THE first church in Tullibody was built by royal charter in 1149, and dedicated to St Mungo, although nothing remains of it. David I of Scotland granted certain lands around Tullibody including its inches in the River Forth, to Cambuskenneth Abbey, which had been built two years previously.

The granting of the new church was confirmed by Lawrence, Bishop of Dunblane, and more than a century later by Pope Innocent in Rome. In 1297, Innocent wrote to ‘his beloved children the abbot and canons of St Mary at Cambuskenneth’ stating ‘I confirm the grant of …the Church of Tulybotheuin, with all its possessions and pertinents…’ Meanwhile, one of the king’s stipulations was that the new kirk was to be subordinate to the opulent abbey. It was said the foundation stone was laid on soil brought back from Jerusalem by Crusaders

It is not until the 16th century that there is a record of the Auld Kirk. Rectangular in shape measuring 63'1" by 22'3" and built from a mix of ashlar and rubble, it has crow step gable walls. On the south wall there are two moulded doorways, also dating from the 16th century, with the easterly one having the date 1539 inscribed on it, along with a pastoral staff. To the north there is evidence of a small window, but it has been blocked in.

In 1559, the Catholic French army of Mary of Guise, Queen Regent, destroyed the building. Under the command of Monsieur D’Oysel, they were retreating to Stirling having received word that the English navy was at Edinburgh. The troops used the wood from the roof to repair a bridge over the River Devon at Bridgend, roughly a mile west of the village. The bridge had been demolished by Kirkcaldy of Grange to hinder them reaching a ship at Leith and the wood covered this breach. This act of sacrilege would not have been carried out if the church had been of the Catholic faith, therefore by this time it was evidently leaning towards Protestantism. Although the roof was repaired that same year, it fell into disrepair due to it losing its parish status.

The old church was restored, altered and re-roofed with blue tiles in 1760 by George Abercromby, who added a bell-cote with an ogee top at the western end, and an old Man-Of-War ship’s bell. The roof was re-done in 1824 with flagstones. It was further restored in 1833 with the entrance porch and pews being added. Church services began to be held regularly until the Disruption in 1843.