Horatius Bonar was the first minister at the church and in his first sermon he called for revival. He often called people to prayer and kept revival at the forefront of his mind. A move of God soon began in the year before the big revival at Kilsyth. Bonar visited Kilsyth several times and returned to tell his people what was happening there. These testimonies would have been responsible for stoking the fire that had been lit the previous year.
Bonar had a young minister helping him, James Ballantyne Hay. Hay wrote, Good seems to be pouring out His Spirit in large abundance, many souls are being gathered to Himself..' Both ministers were occupied day and night. Prayer was at the centre of everything. By February 1841 Bonar calculated there had been 100 conversions.
A minister if a neighbouring parish wrote, 'not perhaps so much the stir and excitement of one or more revival, as the spiritual power, the still solemnity, the continuous life and action of a revived church, that made it the centre of life and refreshing to all the districts round, through many a successive year... Meetings for prayer abounded and they that feared the Lord spake often to one another so that to some of us who had only begun our ministry, a visit to Kelso was felt to be a season of refreshing, whence we returned to our own work with new encouragement and hope. Classes for the young men were blessed. None more so than Bonar's boarding-school classes drawn from all parts of the country, the fruits of which are still to be met in many a family throughout the land.'
'Disruption Worthies', by Wylie pages 42-4.
With thanks to Tom Lennie's 'Land of Many Revivals, pages 377-380.
The church was demolished.