The district of Shettleston in Glasgow is known as a socially deprived area. It was said, some years ago, that the life expectation of a Shettleston man was 58 years. It has suffered not only social deprivation, but also diminution of evangelical witness.
Within the presbytery of the Church of Scotland in the area there have been several church closures and mergers of local congregations. The evangelical witness in the district is sparse.
The Free Church of Scotland has had a witness in Shettleston since the Disruption of 1843. A small minority remained out of the Union of 1900 and built the present church in 1909.
In the Free Church division of 2000, the whole congregation under the ministry of Rev. John Harding remained with the Free Church (Continuing). Following Mr Harding, Rev. David Fraser ministered there until his retirement in 2016, when Rev. Andrew Allan took over as interim-moderator.
It is a matter for thankfulness and encouragement that the congregation has been able to have Rev James Haram as their new pastor.
The ordination and induction took place on Saturday 29 July 2017, when Rev. James Gracie, moderator of the southern presbytery, conducted the service and preached from Acts 8:5. Rev. John J. Murray addressed the newly ordained minister and Rev. Gavin Beers spoke to the congregation.
A welcome reception followed at the Kenmuir Mount Vernon church halls. Mr Haram, who was brought up in South Africa, exercised an outreach ministry among young people in Glasgow before joining the Free Church (Continuing) and doing a four-year study course at the Seminary in Inverness.
During and following the time of his studies, he has been engaged in widespread evangelistic work in the south of Scotland. This has proved good preparation for serving in this most needy area of the city, where the best hope for change is the preaching of the gospel. Mr Haram is married to Shael and they have eight children.
John J. Murray