|Members of Bailiesmills Reformed Presbyterian Church with their recently retired minister, the Rev George McEwen and his wife Heather (left) and Mr Derek Malcolmson (Clerk of Session) and his wife Ann (right).
The Covenanters of the Lagan Valley district (Lisburn, Bailiesmills, Dromore and Dromara) hosted a series of events on Saturday 14th March exploring the history of the Covenanting movement in this area.
On Saturday there was a Covenanter Exhibition in the Irish Linen Centre with stands depicting the history of the Covenanters and computer terminals with an interactive timeline. Three performances of the ‘Covenanters’ drama brought to life Robert Blair (one of the first Presbyterian ministers to arrive in Ulster with the Scottish settlers in the early 1600s); Daniel and Sarah, a young fictional couple who sailed with him on board the famous emigrant ship Eagle Wing; Alexander Peden, the Covenanter from near Stranraer who sought refuge in Ulster, David Houston, the Covenanter who spent much of his life in Ulster, including the Siege of Derry. The drama explained the arrival of Scottish settlers to Ulster in the early 1600s, and how their faith and historical events shaped their lives.
The Rev Prof Robert McCollum, (Lisburn) and the Rev Harry Coulter (Carrickfergus) introduced the Psalms at an ‘Evening of Psalm-singing’ in the Lagan Valley Island on Saturday night. Conducted by Dr Hugh McCullough and Mr David Loughridge, choirs of the Eastern and Northern Presbyteries of the Reformed Presbyterian Church led the praise unaccompanied similar to the worship pattern of most Christian churches throughout the centuries. The theme of the evening was ‘Christ and his Suffering Church’ and the Psalms chosen were widely used by Christians during the period of Reformation. These metrical Psalms sustained the Covenanters especially through dark days of persecution, known as “The Killing Times (1660-1688)” - they were among the most persecuted Christians at any time in history.
|L to R: Hugh McLaughlan, Patrick McBrearty, James Lecky, Eoghan McBride and Anne Gallagher pictured during one of three performances of the Covenanters drama.
|Lagan Valley district Reformed Presbyterian L to R: Rev David McCullough (Dromore), Rev Prof Robert McCollum (Lisburn), Rev George McEwen (Recently retired minister of Bailiesmills) and Rev Geoffrey Allen (Dromara).
|Rev Prof Robert McCollum, minister of Lisburn Reformed Presbyterian Church, is pictured with L to R: (back row) Eoghan McBride (Letterkenny), Hugh McLaughlan (Coleraine) and James Lecky (Londonderry) and (left and right at front) Patrick McBrearty (Letterkenny) and Anne Gallagher (Inishowen).
|Donna Allen and her children Chloe (6) and
Ethan (3) pictured at the interactive timeline showing the
history of the Covenanters. Looking on is Joan Coates,
assistant minister of Lisburn Reformed Presbyterian Church,
who helped organise the display.
|Choirs of the Eastern and Northern Presbyteries of the Reformed Presbyterian Church pictured with the Rev Prof Robert McCollum (Lisburn), Councillor Ronnie Crawford (Lisburn Mayor), Mrs Jean Crawford (Mayoress), Rev Harry Coulter (Carrickfergus) and conductors Mr David Loughridge (left) and Dr Hugh McCullough (right).