THE MINISTRY OF THE
REV. J. RENWICK WRIGHT, B.A.
On Sabbath 19th October 1952 after public worship
conducted by the Rev. A. Gilmour, M.A., Interim Moderator, Newtownards,
a congregational meeting was held for the purpose of making out a call
to a new minister. It was proposed by Mr. Arthur Davison, seconded by
Mr. Joseph Somerville that a call be issued to the Rev. J. Renwick
Wright, B.A., Ballymoney. This was unanimously agreed and Mr. Wright was
declared elected. Mr. Wright accepted the call on the 3rd December 1952
when the following Dromara representatives were present at Ballymoney:
Session�Messrs. A. Davison, S. J. Skelly; Committee�Mr. Wm. Somerville;
Prayer Meeting and C.Y.P.S.�Mr. Samuel Moore.
Mr. Wright was installed minister of Dromara by the
Eastern Presbytery on Wednesday, 7th January 1953, which was also the
date of the 12th anniversary of his ordination in Ballymoney. Being the
youngest son of the Rev. J. R. and Mrs. Wright, Ballyclabber Manse,
Coleraine he was educated at Coleraine Academical Institution, Magee
University College, Londonderry and Trinity College, Dublin. Mr. Wright
had a distinguished scholastic career, graduating B.A. with respondency,
in 1938. He received his theological training at the R.P. Theological
Hall, Belfast and the R.P. Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh,
At the Installation Service in Dromara the opening
devotional exercises were conducted by the Rev. Prof. John Mcllmoyle,
M.A., Dublin Road, Belfast. Rev. A. Gilmour, M.A., Newtownards preached
from the words of Acts 13 : 22, "I have found David the Son of Jesse, a
man after mine own heart which shall fulfil all my will". The narrative
of the history of the congregation was read by the Rev. Isaac Cole,
B.A., Trinity Street, Belfast (in the absence of the Rev. J. H.
McGladdery, B.A., Ballyclare, Clerk). Mr. Cole also delivered the charge
to the new minister and the Rev. R. N. Lyons,
Grosvenor Road, Belfast delivered the charge to the
congregation. Closing exercises were conducted by the Rev. W. J.
Gilmour, B.A., Cullybackey (Moderator of Synod). With characteristic
generosity an invitation was issued to all on behalf of the ladies of
the congregation, to retire to the lecture hall upstairs. There luncheon
was lavishly provided to approximately 300 persons.
The Moderator of the Eastern Presbytery Rev. James
Campbell, B.A., Larne presided and Mr. and Mrs. Wright were warmly
welcomed by the Moderator into the Presbytery and by Mr. S. J. Skelly
(Session Clerk) into the congregation. Mr. John Calderwood (Clerk of
Session, Ballymoney) bore testimony to Mr. Wright's twelve years of
fruitful ministry there and in a brotherly spirit congratulated Dromara
congregation in obtaining his services. Other congratulatory speeches
were delivered by the Rev. A. Gilmour, M.A., former minister and by the
Rev. W. J. Gilmour, B.A., Rev. A. R. Wright, B.A., Rev. Wm. Dodds, B.A.
and Rev. Hugh Wright, B.A. representing the Synod and the various
Presbyteries. Mr. J. Claude Macquigg, M.A. spoke on behalf of the
Theological Hall, Mr. T. J. Beck on behalf of the Irish Mission and
other denominations were represented by Rev. Wm. Wilson, M.A. (1st
Dromara) and Rev. Charles Orr, B.A. (1st Ballymoney). The Rev. S. R.
Archer, B.A., Rathfriland and Rev. W. N. McCune, B.A., (Convoy and
Stranorlar, Co. Donegal) expressed the hearty thanks of all present for
the hospitality of the congregation.
Rev. Mr. Wright, in reply to the congregation's
welcome and good wishes said, "I stand before you as the servant of
Jesus Christ. Today I feel that I can make the words of the Apostle Paul
my own "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, ... putting
me into the ministry." I thank Him for putting me into the ministry, for
it is the noblest calling on earth�there can be no greater honour than
to be the full-time servant of our Lord�and I thank Him for preparing me
for it, and for helping me in it. As I look back I can see His hand,
guiding and directing my life, providing for every necessity, and
granting blessing upon blessing.
It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said about heredity,
"Man is an omnibus in which all his ancestors are seated." I thank God
that I am sprung from a race of God-fearing men and women, who were
faithful in their day and generation and have passed to their reward. I
thank Him for the home in which I was born. I count it a privilege to
have been reared in a manse where, I say this with conviction, the life
of a minister and his wife was seen at its best. And there, of course,
quite unconsciously, I received valuable instruction in the art of the
ministry. It is a great joy that my parents have both been spared to
this day, and that both are able to be here. Under their influence and
through my father's preaching, I was led to see my need of a Saviour,
and then through the gracious operation of God the Holy Spirit I was led
to embrace Jesus Christ as He was offered to me in the Gospel, to trust
Him as Saviour and yield to Him as Lord.
Such is the beginning of every Christian life, but
that in itself does not give fitness for Christian service. I thank
Christ Jesus our Lord for all that led to the development of Christian
service. I thank Christ Jesus our Lord for all that led to the
development of Christian graces�for further instruction from
GodlySabbath School teachers, some of whom are now with Christ�for the
cultural background which is of so much assistance to a minister which I
received at Coleraine Academical Institution, Magee University College,
Londonderry, and Trinity College, Dublin and especially for the training
I received at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Hall in Belfast:
there we did not look upon our professors merely as professors, but as
friends, to whom we could take our problems and be sure of helpful and
sympathetic consideration. I count it a boon also to have attended a
session at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania�for there, as was only to be expected, instruction was
given in the same old truths, but in a different manner, and from a
It is a great moment in a young man's life when he is
counted ready for the ministry. It is a moment of eager anticipation,
for the longing is in his heart to be launched out on the great work:
but it is a very humbling moment also, for he realises the immensity of
the task and his own unfitness for it. From very early years I seem to
have felt the call - it was a case of "Woe is me if I preach not the
Gospel." There was the vision of the fields white unto the harvest; the
labourers were few; I could do no other. But where would the Master have
me go? I was ready for anywhere - the mission field, the Church in
America, the home Church, which I loved so well; and then the
congregation of Ballymoney honoured me with its call. I thank God from
the bottom of my heart that this very day twelve years ago I was
ordained in Ballymoney. No young man was ever joined to a more kindly,
sympathetic, understanding congregation. They bore with a young man's
inexperience and immaturity, and they responded to a young man's zeal
and enthusiasm. It is a privilege to have been with them in the deepest
experiences of life - the great joys and the heavy sorrows. They gave me
their friendship, and I thank God that is something that will always
endure. May peace ever be within their walls and prosperity within their
palaces. One of the happiest aspects of the work in Ballymoney was the
fellowship among the different denominations, a symbol of which is the
presence of some of my brother ministers here today. I am delighted that
they have been able to come, and that so many of the congregation are
Nowhere is God's guidance needed more by a minister
than in his choice of a wife. Now I know that some of the brethren will
cross swords with me on this point, but I thank God He gave me the
finest wife man ever had. She was reared in a Godly home, with parents
both of whom were convinced Christians, and with a vital experience of
Christ in her own heart from the very first, she did her best for Him in
home and congregation and in the district. The tributes which have been
paid to her during the past weeks only confirm what I have known to be
true for eight years and more. I can assure the Dromara people that they
can count on her to the utmost of her power.
And now a new ministry begins here. God has said to
His servant: "There is other work for you to do," and because I am
convinced that it is His will, I am glad to begin it. It has been hard
to leave a congregation I have grown to love so deeply, but I feel sure
that the God Who has been with us all our lives long will be with us
still. I come here to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ to
preach Christ as the Saviour of sinners, the only Saviour. I can say
with Paul: "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did
beseech you by us, and we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled
to God." Ladies and gentlemen, that is the only message worth preaching.
It is my conviction that the Church must evangelize or perish. We must
see the world as God sees it - a world of men and women so hopelessly lost
that only the death of His Son could atone for their sin; so hopelessly
lost that only the Risen Ascended Christ can save them today. Yes,
ethical preaching is needed - people must be taught how the claims of
Christ work out in their daily lives; but, above all, there must be the
proclamation of the redeeming love of God in Christ. It is to proclaim
that that I have come to Dromara, and it is my prayer that the blessing
of God may be so upon people and pastor as that many shall come to know
Christ, and to follow Him always, ever growing in grace". (Applause).
About five hundred well-wishers met in the evening of
the same day to welcome Mr. and Mrs. Wright and their baby son
Christopher. Items of music were pleasingly rendered by the Choir, the
Doak trio, Mr. W. F. Corry, Mr. V. McManus, the Misses Hazel and Pat
Orr, and the Misses Myrtle, Beth, Maureen and Violet Skelly. Joining in
the congratulations were Revs. A. Loughridge, B.A., R. N. Lyons and S.
S. Squires (Rector, Dromara). Rev. A. Gilmour, M.A., who occupied the
chair during the first part of the proceedings handed over control to
the new minister, but was again called to the front, together with Mrs.
Gilmour, when Mr. S. J. Skelly read an address and Mr. J. H. Gamble
presented to them a three figure cheque as a token of the congregation's
appreciation of twenty-eight years of devoted service in their midst,
and of Mr. Gilmour's continued interest in the congregation, as interim
moderator during the period of the vacancy.
Further presentations were also made when Mr. Arthur
Davison called upon Mr. Wm. Corry, Miss A. Wallace and Mr. James Hook to
present a Clock, a beautiful pair of Water Colours, and a Writing set
respectively to Mr. S. J. Skelly, Mrs. Skelly and Mr. Wm. Somerville.
These tangible tokens were expressive of the
congregation's appreciation for many years faithful service - Mr. S. J.
Skelly had been Secretary of the congregation for 30 years, Mr. Wm.
Somerville, Treasurer of the congregation for 10 years and Mrs. S. J.
Skelly received her gift for her hospitality to the visiting ministers
supplying the pulpit during the vacancy. All three recipients suitably
replied. At the end of the most enjoyable programme thanks were voiced
by the Rev. Prof. John Mcllmoyle, M.A., Dublin Road, Belfast, and by Mr.
George Archer, Knockbracken and a memorable day's proceedings were
brought to a close.
In the Session report for 1952 the following deaths
were reported - Mr. Joseph Campbell, Mrs. James Beck, Mr. Robert Hamilton,
Mrs. James Scott, Mr. Wm. J. Fulton who so faithfully led the praise in
the congregation for 30 years, Mr. Alexander Hamilton, Mrs. Wm. James
Edgar, Mr. Wm. John Elliott and Mr. John Elliott.
The Committee Report for 1952 states that the entire
Manse yard had been concreted, the sewerage system remodelled and a new
cooker installed in the Manse.
In Session's Report for 1953 mention is made of the
fact "For the first time in 25 years a goodly number of our young people
entered for the written examination and gave a very good account of
themselves in their first attempt".
Evening services on the 1st and 3rd Sabbaths of each
month were commenced by Mr. Wright in May 1953.
In 1953 the Manse farm was cleared of whins, hedges
were cut, the land was ploughed and sown in corn. On account of the
rocks in the fourth field it was left for grazing. The work was done
voluntarily by the Committee.
�100 was received from the will of the late Alexander
Hamilton of Drumiller, the conditions that "it be invested and the
interest paid to the Sabbath School funds to buy presents for the
Sabbath School Scholars." War Stock was purchased with this legacy.
In 1954 the condition of the green in front of the
Church was discussed by the Committee. It had become too soft to park
cars on it and these were now being left on the main road. It was
decided to clear away all the soil from the church green, cut down the
trees and have the ground bottomed with stones. It was later reported
that 130 tons of stones and gravel were laid and the total cost was �70.
The treasurer reported that a sum of �100 had been
given by Mrs. John Hook to be invested and the interest used annually to
perpetuate her name in the stipend list. It was also reported that a sum
of �100 had been bequeathed to the congregation in the will of the late
Mr. John Hawthorne (late of Knockgorm) on the decease of Mrs. Hawthorne.
This sum was invested in War Stock and the interest used annually as
In the Committee's report for 1954 it is reported "by
the will of the late Mr. Wm. J. Fulton this congregation has benefited
by the sum of �122 5s 8d. As the disposal of this was left to the
discretion of the Committee, it was decided to use part in heating of
the lecture hall and thus the memory of Mr. Fulton would be perpetuated
in the congregation".
In 1954 much voluntary work was done to the Brewery
Lane Church, Dromore. The same year the congregational committee
considered the purchasing of the two houses and the land at the
crossroads beside the church from Mr. Bell. The price however, was
considered to be too high and no further action was taken. The Rock
field on the Manse farm was sold for �100 to Mr. John Fleming as a site
for a bungalow in 1955.
At the annual congregational social held on Wednesday, 9th March 1955
the congregation expressed their affection and esteem for the Rev. and
Mrs. Wright when the Rev. Prof. J. Mcllmoyle, M.A. took the chair for a
very happy interval in the programme. The Senior elder Mr. Arthur
Davison expressed the congregation's appreciation of Mr. Wright's work
and presented him with a most generously filled wallet of notes.
Mrs. Wm. Somerville presented Mrs. Wright with a beautiful standard lamp
as a token of the congregation's affection. Both Mr. and Mrs. Wright
suitably replied. Helpful and congratulatory addresses were given by the
Rev. Prof. Mcllmoyle, Revs. R. B. Cupples, B.A., (Loughbrickland), F. S.
Leahy (Cregagh Road), S. S. Squires (Church of Ireland) and E. E. H.
Porter, B.A. (2nd Dromara Presbyterian Church).
In 1955 the lecture hall was divided by the present
portable partition so that it might be used for the singing class and
the prayer meeting. Mr. Bob Cairns did the work and the cost which was
approximately �50 was met from the balance of the Fulton bequest.
The following are the names of a new Committee
elected by the congregation in July 1955 - Messrs. Hugh Ball, Robert Beck,
Verdun Bond, David Cairns, John Cairns, John Chambers, Wm. Campbell, Wm.
T. Campbell, Wm. Corry, John Frazer, John H. Gamble, James Gamble, James
Hook, David J. Kane, Wm. Kerr, Wyndham Martin, James Martin, Samuel
Moore, John Megarry, Joseph McGregor, John McGregor, Thomas McGregor,
Jim McGregor, James McAreavey, James H. Rankin, Wm. Somerville,
Alexander Wilson, George Wilson, Wm. Wilson.
In December 1955 the trees in front of the Church
were branched and trimmed by Committee members and in 1955-1956 the new
wall and railing around the car park was erected. A new front entrance
and pillars were also erected at the Manse and the Committee's report
states "we are greatly indebted to one of our members who wishes to
remain anonymous in that he bore the entire cost of the workmen and only
the material was chargeable to the congregation".
On Monday, 27th February 1956 after the usual choir
practice, the choir members took the opportunity of expressing
appreciation to the Rev. Wright as their conductor. Mr. Alfred Wallace
made the presentation of a music stand and Mr. Wright in replying spoke
of the willing co-operation which the choir had always shown. On
Thursday, 1st March the choir rendered the Service of Song entitled
"Stony Ground" in the church. Rev. Prof. Mcllmoyle took part in the
service and the lantern slides were shown by Mr. Wm. Somerville.
The indisposition of Mr. Wright later in 1956 was
much regretted. The Pre-Communion in May 1956 was conducted by the Rev.
Prof. Mcllmoyle and the Communion service by the Rev. R. N. Lyons.
At the May Communion 1957 the following young people
were received into the full privileges of membership - Agnes Beck,
Frances Beck, Pearl Brown, Edith Rankin, Thelma Rankin and Ian McGregor.
The latter has made quite a name for himself in motorcycle racing.
The annual Children's Day services were held on Sabbath,
16th June, 1957. The praise was led by the children's choir who had been
trained by Miss Myrtle Skelly. The Scripture lessons were read at the
morning service by Elizabeth Kane, Leslie Gamble and Anna Gibson and in
the evening by Esther Corbett and David Crawford.
The congregation met in a social capacity on Thursday
evening 22nd August, 1957. Although it was fine weather for harvesting
operations the lecture hall was well filled. The reason for the social
was a congregational presentation to Mrs. R. J. McKelvey (nee Myrtle
Skelly). Mr. Wright at an appropriate time in the programme spoke of the
valuable service which Mrs. McKelvey had rendered in the congregation
and invited Mr. and Mrs. McKelvey to the platform with Mrs. Wright and
Mr. Joseph Fryer.
Mr. Fryer fittingly expressed the good wishes of the
congregation to Mrs. McKelvey in her married life. Mrs. Wright unveiled
a radio set which had been purchased as a token gift and handed to Mrs.
McKelvey a cheque for a substantial sum. In replying Mrs. McKelvey spoke
most feelingly of all she owed to the congregation, of the blessing she
had received through its various organisations and of the joy it had
been to serve Christ in it. Mr. McKelvey who was then studying for his
Ph.D. degree at Mansfield College, Oxford, also returned thanks for the
gift and spoke of the happy relationship between the Reformed
Presbyterian Church and the Congregational Union. Two other
presentations were also made - to Mrs. Campbell Heenan (nee Miss Beth
Skelly), and Mrs. Wesley Strain (nee Miss Nan McAreavey). Both were from
the Singing Class, of which both young ladies had been valued members.
The matter was well introduced by Mr. Alfred Wallace, elder, and senior
member of the choir. The gifts, which consisted of water colours, were
handed over by Miss Norma Cairns and Miss Hetty Purdy. Both recipients
and their respective husbands suitably replied. Following upon this the
meeting was left open for speeches, and Mr. John Frazer and Mr. William
Somerville availed themselves of the invitation. A varied and
interesting programme prepared by Mr. W. F. Corry was much enjoyed.
At a congregational Committee meeting in August 1957
reference was made to the gift of a pulpit Bible by Mr. Wm. Somerville.
This Bible had formerly belonged to his great aunt Miss A. Somerville.
The Committee expressed sincere thanks to Mr. Somerville for his gift
and also to Mr. Samuel Moore who had kindly lent a Bible for use in the
pulpit for 4� years.
In 1957 the front entrance to the Manse and part of
the back entrance was resurfaced and tarred. Some of the Committee
members did the work voluntarily and thanks was expressed to them by the
Committee and especially to Mr. James Hook.
In 1958 Trinity Street congregation, Belfast, issued
a unanimous call in favour of the Rev. J. Renwick Wright. Mr. Wright
At a W.M.A. meeting in 1958 Mrs. Wright welcomed a
large attendance of ladies and introduced the guest speaker, Mrs. H. B.
Holmes, Ballymoney. Mrs. Holmes gave a very helpful talk, showing the
part women have played in the advancement of Christ's Kingdom all
through the ages. Later Mrs. Holmes showed transparencies, with a
commentary on her Mediterranean cruise. Mrs. William Somerville thanked
Mrs. Holmes for her presence and for her talks, and also for bringing
along samples of native work purchased in the countries she visited. A
large quantity of lovely work done by the ladies during the winter was
on show. This was sent for dispatch to various centres of the Mission to
On Thursday evening, 16th October, 1958, a large
congregation assembled in the Dromara Church Building for a valedictory
service for Miss Maureen Skelly, M.C.S.P., Dip.Th., before her departure
for the Qua Iboe Mission Field. The service was led by Rev. J. Renwick
Wright, B.A. Mrs. Oswald Mitchell, missionary on furlough, spoke on
behalf of the missionaries. Mr. Donald Currie acting Secretary, spoke on
behalf of the Mission. Rev. Hugh J. Blair, B.A., Ballymoney, basing his
words on I Samuel 30 : 24, worthily represented our own Mission Board.
Everyone listened with rapt attention as Miss Skelly spoke of her
conversion, her wish not to be a missionary, her evergrowing conviction
that it was the will of God for her, her eventual readiness to go, the
factors which confirmed her in her decision, the provision that had been
made for all her needs, and her desire for prayer and support from all
present. Her minister then led in the prayer of designation. Ladies of
the W.M.A. later entertained the members of the audience to supper in
the Lecture Hall, the blessing being asked by Rev. Wm. Wilson, M.A.,
First Dromara Presbyterian Church. Miss Skelly was then presented with a
cheque as a token of esteem and prayerful good wishes from the W.M.A. by
Mrs. Wright, President, and Miss Maureen Corry, Secretary.
An evangelistic campaign was held in the congregation
from 26th October until 14th November 1958 and through it believers were
strengthened, backsliders were restored and decisions for Christ were
recorded. The campaign was preceded by a time of preparation in which
believers sought to fulfil the conditions of blessing and in which
special meetings for prayer were held and largely attended by members. A
week of prayer was held immediately before the beginning of this
campaign, which proved to be a time of great blessing. Rev. A. R.
Wright, B.A., Ballylaggan, was God's Special Messenger during the first
week, and his earnest heart-searching ministry of the Word brought
blessing to many. Rev. A. S. Horne, Loanhead, Scotland, was God's
ambassador during the second week, and such grace was received that the
matter of continuing for a further week had to be faced. After much
prayer it was decided that the campaign be lengthened, and the events of
the last week proved that this decision was in the will of God. In
addition to the messages, special features of the campaign were the
large congregations, the prayer, the praise and the children's services.
Numbers are not everything, but it is worth recording that the audience
never fell below two hundred. Much prayer was offered right through at a
special meeting each evening before the service, at 10-00 a.m. each day
when believers covenanted to pray just where they happened to be, and on
the Sabbath mornings at 7.00 a.m. when from twenty-five to thirty-five
people met and began the day at the Throne of Grace. The augmented choir
under its gifted young conductor, Mr. W. F. Corry, and with the welcome
assistance from time to time of other choirs of the Church, most ably
led the praise, and joined in a period of psalm-singing before each
service. The Children's Services were held by Mr. Horne on the two
Friday evenings. Large numbers of children were present from the
district as a whole, and found the meetings interesting, challenging and
As a result of that successful mission in 1958 it was
decided to continue to hold a prayer meeting each Sabbath morning prior
to the worship service. Mr. Samuel Moore has been in charge of this
prayer meeting since then and to him we are greatly indebted.
In 1959 the advisability of selling the Manse and of
procuring a smaller and more compact and easier maintained house was
considered by the Congregational Committee. While the Committee could
see some advantages in this yet there were many difficulties and not
least the fact that "the Manse had been erected at great sacrifice by
their forefathers and many members would not like to see it changing
ownership". Further repairs were carried out on the Manse and an
architect was consulted as regards the drawing up of plans for the
complete remodelling of the present Manse. Later the Committee agreed
that the scheme was not at all practical.
At the annual congregational meeting on 20th March
1959 intimation was made to the large audience that the congregation had
received anonymous gifts of a new piano for the lecture hall, curtains
for the Session Room and a Hoover cleaner.
The quarterly meeting of the W.M.A. was held in the
Lecture Hall on Thursday evening 4th June 1959. Mrs. Wright presided,
and welcomed the speakers, Dr. R. J. McKelvey and Mrs. McKelvey who had
been accepted for service with the London Missionary Society in South
Africa. Mrs. McKelvey spoke of her life in Oxford since her marriage,
and of her confidence in the congregation's prayer support for their
work in South Africa.
Dr. McKelvey who was appointed a lecturer in Adams
United Theological College in the Orange Free State, gave a
comprehensive review of the situation of Christian work in South Africa
and spoke of their hopes and prayers for the future of their work there.
A retiring offering was forwarded to the funds of the London Missionary
Society and at the close of the meeting the large gathering had the
opportunity of saying farewell to Dr. and Mrs. McKelvey who sailed for
South Africa on 11th June, 1959.
On Sabbath afternoon, 30th August 1959 an open air
service was held by Dromara and Rathfriland congregations. It was a
revival of an open air service commemorating the gracious visitation
from God in 1859, which had been held for sixty years, and in which
Covenanting ministers had always taken a prominent part. Upwards of four
hundred people gathered in a field kindly granted by Mr. John Frazer,
the majority being provided with seats. The air was warm and the
congregation had a magnificent view of fertile countryside, which
largely helped the spirit of worship. The praise was led by the choirs
of both congregations under Mr. W. F. Corry, and Scriptural messages
were delivered by Revs. S. R. Archer and J. Renwick Wright. Mr. Thomas
Beck, who often engaged in open-air work in the district before he took
up work as our colporteur in Dublin, led in the opening prayer.
Well over thirty young people from the congregation
with some friends gathered in Shimna House, Newcastle, a conference
centre under the Churches' Youth Welfare Council, for a week-end, from
September 18-20, 1959. Rev. J. Renwick and Mrs. Wright acted as host and
hostess, and the special guests were Rev. A. Sinclair and Mrs. Horne,
and Mr. Harry Tadley, Evangelist. The catering was excellently done by
the young people themselves, under Miss Jean Corbett. Activities
included a barbecue supper in the grounds of Shimna House, a climb to
the top of Slieve Donard, a party, and a walk in Tollymore Forest Park.
Mr. Horne, Mr. Tadley and Mr. Wright gave challenging and helpful
messages on the theme, "Christianity and You", and there was evidence of
the working of the Holy Spirit. The early morning prayer meetings and
the voluntary Bible Study on Sabbath afternoon were well attended.
During a period of psalm singing an opportunity was given for witness to
blessing received, and quite a number responded. Generous offerings were
given for the work of the Evangelist. A pleasing feature of the week-end
was a presentation of trays to Mr. and Mrs. Wright in honour of their
The annual thanksgiving services were held on Sabbath
1st November 1959 after extensive renovations to the church, which
included the installation of two stained-glass windows, and the
provision of new furnishings for pulpit and choir. The special preacher
was Rev. W. J. Gilmour, B.A., Cullybackey, and large congregations
profited from his address at both services.
At the Pre-Communion Service on Friday evening, 13th
May 1960, Messrs. Joseph Fryer and William Somerville were ordained to
the eldership. Rev. J. R. Patterson, B.A. preached the Word, Rev. J.
Renwick Wright gave the Scriptural warrant for the office of ruling
elder and for his ordination, and Rev. S. R. Archer, B.A., gave an
impressive charge to elders and congregation.
The congregation was visited by the Eastern
Presbytery on Thursday, 26th May, 1960. Rev. J. A. C. Blair, B.A.,
Newtownards as Moderator of Presbytery presided. The finding was very
satisfactory. Presbytery rejoiced in the tributes paid to the minister
and especially for his work among the young: in the loyal support given
by the elders, in the diligence and interest of the members of
Committee; in the generosity of the ladies to missionary enterprises - and
in the spirit of prayer manifested in the congregation. Presbytery made
several recommendations for the future work of the congregation,
stressing the importance of the Lord's Supper, and urging the adoption
of the freewill offering and a more general subscribing for the church's
magazine. Afterwards, Presbytery was entertained to tea by the ladies,
who were heartily thanked by Rev. J. H. McGladdery, B.A. and Mr. W. S.
The W.M.A. had the ladies of the Belfast
congregations as their guests at a largely attended united meeting on
Friday evening, 25th November 1960. Mrs. Wright presided and welcomed
Miss Maureen Skelly on furlough from Nigeria who spoke on the work in
which she was engaged. Her audience were well informed of the tremendous
need for medical help and of the healing power of the Gospel.
In 1960 substantial additions were made to the Church
property, consisting of a kitchen, cloakrooms and a furnace room with a
new oil burning automatic furnace. Much of the work was done by
sacrificial voluntary labour by members, some of whom spent weeks on the
project, planning it and carrying it through. In addition extensive
interior decoration was carried out. Services of special interest were
held on Sabbath, December 4th, 1960, when friends from far and near
united with the congregation. The Church building was well filled in the
morning, and in the evening it was packed to capacity. Revs. A. R.
Wright, B.A.. Ballylaggan, and Rev. A. Gilmour, M.A. (who as a former
minister received an affectionate and admiring welcome) led in worship,
and through their expositions of Holy Scripture brought living messages
from on High. The offerings amounted to �497.
The congregation adopted the Free Will Offering
system of giving in January, 1961. In the Committee's report for 1962 it
is stated "The total givings of the congregation for all the schemes of
the church have increased by over 150% in the last 10 years. The largest
proportion of this increase is in the contributions to the missionary
efforts of our own denomination".
A successful evangelistic campaign was conducted by
Synod's evangelist Mr. Harry Tadley in March 1962. In 1962 the Manse
kitchen was modernised at a cost of over �600.
At the fifth annual weekend house party organised by
the C.Y.P.S. and held in Shimna House, Newcastle in 1963, the theme was
"The prayers of our Saviour". The speakers were Revs. S. K. Cromie, J.
R. Wright and Messrs. T. J. Beck and H. Tadley.
On 22nd April 1963 Mr. Wm. Campbell was appointed
congregational secretary and Mr. Wm. F. Corry congregational treasurer.
On Wednesday evening, 2nd October 1963 the
congregation met in the Lecture Hall to pay tribute to the Christian
service of Mr. S. J. Skelly and Mr. Wm. Somerville and their wives. Mr.
Skelly had acted as Secretary of the congregation for over forty years,
and Mr. Somerville as Treasurer for over twenty years. After tea, served
by the lady members of Committee and their helpers, Rev. J. Renwick
Wright took the chair and introduced the presentations, speaking in high
terms of the willing service rendered by both families. Mr. Arthur
Davison, senior member of Session, spoke on behalf of the whole
congregation, when he paid tribute to those who were being honoured.
Mrs. Wm. Campbell (wife of the present Secretary) then presented Mr. and
Mrs. Skelly with an armchair, a cut crystal salad bowl, and an envelope
of notes, and Mrs. Wm. F. Corry (wife of the present Treasurer)
presented to Mr. and Mrs. Somerville an armchair, a tea trolley, and an
envelope of notes. Mr. Skelly and Mr. Somerville fittingly replied,
expressing their thanks.
At the evening thanksgiving service on Sabbath, 7th
November 1965 the speaker was the Rev. David Crawford, B.D., Ph.D.,
Downpatrick. Mr. Crawford was crippled by polio in early youth and
suffered severely in a road accident which meant the amputation of both
legs. His preaching from his special chair in the pulpit was much
appreciated by the large congregation.
In 1966 the Eastern Presbytery granted the request of
the Rev. J. R. Wright to exchange for a year with the Rev. Herbert A.
Hays, D.D., Geneva R.P. Church, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Prior
to their departure to the U.S.A. a social evening was held and Mr. and
Mrs. Wright, Christopher and Jonathan were presented with gifts on
behalf of the congregation. Mr. Wright as joint convener of Synod's
Committee on Evangelism and Church Extension was in charge of making
arrangements for a large delegation from Scotland and Ireland to travel
by charter flight on 22nd July 1966 to attend the International Reformed
Presbyterian Convention at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota,
U.S.A. The Wrights travelled with the delegation to begin their year's
exchange and the Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Hays, Judy and Bert came to Ireland
with the delegation on the return flight. On their arrival on 23rd
August 1966 the Hays were welcomed at the Dromara Manse by the members
of Session and their wives and a social evening was held on the
following Friday when the Rev. Hugh Wright, B.A. acted as chairman.
The Rev. J. R. Wright, B.A. during this exchange
visit to the U.S.A. was honoured by the degree of D.D. from Geneva
College, Beaver Falls.
On 17th July 1967 a social evening was held to bid
farewell to the Rev. Dr. Hays and family at the end of their stay. Rev.
J. A. C. Blair, B.A., Newtownards, Moderator of Synod presided and a
presentation was made by Mr. Wm. Somerville to Dr. Hays and to Bert and
Mrs. Wm. Campbell and Mrs. Wm. F. Corry made presentations to Mrs. Hays
and to Judy. The recipients expressed thanks.
On 25th August 1967 the congregation met again in a
social capacity to welcome Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Wright, Christopher and
Jonathan, on their return from the U.S.A. Rev. Wm. Young, B.A.,
Grosvenor Road, Belfast presided, representatives from the congregation
and its organizations expressed their welcome. Rev. W. G. G. Crawford,
B.A., Drumgooland and Kilkinamurry Presbyterian Churches spoke on behalf
of the neighbouring congregations.
In 1968 a Junior C.Y.P.S. was organised in the
congregation by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Harkness. The first office bearers
were - President, Jonathan Wright; Vice-President, Verdun Edgar;
Secretary, John McGregor; Treasurer, Geoffrey Dickson; Committee, Viona
Harkness and George Ball.
In October 1968 a unanimous call was issued to the
Rev. Dr. J. R. Wright from Geneva congregation, Beaver Falls. The call
was accepted by Dr. Wright at a special meeting of the Eastern
Presbytery on 17th December 1968 and he was furnished with credentials
to the Pittsburgh Presbytery of the R.P. Church and was installed in
Geneva in succession to the Rev. Dr. H. A. Hays who had accepted a call
to the pastorate of Clarinda, Iowa, U.S.A. As the date of the departure
of the Wrights from Dromara was delayed several times, Dr. Wright
remained responsible for the oversight of the congregation until April
1969. At the last congregational meeting of Dr. Wright's ministry held
on 21st February 1969, Rev. W. Young, B.A. presided and Mr. A. Davison
paid tribute to Dr. Wright's work in the congregation for 16 years and
presented him with a cheque and cheques for the other members of the
Wright family were presented by Mrs. S. J. Skelly.
THE MINISTRY OF THE REV.
ROBERT HANNA, B.A.
On Sabbath 20th April 1969 after public worship conducted by the Rev.
Hugh Wright, B.A., Trinity Street, Belfast (Interim Moderator) a
unanimous call was issued in favour of the Rev. Robert Hanna, B.A.,
minister of Riverside R.P. Church, Newry. The call was accepted on
Tuesday, 17th June 1969 and the installation by the Eastern Presbytery
took place on Wednesday, 16th July 1969. Mr. Hanna, eldest son of the
late John Hanna and Mrs. Hanna, Corkey North, Ballymena, Co. Antrim was
brought up within the bounds of the Kilraughts congregation in the
Northern Presbytery, educated at Dalriada School, Ballymoney, Magee
University College, Londonderry, Trinity College, Dublin where he
graduated B.A. in 1954 and the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Hall,
Belfast. Having accepted a call to Milford congregation, Co. Donegal, he
was ordained and installed there on 26th September 1956 in succession to
the late Rev. S. W. Lynas, B.A.
After 5 years ministry in Milford he accepted a call
to Riverside R.P. Church, Newry where he was installed on 16th May 1962
in succession to the Rev. Prof. T. B. McFarlane, B.A. who had retired.
At Mr. Hanna's installation in Dromara on 16th July
1969 the Rev. S. M. Calderwood, M.A., Kellswater deputised for the
Moderator of Synod Rev. W. J. Gilmour, B.A. in conducting opening
devotional exercises, Rev. C. K. Hyndman, B.A., Ballyclare preached on 1
Samuel 3 : 1, Rev. Hugh Wright, B.A. gave an exposition of Reformed
Presbyterian doctrine, Rev. W. Young, B.A., Grosvenor Road, Belfast,
Moderator and Rev. J. A. C. Blair, B.A., Clerk, Newtownards carried
through the formalities of the installation with the Rev. Prof. A.
Loughridge, M.A., M.Litt., D.D., Portrush offering the installation
prayer. Rev. James A. Ritchie, Bailiesmills and Knockbracken delivered
the charge to minister and people and the Rev. J. Watters, B.A.
conducted the closing exercises. Tea was served by the ladies to the
assembled company in the church and words of welcome to Rev. and Mrs.
Hanna, David and Bruce were expressed by Messrs. Joseph Fryer, Wm. F.
Corry, Joe Wilson, John Bond and Miss Maureen Skelly. Apologies for
absence etc. were read by Mr. S. J. Skelly, Session Clerk. Mr. Hanna in
replying to the speeches of welcome paid compliment to the early
influences of home, school and university which had guided him into the
ministry and he also referred to what he had sought to accomplish in his
previous pastorates. Good wishes were also expressed by Revs. S. M.
Calderwood, M.A., R. B. Lyons, B.A., R. B. Cupples, B.A., Prof. A.
Loughridge and Rev. S. E. Long, A.L.C.D., R.D., J.P., Rector and Mr.
Henry C. Lyons, Session Clerk, Newry. A hearty vote of thanks was
proposed by Rev. Dr. David Calderwood seconded by Rev. S. L. Reid, B.A.,
Stranraer. The Interim Moderator Rev. H. Wright, B.A. was the recipient
of a gift from Mr. Wm. Campbell, congregational Secretary.
The next day the first funeral to be conducted by the
newly installed minister was that of Mr. Samuel James Moore, Kinallen in
his 90th year,
The first two services on Sabbath 20th July 1969 were
special re-opening services after extensive repairs and redecorations to
the Church and Manse. The total offerings and subscriptions realized
While attending a funeral at Ballykeel on Tuesday,
22nd July 1969 Mr. Robert Beck a much loved and highly respected member
of the congregation collapsed and died. His passing was sudden and
unexpected but it did not find him unprepared. He had been a Sabbath
School teacher for many years and gave of his best in the congregation.
As an able preacher of the Gospel in the village of Dromara and in the
surrounding districts he was well known and greatly beloved.
MEMBERS OF SESSION IN 1970�Back
row, left to right � Messrs. R. Rallie Bell, W.
Somerville, J. Somerville, J. Fryer, Arthur W.
Davison. Front row�Messrs. S. J. Skelly (Clerk), H.
A. Nelson, LL.B., W. E. Harkness, W. F. Corry, W.
Campbell, Rev. R. Hanna, B.A.
At "The Evening of Sacred Music" organised by the Junior C.Y.P.S. on
Friday, 6th March 1970 the distinguished guests of honour were Their
Excellencies the Governor of Northern Ireland and the Lady Grey of
On Sabbath 21st June 1970 the following were ordained
to, the eldership - Messrs. Wm. Campbell, Wm. Francis Corry, Wm. Edward
Harkness and Henry Allen Nelson, LL.B. The preacher was the Rev. J. A.
Ritchie, the Scriptural warrant for the office of the eldership and the
prescribed questions were put by the minister who also led in the
ordination prayer. An appropriate and impressive charge to the newly
ordained elders and to the congregation was delivered by the Rev. R. B.
At a united W.M.A. meeting on 1st October 1970 the
speaker was Mrs. Isaac Cole, Drimbolg, W.M.U., President.
In 1970 the deaths took place of Mrs. Jane E. Bawn,
Wm. F. Campbell and James A. Hook.
On 9th November 1970 a presentation was made on
behalf of the W.M.A. to Miss Maureen Corry who had been Secretary for 17
Special evangelistic services were held from Sabbath
14th until Sabbath 28th February 1971 and were conducted by the Rev.
Alastair G. Ross, Hope Street Free Church, Glasgow and the Rev. Prof. A.
Loughridge, M.A., M.Litt., D.D., Belfast. During the mission four souls
were pointed to the Saviour and another one the following week.
At the annual congregational meeting in 1971
reference was made to the retirement of Mr. S. J. Skelly as a Sabbath
School teacher after many years of faithful service. Mr. Skelly was
presented with a gift as a token of appreciation.
The Committee's report for 1970 mentioned that the
major item of expense had been the installation of oil fired central
heating in the Manse.
Two Psalm Boards were presented to the church - one by
Mr. Peter Currie and the other by Mr. R. Baillie Bell.
At the annual "Evening of Sacred Music" held on 19th
March 1971 the guests of honour were the Right Honourable The Lord Mayor
of Belfast, Alderman Joseph F. Cairns and Mrs Cairns.
At the annual youth conference organised by the
Senior C.Y.P.S. and held from 26th-28th March 1971 at Stricklands,
Bangor the speaker was Rev. A. C. Gregg, B.A., Ballenon and Ballylane.
Two young people professed their faith in Christ.
The death occurred on 16th July 1971 of Mr. Arthur
Davison a worthy and faithful member and senior elder. He was in his
82nd year and throughout his life his good natured and cheerful
disposition radiated his whole personality. For many years he taught in
the Sabbath School and his godly influence and example was made a great
blessing to many. "He was a good man and full of the Holy Ghost and of
faith". His wife predeceased him by 4� years.
The congregation and many friends around Dromara learned
with much regret of the death of the Rev. Dr. Herbert A. Hays of
Clarinda R.P. Church, Iowa, U.S.A. which took place on 2nd October 1971.
He had ministered very acceptably in Dromara during his exchange with
the Rev. Dr. J. R. Wright in 1966-67. As a report of the Clarinda
congregation printed in "The Covenanter Witness of the R.P. Church of
North America" stated "our congregation was greatly blessed in being
under the pastoral care of Dr. Hays during the last years of his earthly
service which had reached out into so many areas of the whole church, in
our own country and on the Mission field. "And they buried him in the
city of David among the kings because he had done good in Israel, both
towards God and toward his house" II Chronicles 24 : 16. This was a
fitting text for his funeral sermon for this was the record of his
At the annual congregational meeting on Friday 25th
February 1972 the minister of the congregation and his wife were the
recipients of gifts from the congregation. Both suitably replied.
The congregation was saddened to learn of the death
of a former and much loved minister Rev. Alexander Gilmour, M.A. which
took place on 15th May 1972 at the home of his daughter in Cheadle,
Cheshire, England. A memorial service was held on Sabbath morning 28th
May 1972 when the church building was almost filled to capacity. A tape
recording of one of Mr. Gilmour's last sermons which was taken by Mr. S.
Moore, Kinallen, was made use of in the service and the minister of the
congregation paid tribute using the words of II Samuel 3 : 38, "Know ye
not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?"
In the course of his address Mr. Hanna said "Mr. Gilmour had exceptional
intellectual and spiritual gifts as a minister of the Gospel. His
ability as a preacher and expounder of the Word of God was widely known
for as opportunities arose he was often invited to conduct outside
services in the surrounding districts and many can still recall not only
his dramatic pulpit actions, his characteristic facial expressions but
his earnest preaching of the whole counsel of God".
The following minute was adopted by the 1972 Synod
"Synod would place on record its appreciation of the
life and ministry of Rev. Alexander Gilmour, M.A., who died on 15th May
1972 in the 86th year of his life and 62nd year of his ministry.
Mr. Gilmour was brought up in connection with
Rathfriland congregation. He undertook most of his studies in Scotland,
graduating M.A. at Glasgow University, and completed his training at the
Theological Hall in Belfast. He was licensed by the Southern Presbytery
and on receiving a call from Drimbolg he was ordained to the gospel
ministry by the Northern Presbytery and installed to the pastoral
oversight of that congregation on 14th March 1911. After a ministry
there of six years he moved to the Eastern Presbytery where he remained
a member till his death, having retired from the active duties of the
ministry on 3rd March 1959. On 14th March 1917 he was installed in
Trinity Street, Belfast congregation, on 18th March 1924 he was
installed in Dromara where he ministered for over 28 years until he was
installed in Newtownards on 3rd July 1952 where he continued until his
retirement. He was also minister in charge of Ballymacashon from 1925 to
1963. In all these congregations he ministered with fervent zeal and
with the fullest devotion to the great truths of the gospel. His
preaching ability was much above average and on many occasions he was
called upon to conduct special services. He was also much in demand as a
speaker at conferences. He had the ability to present the truth in a
manner which all could easily follow and which could be clearly
recollected for future help and guidance. In intellect he towered above
others, yet in humility he was equal with the most lowly.
Mr. Gilmour took his full share in the work of the
church courts and acted on many of Synod's committees. He rendered
valuable service on several special committees which were appointed to
undertake particular tasks. His insight and wise sense of judgment were
invaluable characteristics in all that he did. He was deeply interested
in the praise service of the church, being an original member of the
Psalmody committee, and he used his musical gifts in training choirs in
Psalm singing. He was moderator of Synod in 1924.
In 1945 Synod recognised his ability in Hebrew and
his qualities as a teacher when he was appointed lecturer in Old
Testament language and literature in the Theological Hall, which office
he filled with distinction for 15 years. All who passed through his
classes owe much to his able teaching and his wise counsel.
In all his duties Mr. Gilmour was ably supported by
Mrs. Gilmour who pre-deceased him in 1966. Since then he resided with
his daughter in Manchester and though separated from the Church by
distance he maintained a deep interest in her work and welfare and
delighted in her progress.
To his daughter and other members of the family circle
the deepest sympathy of Synod is extended".
In the summer of 1972 Mr. and Mrs. Kareem Khasho (n�e
Minnie Bell) were on furlough from Lebanon and Dr. R. J. and Mrs.
McKelvey (n�e Myrtle Skelly) and family were on furlough from South
Africa. The congregation was greatly challenged and blessed through
personal fellowship again with its own missionaries. Dr and Mrs.
McKelvey told of their work in the Adams United College, Alice, Cape
Province, South Africa in which both are involved in the training of
students for the Christian Ministry. The college has also pioneered the
training of ministers' wives and Mrs. McKelvey has taken a leading part
in this work.
Mr. and Mrs. Khasho at a meeting on the eve of their
departure to Lebanon in October 1972 requested prayer support for their
work in newspaper evangelism which is now reaching almost every Moslem
country which is closed to direct evangelism and Christian work and they
also requested prayer for the literature in Arabic which is being
distributed in the villages and towns of Lebanon.
In 1972 the following deaths took place in the
congregation - Miss Anna E.Hawthorne on 9th January 1972 in her 98th year;
Joseph Moore, Mrs. Margaret B. Wallace, John Cairns, James Nelson, John
McGregor, David Cairns, Mrs. James McCutcheon.
At a special service on Sabbath, 13th May 1973 the gift
of a new Communion Table was unveiled and presented by Dr. A. Elizabeth
Jones, Cheadle, Cheshire, England in memory of her late parents Rev. A.
and Mrs. Gilmour. The minister Rev. R. Hanna, B.A. on behalf of the
Session. Committee and congregation which included many visitors
expressed thanks to Dr. Jones for her kind thoughtfulness and great
An appropriate message was based on Hebrews Chapter
13 : 7, R.V. "Remember them that had the rule over you which spake unto
you the Word of God and considering the issue of their life, imitate
their faith" .. . Mr. Hanna said that it was the will of the Lord who
gives spiritual leaders and teachers, ministers etc. to His Church that
these should be remembered after the Lord has called them away and
remembrance should lead to consideration of the issue of their lives and
imitation of their faith.
As the Session Room had become too dilapidated to be
easily repaired without excessive cost, the congregational committee in
the summer of 1973 decided that it be demolished and replaced by a new
Session Room, also an extension be added comprising an extra room,
cloakrooms and toilet.
At the 1973 annual meeting of Synod held in Drimbolg
R.P. Church, Co. Londonderry, notice was taken of the fact that the
centenary of the formation of our congregation would be in 1974. Synod
accepted the invitation of the minister and session to meet in Dromara
for the 1974 Synod and by this acceptance and decision the congregation
of Dromara is highly honoured. This 163rd annual meeting of the Synod of
the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland will be held (D.V.) in the
Church buildings commencing on Monday, 10th June 1974 at 7-30 p.m.
A CONCLUDING SUMMARY
We are glad that our present relationship with the
neighbouring Presbyterian congregation of 1st Dromara - from which our
forefathers seceded - is that of goodwill and co-operation. Even a
stranger to our history who has taken time to read these pages and
especially the last 50 years will have sufficient evidence of this
cordial relationship and not least in the references to the presence of
1st Dromara ministers at Covenanter Installation services and at other
congregational occasions. Mr. Aiken McClelland in his 1963 history of
1st Dromara which was written for its 250th anniversary, mentioned that
the Rev. Ronald J. Wilson, B.A. and the Rev. J. R. Wright, B.A. were
associated in a most friendly way and this feeling was reflected in the
happy relationship between the two congregations.
We would return gratitude and praise to the Lord the
only King and Head of the Church for the innumerable blessings He has
bestowed so freely and bountifully upon the congregation during the past
It is fitting for us also at this time to acknowledge
with appreciation all those who served the congregation so faithfully
throughout the years - some perhaps whose names have not been mentioned in
these pages but who having served their own generation have fallen
asleep in Christ.
Let us all cherish our Reformed and Covenanting
heritage and realize that it is still relevant for this present easy
going age with its ecumenical craze. The great need is for an outpouring
of the Holy Spirit in Revival so that the work of Christ may be
revitalised, many brought into the Kingdom and blessed, even as the one
who became the first minister of the congregation was blessed in the
1859 Revival. With faith in the unchanging Christ and in His Word and
believing that "He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that
we can ask or think' let us therefore prove ourselves to be more worthy
followers of those who have gone before us. On our centenary year we are
called to renewed consecration and to greater service for the Master
whose own motto and watchword was "I must work the works of Him that
sent me, while it is day : the night cometh when no man can work . . .".
We look back on the past with gratitude and thanksgiving and we look
forward to the future with hope and confidence in the Lord who abideth
faithful and who enables us to testify in the words of the Psalmist.
"The Lord of us hath mindful been
And He will bless us still
He will the house of Israel bless
bless Aaron's house He will
Both small and great, that fear the Lord
He will them surely bless
The Lord will you, you and your seed
Aye more and more increase".
Ps. 115 : 12-14.
The different pastorates in the 100 years are as
|Rev. Torrens Boyd.
|Rev. John McKee.
|Rev. Torrens Boyd.
|Rev. Wm. Warnock,
|Rev. J. Renwick
Wright, M.A., D.D.
|Rev. Robert Hanna,
Acknowledgment of sources :-
The Story of First Dromara Presbyterian Church 1713-1913 by Rev.
W. G. Glasgow, B.A.
First Dromara Presbyterian Church 1713-1963 by Aiken McClelland.
Fasti of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland by Rev. Prof.
A. Loughridge, M.A.. M.Litt., D.D.
The Reformed Presbyterian Witness of R.P. Church of Scotland.
The Minutes of the Synod of the R.P. Church of Ireland.
The Covenanter Witness of Scotland and Ireland.
The Covenanter Witness of R.P. Church of North America.
The Leader Press, Dromore.
The Outlook Press, Rathfriland.
Minute Books of Session and Committee which were available.
Acknowledgment of appreciation :-
I would express thanks to Rev. Prof. Adam Loughridge,
M.A., M.Litt., D.D. who has written the Foreword, to Miss Gwen Gibson
who very efficiently typed the manuscript, to all in the congregation
who in relating incidents from earlier days helped to interest me
sufficiently to read what records were available and finally to the
Congregational Committee for financing this effort.
This booklet is dedicated to my wife for all her
help, interest and patience during its production and is a somewhat
inadequate recognition of her work in the Manse and in the congregation.
The attempt has been made to gather together the
principal facts in our hundred years' history. With any errors of
omission or commission, critics are invited to be tolerant.
"Remember the days of old, consider the years of many
generations : ask thy father and he will show thee; thy elders and they
will tell thee". Deut. 32 : 7.
Dromara Reformed Presbyterian Manse.