As the capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh has an approximate population of 507,170. Unfortunately, about 25 percent of the people live in poverty. Among the notable individuals who have their roots in Edinburgh are actor Sean Connery, authors Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. Because 50 percent of the city is covered with greenery, it is recognized as the greenest city in the United Kingdom. In 1703, Edinburgh was the first to have an emergency fire rescue team.

In previous years, Scotland has endured multiple social ills … nearly half the children born were out of wedlock, alcohol and drug usage is high, and at one time the country was known as the worst-performing Western European nation. The established church is Presbyterian in structure. As its membership declined, a shortage of clergy also developed. Church growth is evident among Pentecostals, Baptists, Brethren, and the Salvation Army. The Church of Scotland claims the largest membership of the religious sector in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh is home to four universities and has the strongest economy of any city in the United Kingdom outside London. She has many museums, libraries, and contains Scotland’s five National Galleries of Art, as well as numerous smaller galleries.

In 1978, a Californian of Scottish descent, Mike McKerracher, served as the Christian Servicemen’s Director in Argyll, and began a missionary work among the Scots. Because of financial shortage, he returned to the United States. Paul McLaughlan started a church in Inverness in 1978 and brought the church into the Church of God in 1980. Scotland has 14 churches and 498 members.

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