Clark Memorial Church was opened in June 1892, the gift of Mr. John Clark of the Anchor Thread Mills in Paisley, who had his summer residence at Curling Hall, Largs. The congregation which received this magnificent gift, however, had its origins in 1779, when services were first provided by the Burgher Presbytery of Glasgow, a group which had seceded from the Established Church in 1733. The congregation worshipped in Waterside Street before moving to the present site, first in a plain, thatched building erected in 1780, then in a second church opened in 1826, which still stands.
The Burghers eventually came into union with other denominations to form the United Secession Synod and in 1847 became the United Presbyterian Church. It was for the “UP” congregation that Clark Memorial was built. The name changed again, however, in 1900 after union with the Free Church, to form the United Free Church. Finally in 1929, the U.F. Church reunited with the Established Church of Scotland and Clark Memorial assumed the full status of a Parish Church.
Ministers of Clark Memorial Church and its Precursors
- 1783-1789: Rev. William Watson
- 1791-1821: Rev. John Leech
- 1823-1829: Rev. Daniel McLean
- 1830-1875: Rev. William Steven
- 1864-1913: Rev. John B.K. Mclntyre
- 1905-1946: Rev. James W. Gardner MA
- 1943-1951: Rev. Andrew B. McLellan MA, BD
- 1951-1958: Rev. lain McMillan MA, BD, STM
- 1958-1966, Rev Charles H.H. Scobie MA, BD, STM, PhD
- 1966-1983: Rev. David M. Beckett BA, BD
- 1983-1997: Rev. G. Melvyn Wood MA, BD
- 1998-2013: Rev. Stephen J. Smith BSc, BD
- 2014-date: Rev. David Watson BSc, BD