Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland

Psalm service marks 80 years of worship in the present Ballycairn Presbyterian Church

Ballycairn Presbyterian Church, opened for worship in April 1926.

Ballycairn Presbyterian Church, opened for worship in April 1926.

A Psalm Service on Sunday 19th November marked the historical milestone of 80 years of worship in the present Ballycairn Presbyterian Church. The minister, the Rev Victor Sinclair, led the service and welcomed the congregation and the many visitors including special guests, the Mayor - Councillor Trevor Lunn and the Mayoress - Mrs Laureen Lunn. The Mayor read from the Psalms and for his address, Mr Sinclair took as his text Psalm 118 v 24, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” The Psalm, which is a song of praise, assurance and celebration, was the favourite psalm of the great reformer Martin Luther. Mr Sinclair spoke of two themes - history and victory emphasising the need to rejoice in the history of the congregation and in the victory of the Christian Gospel, which provides the opportunity for worship and service.

Guest organist, John Getty and the church choir led the congregational praise of well-known Psalms that included, ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’. The choir sang the anthems, ‘All people that on earth do dwell’, ‘I love the Lord’ and ‘Come let us to the Lord our God’.

After the service refreshments were served in the church hall where the Mayor, Councillor Trevor Lunn, brought the greetings of Lisburn City Council. He spoke of his pleasure in accepting the Rev Victor Sinclair’s invitation to such an historical occasion, expressing that it was particularly enjoyable to have an entire service of Psalm singing.

The first Ballycairn church was situated near Drumbo village on the left hand side of the Mealough Road to Leverogue. The foundation stones of the present church (situated between Ballylesson and Shaw’s Bridge) were laid in 1925 and the church was opened for worship in April 1926. The first minister, Mr Adam Montgomery, was ordained on 23rd June 1830, and died on 16th May 1888. He was followed in turn by, Mr George Duncan (1888- 1908), Rev Samuel James Clarke (1908-1931), Rev William John Latimer (1931- 1949), Rev Marshall McCreery (1949- 1974). The sixth and present minister, the Rev Victor Sinclair, was installed in April 1975 and during his ministry the new extension was added. It was opened on Sunday 1st July 1984 by the Rev Cowper Lynas, Acting Moderator of Belfast South Presbytery.