The present congregation was formed by the union in 1994 of St Vincent Street and Milton Free Churches. Both have histories going back well into the 19th century.
Hope Street Gaelic Chapel, originally situated at the corner of Hope Street and Gordon Street, was founded in the centre of Glasgow in 1824 as a quoad sacra parish church to cater for the growing number of Gaelic-speaking Highlanders flooding into the city. In the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843 the congregation, minister and building passed into the Free Church. In 1886 the congregation purchased Ewing Place Congregational Church on the corner of Waterloo Street and West Campbell Street and worshipped there until the building was destroyed by fire in 1957. From then until 1971 the congregation had no permanent home until it negotiated a lease of the St Vincent Street Church from Glasgow Corporation. At that point it became known as St Vincent Street Free Church of Scotland.
The Milton congregation was officially sanctioned as a quoad sacra charge in 1836, its first minister from then until 1840 being the Rev. Dr John “Rabbi” Duncan. Its first building, situated in Milton Street, Cowcaddens, remained the property of the Church of Scotland following the Disruption, but the congregation joined the Free Church and a new building was erected on the corner of Rose Street and West Graham Street in 1850. The congregation joined with St Vincent Street Free Church in 1994, when the united congregation became known as St Vincent Street-Milton Free Church of Scotland. The Milton building, being unsafe and beyond reasonable repair, was demolished in the same year.
In 2009, it was decided to change the name of the congregation to Glasgow City Free Church to reflect more accurately its vision and mission in the 21st century.
The Free Church of Scotland dates from the year 1843 when in what is known as the Disruption, over 400 Evangelical ministers left the Church of Scotland over the issue of the interference of the state in the affairs of the church. The Evangelical Party wished to be free of such political control and so called the new church, the Church of Scotland, Free. The Free Church of Scotland, like the Church of Scotland, was from the start, and continues to be, a Presbyterian denomination where each congregation is governed by a Kirk Session of elected elders. It holds the Bible to be the inerrant, infallible and inspired Word of God and the supreme rule of faith and life. Its chief subordinate standard is the Westminster Confession of Faith.