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"Building Families On Biblical Foundations"

A Word From The Pastor

Dear Friend,

My name is Russell Brinkley and I am the pastor of Bible Baptist Church in Perth, Scotland. I would like to share my story with you, not for the purpose of building myself up, but instead to offer an explanation of why I have chosen to live for God. It seems to me many people have the misconception that Christians only serve God because they were raised in the church or have been brain-washed into believing the Bible. As you will read, neither of these is the case in my personal journey to God. I hope that you will be open minded enough to try and look from a different perspective as you read on.

As a child my family claimed to be Christian, but there was never really any evidence of that profession. If we did attend church it would be at the Church of Christ. I can only recall a short span in my childhood when we attended faithfully, but as I grew we had almost completely stopped going to church. As I entered my teenage years, the world began to open up in front of me. I was very involved in sports, and popularity among my peers grew as I excelled in that arena. Any influence that my limited church involvement might have had, quickly faded as I began to experiment with a variety of different self-serving desires.

Even though I didn’t realize it as a child, my home life was anything but normal. I was the youngest of four children and quite a bit younger than the rest of my siblings. By the time I was old enough to understand some of the problems that we had as a family, my brother and two sisters were already very rebellious. They were products of the 1970’s and drugs and alcohol were a normal part of their life. By the age of eight, I remember stealing drugs from them while they were partying. Fortunately for me I never became obsessed with that lifestyle, but I was a casual user throughout my teenage years and even into young adulthood.

What I had learned from my family was that it was every man for himself. If I didn’t take care of myself then no one else was going to either. That was basically how I lived. If I had to make a decision about something, the only factor that I considered was how it would affect me. In retrospect I realize that most people are not that much different. We pick and choose our paths according to what benefit we can get from our decisions.

I had grown to be a self-reliant, self-obsessed young man. The idea of God never even crossed my mind any more. If He was real, it did not matter to me. If He wasn’t real, it did not matter to me. I just didn’t care, life was too short to spend worrying about God. But still, even though thoughts of God did not fill my mind, there was something within that just never seemed to be satisfied. No matter what I tried there was still a void in my life. It did not usually manifest itself until I was alone and had time to think about the direction that my life was headed in. I did not know what it was, but I knew that something was missing from the puzzle of my life.

I had many friends and my days were filled with working and partying. It was at this time in my life that a friend of mine invited me to go out on a double-date with him. He had met a girl and wanted me to go out with her sister. I accepted the offer and that is when I met Janet. Janet told me that she would like for me to come to church. I figured there would be no harm in going to church for a few weeks. My intentions were selfish as usual, and I had no plans of being there for very long.

As I went to that church, I was hearing things that I had never heard before. Some of it shocked me, some of it made me angry, but all of it made me think. For the first time, in a long time I began to think about God. I began to expand my world-view beyond myself. I was seeing a side of life that I hoped could be true, but that I had no faith in due to prior experiences.

People had always let me down before, but there was something about the people I was meeting at this church that was different. They seemed genuine, but I knew if I waited long enough their true colors would come out and I would see them for the hypocrites that they are. I waited and waited, but it never happened. The more I knew them, the more genuine they became. They had become the family that I had always dreamed of having. But still I was not going to give in to the whole Christian thing. It might be good enough for them, but it just wasn’t for me.

So what happened in my life to turn everything around? It was five simple words, “What if you are wrong”? That simple little question changed the course of my entire life. I had never really thought about it before, but it made sense. I wasn’t admitting that I was wrong, but I figured that the best thing to do was to look at the evidence and see for myself. The more I looked, the more I saw that the claims of the Bible were true. All of the negative things that I had heard about the Bible were just not true and, in fact, it turns out that the people who deny the Bible are the ones who are dishonest.

Believe me, I understand your doubts about church and religion. My challenge to you is the same one that was presented to me; “What if you are wrong”? Honestly, what is the harm in taking a little bit of your time to make sure. If you are so confident then it shouldn’t take you that long to prove the Bible wrong. But, maybe you will be surprised at just how amazing the Word of God is. In my opinion, there is no other book or even sets of books that can come close to comparing with the Bible. I hope to hear from you soon, so that our paths may cross on your journey to truth.

Pastor, Russell Brinkley

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