Taysider, Hazel Lee (nee Pope) was the daughter of TCF’s first Pastor, Harry Pope and so has a unique perspective when she recalls the start of TCF. She is still a member of the church today:
“From my earliest years, I was aware that my father, Harry Pope, had a great love for the Word of God, had a great God-given gift for preaching the Word, and a great love for the people who heard the Word.
“So, it came as no surprise to me that he devoted his latter years to full time ministry as the first Pastor of Tayside Christian Fellowship. These were very special years. This was where his heart lay, and I remember him saying that he only wished he’d been involved in full time ministry earlier in his life, though he’d been involved in lay preaching from the early age of 16.
“He had a God-given gift of being able to make God’s Word come alive and be relevant to those who heard. As in every developing church, there were many sorrows as well as many joys in the early years. I remember a sermon from the book of Nehemiah in the early days entitled ‘Blessings……but…..!! That title said it all!!
“I end with the words of a benedictory hymn which we often sang in the early years…
‘May God’s blessing surround you each day,
As you trust Him and walk in His Way,
May His presence within, guard and keep you from sin,
Go in peace, go in joy, go in love’
“This was my father’s prayer for all those who heard God’s Word at Tayside Christian Fellowship 40 years ago, and I feel it’s still relevant for the church today and in the years to come.”
Taysiders, Edna and Ernie Bruce are still to this day regular attendees at TCF. They send their memories and best wishes.
For forty years the work has been done
And now it is yours to carry on
Steadfast as our founders were
Sure in the faith that won.
Carry on, carry on, down through the years go ringing.
For forty years the Lords work has carried on
So now will YOU take the baton to carry on.
There`s a work for JESUS ready at your hand,
It’s a task the Master just for you has planned.
It`s a work for JESUS only you can do
Happy and blessed 40th Anniversary
I thank the present Elders for keeping on, keeping on
Behold I come quickly occupy till I come.
Happy Birthday TCF
To GOD we give the praise
For all the blessings He has bestowed
On this little corner of Paradise Place.
Philippians 4: 4-7.
Mary Rowan is still a member at TCF today and she remembers very well the many aspects of the task ahead for the Taysiders 40 years ago:
Starting a new fellowship of believers was both challenging and demanding. Challenging – to leave the structure and practices of worship we had been brought up in, and demanding in commitment – physically, financially, in time, and in family life (with consequential casualties) – and using Spiritual gifts to give God the honour He was due.
The bonus of these early days of small numbers, was the bond of partnership, the sharing of tasks, the missionary vision, and the welcome for every believer, and all who just came to see what was happening to the old St Stephens hall!
Memories linger of laughter, excitement, hard work, sound Bible teaching, choirs singing – total dependence on God for all our needs.
The past has now gone, and we can learn from trials and blessings that TCF has experienced. Proverbs has a wise saying: “The integrity of the upright guides them.” It’s wise to let a Faithful God show humble leaders the way forward as a church.
Janey Mukomba, Mwana Ministries:
“I first attended TCF in September 1998 and it quickly became a home. 23years later TCF has become such a big part of our family. Evans and I were married in the church in 2013 and dedicated our children Kimberly and Daniel in 2017. Love, care, prayer and financial support have been lavished on our lives, family and ministry.
“Mwana Ministries has grown like a branch out of the church, with 6 of our trustees being TCF members, and the eldership always taking a keen interest in the work. Some from the church have even visited us here, and our prayer is that the links between Mwana Ministries and TCF would continue to grow.
“Many have found a home in the TCF family, some for a short season some longer, but truly you are a place of retreat where one can come to be loved, built up and sent out, as it has been for us! Happy Birthday TCF! Love Janey, Evans, Daniel and Kimberly”
Taysider, Elizabeth Wilson, wife of founding elder, Alex and TCF’s first organist. Jim, her son, keeps the family association alive today as he is one of the current elders of the church:
“As parents of a young family, Alex and I felt it was necessary to find another church nearer home and we heard about a new Christian Fellowship starting in Perth.
“We felt God was calling us to be an expression of his love reaching out to others and in faith we decided to support the vision of TCF.
“The privilege of being founder members and able to serve in practical ways by playing the organ, catering and hospitality was to me a fulfilment of God’s given gifts. As an elder’s wife, I felt humbled to serve Him in this way.
“The love that each member had for one another was noteworthy and the gathering together for prayer and bible study midweek was a significant time for the church’s life. I pray that as you celebrate and give thanks to God on this 40th birthday that you will know his blessing and wonderful ways as you continue to serve him and love one another.
40 years ago, Taysider, Shirley Fletcher, was married to Don, another of the founder elders and together they ran the Perth Youth Hostel Association for around 30 years. Following the death of her husband, Stacey moved back to Wales to be near family and, 10 years later she married Peter Rose.
“I often look back on those days as among the happiest in my life. Don was a tower of strength. As a qualified electrician and a former RAF mechanic, I remember he spent many hours on the technical work required for the refurbishment and I also recall how many men laboured for 2 hours every morning before going to their daily occupation.
“It was a very active, inclusive and welcoming church – and I have fond memories of the choirs, the games and sports club run at the High School and the busy coffee bar at the church which always had a welcome for local residents.
“Sadly, Don passed away in 1993 but the memory of those formative years remain a period in my life I will never forget. Congratulations TCF. Happy 40th!”
Ann Whittet became the first TCF missionary, posted to the Ivory Coast for 3 years, to help in literacy work for the Wycliffe Bible Translators:
“One of my strongest and brightest memories of TCF is soon after I came home from West Africa in need of a serious operation. The day before surgery a group of TCF ladies came through to Dundee Royal Infirmary to pray with me. Their support and encouragement of their prayers made a huge difference to how I felt by the time I rode in the trolley to theatre the next day. Keep up the good work. Happy Birthday TCF. With love. “