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After the revolutionary war in the United States, some 1,500 of the banished “loyalists” landed in The Bahamas to settle on land granted to them by the Crown (1783). Among the Loyalists who landed on our shores was twenty-nine year-old Michael Malcolm.

On December 1st, 1808, Mr. Michael Malcolm wrote to the St. Andrew's Society encouraging the establishment of a Kirk, where he and his fellow Scotsmen could meet in keeping with the rites and traditions of the Scottish Church.

The St. Andrew's Society (formed in 1798 and made up of fifty-five men of Scottish origin) agreed to donate 200 towards procuring a church site, constructing a building, and paying a minister's stipend. They subsequently created a building fund which raised 500. In June of 1810, the subscribers to this fund met in the Courthouse and elected Trustees. Together they purchased the land where the Kirk presently stands for 320 Bahamas Currency.

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The cornerstone of the Kirk was laid on August 7th, 1810.The men chosen as Trustees to oversee the erection of the Church were: Michael Malcolm, William Kerr, James Wood, Neil McQueen and Walter Findlay. The Rev. John Rae served as minister of the Kirk for six years and then returned to Scotland in 1815.

In 1842 the Session’s Room was added to the Kirk and was later used by the Sunday School before eventually becoming the Vestry.

In 1872 the Kirk started a Mission School in Bain Town for the purpose of providing religious education on Sunday afternoons for young people of that area who were not affiliated with other Sunday Schools.

In 1873 the cornerstone was laid for the Kirk Hall by Sir G.C. Strachan K.C.M.G., during his administration of the Government (1871 - 1873). The Kirk Hall was built by Mr. Joseph Elias Dupuch, with the plans drawn up by Mr. James B. Smith, an architect from New York. The stonework and carpentry were done by local workmen and overseen by the stonemason foreman, Mr. Thomas Dorsett. The building cost 4,000 and the St. Andrew's Ladies' Society raised every penny of it. It was opened on May 17th, 1874 and it was used for Sunday School and for midweek meetings. Also around this time, a new road opened up connecting Princes' Street and Market Street, which is known as “Peck's Slope” -- named after Captain Peck, R.E. Surveyor-General of the Colony at the time.

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In 1894 the Kirk's first Manse was built on East Hill Street just above the Church. The land was bought at a public auction for 525. The structure was completed in 1894 at a cost of 1,200, and Rev. Bailey was the first minister to reside there.

In 1909 the First Nassau Company of The Boys' Brigade was started at the Kirk. It is a well-known organisation founded by Sir William A. Smith in 1883, and by 1910 boasted approximately 120,000 members throughout the British Empire.

In 1948, Rev. J. Herbert Poole initiated the founding of St. Andrew's School which first opened its doors with an enrollment of 24 students. For the first two years the students were accommodated in the Kirk Hall until in 1950 when enrollment had increased to such a degree that the school was in need of larger premises.

During Rev. Poole's ministry, plans were made for the complete renovation of the Kirk, and the installation of a new pipe organ. The old Manse on the hill was sold in 1951 and a new, more modern, Manse was built on Collins Avenue. In 1971, the Kirk purchased the current Manse in Harmony Hill.

In 1996, what was known as “the Ladies' Parlour” was renamed the Cleveland Eneas Memorial Parlour as a tribute to Dr. Cleveland Eneas who served the Kirk as an Elder for twenty-two years and as a Sunday School teacher for over thirty years.

Following a vote by the General Assembly of The Church of Scotland to let go of their overseas mission charges, St. Andrew’s Kirk and Lucaya Kirk initiated conversations with a U.S. denomination, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) in 2009. On Sunday June 6th, 2010, in the Kirk's 200th year, St. Andrew's officially became a congregation within the EPC. During that same service, the Kirk inducted a new minister, from Toronto, Canada, the Reverend Bryn MacPhail.

 

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St. Andrew's Presbyterian Kirk | Nassau, The Bahamas | 242.322.5475 | info@standrewskirk.com