The Rev. Alex. Dobbin's next assistant was the Rev.
Robert Kelso, who was ordained on the 31st October, 1907.
A native of
Co. Donegal, he was born at Tullygay, Letterkenny, on the 11th March,
1877, and brought up in First Letterkenny Church during the ministry of
the Rev. John Kinnear, who was elected Liberal M.P. at Westminster. He
studied at Magee University College, Derry, and Assembly's College,
Belfast. After being licensed by the Presbytery of Letterkenny on the 14th
of April, 1903, he became assistant in Donegall Road Presbyterian Church
until he received his call to Boardmills.
When the Great War broke out
many young men in the district joined the Forces, and in August, 1916, the
Rev. Kelso joined the Army as a Chaplain, and was immediately sent to
France. He served with the Royal Irish Rifles until his demobilisation in
November, 1919. During his absence the congregation was in charge of the
Rev. R. W. Dodds, superintendent of the Kinghan Mission and the Rev. Dr.
R. H. Beattie, a retired lieutenant-colonel from the Army Chaplain's
As a token of thanksgiving for victory, the congregation
installed an organ and decided to purchase individual communion cups.
These gifts, together with a brass shield with the names of those who had
fought in the Great War, were dedicated on the 6th June, 1920.
esteem and respect which Mr. Kelso was held in the countryside was shown
in 1924, when it was learned he was about to be given a call from a Co.
Derry church. A deputation from his own congregation and Killaney
Secession Church asked him to remain as minister of the united
congregations (1). He agreed, and in June, 1925, Mr. Moody, minister of
Killaney Secession Church, and his congregation, were received into the
General Assembly. Mr. Moody then resigned for reasons of health, and on
the 30th July, 1925, Mr. Kelso was installed as his .successor.
remainder of his long ministry-he died on the 16th June, 1950-Mr. Kelso
worked to weld his two flocks into one, a task which he fulfilled. He was
an outstanding figure both in the life of the Church and in public life,
and his ready and jovial manner and keen sense of humour, made him a
welcome visitor in the homes of his people.
REV. F. A. PICKERING,
Rev. Kelso was succeeded by Mr. Frederick Allen Pickering,
B.A., a licentiate of the Belfast Presbytery, who was ordained
on the 21st February, 1951. The only son of Mr. and Mrs.
George Pickering, 43 Rosemount Gardens, Belfast, he was
brought up in Castleton (now Alexandra) Presbyterian Church.
He was educated at Methodist College, Belfast; Magee
University College, Derry; Trinity College, Dublin, where he
graduated in 1946; and Assembly's College, Belfast. He then
acted as assistant minister in Belmont Presbyterian Church,
Belfast, for 2)2 years.
After his ordination the Rev.
Pickering threw himself with zest into the life of the
congregation. The young people were his special interest, and
he formed a Boys' Brigade, and encour aged the formation of a
most successful company of the Girls' Brigade.
brief ministry many alterations and repairs were carried out
to the church property, and in the autumn of 1955 electricity
was installed in both manse and church. The instal lation of
electricity in the church was made possible by a legacy from
Mr. Samuel Dunn, J.P., a member of session who died on the
17th February, 1953.
On the 8th May, 1957, the Rev. Pickering resigned his charge,
and was furnished by the Presbytery of Dromore with
credentials to the Presbytery of Sangeen, Presbyterian Church
of Canada, he having accepted a call to the congregations of
Conn and Mount Forest.
REV. A. H. GRAHAM, B.A.
present minister of the congregation is the Rev. Arthur Harold
Graham, B.A., who was ordained on the 17th October, 1957. He
is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Graham of Ballymena, and was
brought up in connection with the High Kirk Church in that
town. Educated at the local Model and Grammar Schools, he then
went to Magee University College, where he distinguished
himself by obtaining a first prize in Mental and Moral
Philosophy, and a first prize in Ethics. He graduated at
Trinity College, Dublin, and completed his theological studies
at New College, Edinburgh, and Assembly's College, Belfast.
After being licensed by the Presbytery of Ballymena Mr. Graham
then spent two years as assistant minister of Sinclair
Seamen's Church, Belfast, under the Rev. J. A. McFarland, M.A.
On the 26th August, 1958, the Rev. Graham married Miss Frances
Olivia Hemphill, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Hemphill of
Drumquin, Omagh, and is the father of three young sons.
Shortly before the Rev. Graham's ordination the congregation
suffered a serious loss in the death of the session clerk, Mr.
David Maxwell, J.P., the third generation of his family to act
as elders in Second Boardmills. Mr. Maxwell loved his church,
served it zealously, supported it liberally, and counselled it
wisely. His gift for friendship, his warm hearted nature, his
upright example, made him a much loved member of session. As
its Clerk for many years, and as Congregational Treasurer, he
served his church tirelessly. (1)
During his lifetime Mr.
Maxwell had presented the church with a new organ in memory of
his wife, and a bequest he made to the church enabled the
choir box to be removed, and a choir platform made. This
improvement, together with new choir chairs and other
furnishings, was dedicated on 4th January, 1959, by Rev.
Professor (now Principal) Wilson, D.D. This is an important
date in the history of Boardmills Presbyterianism, as that
evening, for the first time, a united communion service was
held with First Boardmills, and has been repeated every year
Mr. Graham's ministry has witnessed large scale
improvements in the congregational property-a new kitchen and
cloakrooms have been built to the hall, both church and hall
have been redecorated, the manse has been modernised, and to
meet changing social conditions an extensive car park has been
During his brief ministry in Boardmills the Rev.
Graham has gained the hearts of his people by his sterling
character, earnestness and transparent sincerity, and we pray
that he may be long spared to exercise his varied gifts among
the people who have called him to lead them as they seek to
advance the Kingdom of God in Boardmills.
|JOHN DUNN (former Treasurer) and JOHN
GALL (former Committee Member)
||DAVID MAXWELL, J.P. (Former Clerk of