A Brief History of the Gartocharn Churches
Kindly provided by William Buchanan
In 1770 a Rev Addie was appointed minister of Kilmaronock's Church of Scotland church. Many parishioners objected to the appointment of Rev Addie by the church's patron and, as a result, the Relief Church emerged.
A Rev J. King was its first minister and a chapel was erected in 1772. Rev Addie had a school built and this was followed by the Relief Church providing its own school. The second minister of the Relief Church was Rev Archibald Murdoch who was ordained in 1784 and an obelisk in Kilmaronock churchyard records his 55 years of ministry in the parish. Rev Murdoch married Grisel Buchanan, a member of a family that had lived at Cameron Farm for over 200 years.
In many cases, the established church and the relief churches re-amalgamated in the 1840s but this did not occur in Kilmaronock until 1925. After the death of Rev Murdoch, a Rev Dunlop was Relief Church minister for another 50 years.
Before peace between the two churches occurred in 1925, a new Relief church was built in 1911. Now the parish has two churches, the Church of Scotland Church (Kilmaronock Church) is the 'summer' church and the Relief Church, in Gartocharn, is the 'winter' church.