John Gordon Lorimer
(1808-68) was uncle of William Laughton Lorimer who translated the New Testament into Scots.
...J G Lorimer was only 28 when he became minister of St. David's.His
early years of ministry there saw a great conflict between the Church and State
was faced with leaving the splendid new Ramshorn Kirk, his
manse and stipend, and taking as many of his
congregation as would go with him.It is a tribute to him that he
did all this.The Free Church of Scotland was born and Lorimer was the first minister of the Free St David's as it was to be known.
Incidentally, the Ramshorn Kirk continued to be known as St David
's Ramshorn (Church of Scotland) until as late as 1953 when the Barony church closed and the name Barony Ramshorn was used until the closure of the church in 1983.The Rev Gordon Paton DD succeeded Lorimer
there in 1843.
St. David's Moves West
(On leaving the Ramshorn Church
congregation were granted the use of an adjoining hall in Ingram Street, known as the Assembly Rooms.
There were a number of references to Dr. Lorimer
in the Rev. Thomas Brown's book "Annals of the Disruption" 1884. 'The district chosen for the new church was popularly known as 'Botany Bay' in which the carelessness and obduracy of the people were appalling'.Into that locality they threw a band of office bearers and Christian workers, and Dr. Lorimer
, writing in 1846, describes the prospects of the undertaking as 'full of promise'."I have no hesitation" he
wrote "in stating that the Disruption has had a most beneficial effect on the minds of many of my flock, and especially among the young".
Glasgow in the mid-1800s was expanding rapidly in all directions, most notably to the West.The area around North Frederick Street was at the heart of much development as the population moved out to make way for large commercial buildings, a hotel and major railway station (Queen Street) as well as buildings which were to become part of the Technical College
(Strathclyde - Andersons! - University).Dr Lorimer
Kirk Session and Deacons Court (Congregational Board) became anxious at the loss of membership 'through death and removal of valued members.'
A church in West Regent Street
(Free St George's) was already preparing to move West (to Elderslie Street) and in 1864 the congregation, after negotiations between the relevant Office Bearers, moved into the vacant church.This was situated close to Renfield Street and proved to be an unfortunate choice.Two years after the move to West Regent Street
, dry rot was found in the building and after repairs the church went into debt for the first time.In 1868 Dr Lorimer
died, and was succeeded by Dr R. Riach Thom.