Presbyterian Church in Ireland web site 1813-1963








Unfortunately no record remains of the names of elders during Mr. Shaw's and Mr. Downes' ministries. I have, however, been able to trace a list of representative elders during this period:-1817, John Bennett; 1824, John Edgar; 1828, 1838, John Dunwoody; 1829, 1839, 1840, Richard Corry (Currie) ; 1830, Thomas Skelly; 1832, George Alderdice; 1835, Thomas Wilson; 1836, James Martin.

The members of session at the time of the Rev. A. Dobbin's ordination were:-John Bennett, Drumalig; William Walker, Creevy; James Shaw, Loughenny; Andrew McBride, Carrickmaddyroe; and John Pettigrew, Drumra.

On 25th February, 1857, the following members were added:-Joseph Crothers, Bresagh; Orr Bennett, Ballycarngannon; David Maxwell; and William Martin, Drennan (clerk).

About 1874 William Baxter, David Maxwell, John McKee, Drennan; and James Little, Carricknaveagh (clerk), became members of session.

During the ministry of the Rev. J. W. Dobbin, on 12th May, 1904, the following were ordained as members of session:James W. Shaw, Robert Innis and John Dales, who became clerk following the death of James Little in January, 1912.

Mr. Kelso's ministry saw the ordination, on 22nd May, 1924, of Samuel Wm. J. McKee, David Maxwell (clerk), William Welsh, and Andrew Shaw, the latter still happily with us.

Four new names were added to the session when James G. Dunn, J. R. Jamison, W. W. McKee and R. J. Shaw (clerk), were ordained, during the ministry of Rev. Pickering.


List of Elders who attended the General Assembly
1853 James Bennett 1914 James W. Shaw
 1854 John Pettigrew 1915 James W. Shaw
 1856 Andrew McBride 1916 James W. Shaw
 1857 John Barnett 1917 Robert Innis
 1860 Orr Bennett 1918 Robert Innis
 1861 David Maxwell 1919 Robert Innis
 1862 David Maxwell 1923 Robert Innis
 1868 John Dunn 1924 Samuel Dunn
 1869 David Shaw 1925 David Maxwell
 1870 David Shaw 1926 Wm. John McKee
 1872 John Dunn 1927 Andrew Shaw
 1876 John McKee 1928 William Welsh
 1878 James Little 1929 Samuel Dunn
 1879 William Baxter 1930 David Maxwell
 1880 John Dunn 1931 Wm. John McKee
 1882 John McKee 1932 Andrew Shaw
 1883 David Maxwell 1933 Wm. Welsh
 1885 James Little 1934 Samuel Dunn
 1887 John McKee 1935 David Maxwell
 1888 David Maxwell 1936 Andrew Shaw
 1889 John Dunn 1937 Wm. Welsh
 1891 John Dunn 1938 Wm. Welsh
 1894 John Dunn 1939 David Maxwell
 1896 David Maxwell 1940 Andrew Shaw
 1897 John Dunn 1942 Samuel Dunn
 1898 John Dunn 1943 David Maxwell
 1899 James Little 1944 Andrew Shaw
 1901 James Little 1947 David Maxwell
 1903 James  Little 1948 Wm. Welsh
 1905 James  Little 1950 David Maxwell
 1906 James  Little 1951 Wm. Welsh
 1907 James  Little 1952 David Maxwell
 1909 James  Little 1954 David Maxwell
 1910 James  Little 1955 David Maxwell
 1911 James  Little 1956 David Maxwell
 1912 James W. Shaw 1962 J. G. Dunn
 1913 James W. Shaw


List of members of Second Boardmills congregation who subscribed to the Church and Manse Fund of the General Assembly in 1854

  James Shaw   John Rice  
  John Bennet    Robert Gillespie  
  William Walker   David Martin  
  Robert Dunn   Robert McCullough  
  Andrew Shaw   David Dunwoody  
  James Martin   William Baxter  
  Mrs. Wm. Martin   Thomas Martin  
  Hugh Graham   James Graham  
  John Welsh   Robert Graham  
  Wm. Shaw   James Corry  
  Robert Lecky   Thomas Graham  
  James Gibson   Wilson Stewart  
  James Maxwell   Hugh Nesbitt  
  Aaron Moorecroft   Joseph Lecky  
  Andrew McBride   William Meikle  
  Samuel Welsh   Hugh Martin  
  Thomas Corry   John Graham  
  John Gibson   Mrs. Patterson  
  John Dunn   Joseph Dunn  
  Orr Bennet   John Gilmer  
  Misses Maxwell   David Medoll  
  Anne McCartney   Alexander McIlveen  
  James Simpson   William Ball  
  Andrew Robinson    Sarah Ferguson  
  Thomas Kelly   David Maxwell  




In 1818 the Burgher and Anti-Burgher coalesced to form the Secession Synod, and in 1840 the Secession Synod and the General Synod of Ulster united to form the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. Although the union was welcomed by the great majority of ministers and congregations, some sixteen ministers protested against the union, but in the following year eight of these joined the Assembly. The other eight instituted themselves into the Original Secession Synod, and declared that, in future, they intended "to embrace such openings, as may fairly present themselves, for the continuance and extension of the Secession cause."

Such an opening soon presented itself in Boardmills. A large number of the congregation of the former Burgher Secession Church (now First Boardmills) objected to their con gregation having joined the General Assembly. The objectors seized the meeting-house and refused to let their minister, the Rev. George Hay Shanks, conduct the services. The Rev. Shanks sought the intervention of the Assembly in 1845, and Dr. Cooke and Dr. Stewart, two eminent clergymen, were appointed to seek the intervention of the landlord, to settle the matter. His Lordship's mediation resulted in an amiable settlement, in which the congregation agreed to pay the retiring members the sum of three hundred and fifty pounds on condition that they resigned all claims to the meeting-house.

The Seceders used the money to build a new church within sight of the church they had left. The church was opened in 1846, and the first minister, the Rev. Thomas Clugston, a native of the Newtownhamilton district, was ordained on the 11th March. The site of the new church was given by John Dunwoody, Carrickmaddyroe, a cousin of the Rev. Ebenezer Martin, Drogheda, and the Rev. John Dunwoody Martin, Tullyallen. Mr. Dunwoody's granddaughter married the Rev. George Laverty of Tyrone's Ditches, who is still remembered by the older members of Killaney.

Mr. Clugston and his congregation did not live in harmony with Mr. Shanks and his. During the winter of 1854-55 an outbreak of cholera swept through the district, and in the face of death animosities were temporarily forgotten, and the two congregations, together with that of Second Boardmills, held united prayer meetings. It was at one of these prayer meetings, in January, 1855, that the Rev. Clugston, referring to the union of 1840, rather tactlessly described the General Assembly as being composed of a "set of mongrels," and those Seceders who had joined the General Assembly as "nothing better than a pack of vile apostates." At these remarks the meeting went into an uproar, and the Rev. Shanks rose and proposed that Mr. Clugston and he should meet on a week-day and hold a public debate on the subject of the 1840 union.

Mr. Clugston agreed, and a public debate was held before a crowded audience in First Boardmills Church on the 8th March, 1855. It had been agreed that a report should be pub lished, but each speaker later claimed that his opponent's report of the debate had been altered and improved. As a result, both reverend gentlemen published their own version of the debate, and we possess a copy of each.

In 1869 the Secession Synod sounded its death-knell, when its ministers decided to receive the Regium Donum as a terminable annuity rather than commute, as the Presbyterians did, thus founding the Sustentation Fund. The Killaney congregation thus became liable to pay the whole of their minister's stipend, following the death of Mr. Clugston on 23rd December, 1884.

Mr. Clugston was succeeded by Mr. John Moody, B.A., a nephew of the Rev. Joseph Moody of Cullybackey R.P. Church. Mr. Moody was an excellent pastor who succeeded in moltifying the mutual asperities aroused in the preceding generation, and when it became obvious that a successor would be difficult to obtain, due to the lack of licentiates in the Secession Synod, and the fact that each congregation had to be self-supporting. Mr. Moody and his congregation of 93 families were received into the General Assembly. Mr. Moody died on the 23rd December,