A community church in East Lothian has been gifted a new lectern by an American student studying in Scotland.
Sam Rouse, originally from North Carolina, crafted and then donated the lectern to the Wallyford Livingroom Church, which dates back to 1926.
Sam (24) has been studying at the Chippendale International School of Furniture in East Lothian, and graduated last week.
The gift of the lectern to Pastor Andrew Agnew was his way of saying thank you to the church, its congregation and the Wallyford community where Sam and his family have been living.
Andrew Agnew accepted the lectern, inscribed with “Speak Truth In Love” (Ephesians 4:15) on behalf of the Bible-centred community church.
Sam is returning this week to the USA with his wife Kayla and baby daughter Liliana, who was born in Edinburgh and who is now eight-weeks-old.
Andrew Agnew, originally from Northern Ireland, has been the church’s pastor since 2010, and previously worked in Mexico with street children.
Sam Rouse said: “Wallyford Livingroom Church has been so special to our family this year. Moving to a new country was much easier when we were immediately connected with a group of people who made it feel like home from the start.
“This church has real community. It warmly opens its arms to anyone who walks through the door. I really wanted to say thank you for all they had done, and being a furniture maker, the lectern was a perfect choice. It is inspired by the Celtic Cross with carved Celtic knots,” he said.
Andrew Agnew said: “A lectern represents what Christians hold so dear, the Bible. In our church we live by it, learn from it about ourselves and our world.
“To have Sam make us such a stunning lectern for us will be a constant reminder of the place of the Bible in our church, and of Sam, Kayla and Liliana as they return to America. We hope they’ll come back again though of course. They’ll always have a special place in our hearts,” he said.