxation could function properly, and the city’s private and public life would suffer real harm. How much more vital for a city to know that a church is a trustworthy standard, when the matters being weighed are of eternal moment: that it is not a false balance, but a sound weight testifying to the unchangable truth of God.
The name of our church, The Tron Church, is therefore a reminder that every city, if it is to flourish, needs a place where each citizen knows that the truth can be found – true truth, unchanging truth, truth that is both jealously protected and zealously proclaimed – a Divine standard which all can trust. Our calling is to remain true as God’s Tron in the marketplace of our city, known to be what every true church of Jesus Christ is called to be “..the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).
For the avoidance of doubt we now have no connection whatsoever with our former building in Buchanan Street, which is operated by the Church of Scotland, nor any events which may take place there as the building is hired out to various bodies.