THOMAS DUNN .
and first Visitation.
After the death of Mr. Wham the following were appointed to take charge of the
Congregation, and to take the necessary steps for the settlement ; viz. Revs.
Gamble, Hamilton, Mitchell, Breakey, Steele, and S. Graham (Convener).
At a Meeting of this Commission on 10th April, 1900, it was reported that a
unanimous call had been made in favour of Mr. Thomas Dunn, B.A., a licentiate of
the Glendermott Presbytery, and that he had accepted the call, and had here
appointed constant supplier; and that his ordination had been appointed for the
2nd May, 1900,
OF MR. THOMAS DUNN, B.A.
At a Meeting of the Presbytery on 2nd May, 1900, in Maze Presbyterian Church at
which there was a large attendance of Ministers and Members of the Church and
District, the Rev. Josias Mitchell, Moderator pro. tem. presided. Rev. Mr.
McNeill (Drumbo) preached. Rev. Mr. Steele (Hillsborough) explained. The
Moderator put the usual questions to Mr. Dunn, who having satis�factorily
answered them and having subscribed the Westminster Confession of Faith in terms
of the Assembly's formula, was ordained to the office of the Ministry, and
appointed to the pastoral oversight of the Congregation of Maze, by prayer and
laying on of the hands of the Presbytery.
Rev. Samuel Graham
(Moira) and the Rev. Moses Logan (Rathfriland) led in the devotions. The Rev.
Alexander Dobbin (Boardmills) then addressed the Minister and the people on
their respective duties. The Meeting was closed with the benediction, and the
Min�isters and friends of the Congregation adjourned to the Schoolroom where a
splendid luncheon was prepared for them.
The next fact we find about the Maze was the appointing of an interim Session,
consisting of Rev. S. Graham, Rev. W. S. Steele, and Rev. T. Dunn, (Conven�er)
together with Dr. Thompson and Mr. Thomas McGeown (Moira). ,
A short time after this Mr. Dunn asked the Presby�tery to appoint the following
Ministers, Revs. Graham, Hamilton, Gamble, Steele, and Dunn, a Committee to
consider the nature of the security of the �400 collected by the late Rev. R.
When for the Congregation, and which, before his death, Mr. Graham had got him
to leave to the congregation, and also to confer with the following brethren who
had been elected for the elder�ship of the Maze Church; viz:‑Messrs.
Robert John Campbell, Samuel Lyttle, and William James Greer, and if they
approve to arrange for their ordination and summon the Presbytery.
At a Meeting of the Presbytery in Moira on 7th May, 1901, it was agreed that the
commission re the elders, meet at Maze on Friday, 10th inst., for their
ordination. The Rev. Mr. Breakey to preach, the Rev. Mr. Steele to expound, the
Rev. Mr. Dunn to ordain, and the Rev. Mr. Gamble to give the address.
Visitation of Maze in Mr. Dunn's time took place on 6th May, 1902. Messrs. R. J.
Campbell, and W. J. Greer had been appointed to represent the session, and
Messrs. S. Lyttle and John Matier the Congregation. The late Rev. Mr. Whan
collected �400; �150 of which was taken to pay the debt to the Board of Works,
the remainder, �250 was invested and the interest to be paid to the Minister.
The following are a few short accounts of Presbytery Meetings - At Railway
Street, Lisburn on 12th April, 1904, Rev. Thomas Dunn, B.A. was appointed
Moderator of Presbytery for the year.
Visitation of Maze on 3rd May, 1910. Rev. Robert Kelso, Moderator of Presbytery,
presided. Messrs. Campbell and Lyttle represented the Session. Messrs. Strong
and Jamison represented the committee. The Finding-- "The Presbytery are
much gratified at the evidences of prosperity in the Maze Congregation under the
faithful ministry of their brother, Mr. Dunn. They are pleased to find that
under the care of the Committee the Church property is in excellent condition,
and the congregation free of debt, that the elders and committee cordially
co-operate with the Minister in the work of the Congregation; that the
young are carefully instructed by capable teachers in the Sabbath-School,
and in the Ministers Bible-Class; and that the Psalmody of the Church was
efficiently conducted by the Choir. The Presbytery thinks that in view of the
prosperity of the Congregation, the Committee should make an effort to increase
the Minister's stipend, and they recommend the Session to consider at an early
date the desirability of having new, elders appointed. It is a great
gratification to the Presbytery to find the Congregation in such a healthy
condition, and the minister so esteemed by his people and so zealous in every
good work and they pray that more and more God's work may prosper among then,
and old and young receive blessing through Mr. Dunn's Ministry.
is told of Emil Ludwig, the prolific writer, that early in his career he took a
fancy to a little house at Ascona and acquired it, and a fascinating story is
related about it. Gradually as the owner's books had bigger sales he added to
the dwelling and also became possessor of more and more of the adjacent mountain
till he had the title to nearly all its long slope. With the success of every
book the house of his dreams took larger shape. One volume furnished a music
room, another added a library, and so on.
is pleasant to see some cherished property or pro�ject improve and increase.
The acquisitive instinct expresses itself in various ways, but surely it is
never more innocently or creditably exercised than when it seeks, with an eye to
God's glory, to build up Bethel and accumulate ever better ways and means of
worship and fellowship.
Over the years we set ourselves now this objective, and that. A teacher's
residence was felt to be a necessity, and with the proceeds of a sale of work,
one was built at Hook's Corner.
Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Campbell gave a new Choir Seat and Communion Table,
demonstrating in this practical way their attachment to Maze Church.
The Church ceiling inside was beautifully finished in pitch pine. The graveyard
was mapped out. The Manse and its grounds were improved to a diversity of ways.
In 1915 Mrs. Dunn's father - the late Mr. Hugh Wallace McCammon of
Portadown - presented an American organ. It is interesting to recall how it came
to be installed. Mr. Campbell led the Church praise and was a very punctual and
regular attender. One evening however, he didn't turn up. Hurriedly Mrs. Dunn
and I drew up a list of praise items. The first Psalm was duly announced and the
singing began. Half way through the opening stanza there was a hitch - the
choir came to a halt. I had wedded a long measure tune to a short measure psalm!
Another psalm had to be selected, and we went ahead. Mrs. Dunn, however, was so
upset that she vowed we must have a harmonium of some sort. No time was lost
that week in placating possible objectors, and by next Lord's Day the organ was
in its place!
We had usually a good choir. When Mr. John Vine was organist at Hillsborough, he
came and conducted singing classes in which many from round about parti�cipated.
It was a great day when "The Crucifixion" was rendered. Later Mr.
McClelland from Lisburn conducted a junior singing class. Once at Portadown
Musical Festival they gained second place, being only a mark behind Mr.
McClelland's choir from Lisburn.
the Autumn of 1996 electric light was installed in Church, manse and school, the
plant being in the manse yard. Mrs. Dunn bore the expense, and desired that
installation be a monument to her father and her husband.
Lord Holder, the eminent physician, on his seventy�-sixth birthday, addressed a
gathering of friends who had come to do him honour. Referring to his career he
went on to say his achievements were not due only to his own skill and effort - his fellow practitioners merited some of the praise
If on the whole it has not been a bad job, you have the credit; if it has
lacked any merit, yours is partly the blame. For individualist as I am, I could
only make my contribution by keeping in step with the rest of you. Apart from a
genius here and there who blazes the trail, this is the case with all of us - the advance is made by the army as a whole, not by the soldier
Paul acknowledged his deep indebtedness to those who shared his journeys and his
toils. He speaks in Colossians 4:11 of fellow-workers unto the Kingdom who
were a comfort, to him - comrades who were a cordial. There are such
everywhere in the service of the Kingdom. They have a tonic effect. Their
presence and their words are a stimulus, putting heart into us. How much a
minister owes to such. They are in every flock and they rejoice the pastor's
spirit. We never lacked them in Maze. Their loyal co-operation was very
valuable. From among them all I must select two for explicit and special
mention, because of the office they held which brought them into very close
association with myself, and because of the intrinsic excellence of their
characters which made them to be pillars of strength in the sanctuary.
of these was Robert John Campbell, of Poplar Vale, Magheragall, one of
the best known and most highly respected residents of the district. He had great
kindness of heart, simplicity of soul, transparency of character. He walked
close to his God. Unlike the thief on the cross, he had not come back to the
Lord with the last torn remnants of a mis-spent life. Unlike the prodigal,
he did not go to the far country and there spend many of his best years, and
come back with the sad burden of waste and loss. He gave his whole life to God.
His was along life, nobly spent, starling early with Christ, keeping company
with Him, and in His fellowship gaining in richness and mellowness till the
close. If I were asked to sum up his character in one sentence I think it would
be in these words: " Behold an Israelite indeed in whom there is no
guile." The fifteenth psalm has been called "the gentleman's
psalm," and the qualities it extols were all exemplified in Mr. Campbell.
He had nothing to cover up, nothing to hide, what you saw him to be outwardly,
that you might be sure he was to the core. And he credited everybody with his
own deep sincerity, finding it hard to believe anything ill of his fellows. Like
his Master he loved the children, delighting to encourage them with smiles,
cheery words and gifts.
A tablet commemorates him. It is thus inscribed "Erected by the
Congregation in loving and grateful remembrance of Robert John Campbell, who
died 17th May, 1926. For thirty years a zealous and devoted member, twenty-five
of which were spent in consecrated service as ruling elder. `The steps of a good
man are ordered by the Lord'."
In presence of a full Church, Mrs. Campbell unveiled the tablet. Mr. H. D.
McClelland A.R.C.O. presided at the organ. Deceased's favourite paraphrase-the
66th, was sung. The ministers taking part were, Very Rev. R. W. Hamilton, M.A.,
D.D., Revs. H. G. Lilburn B.A., R.G. McFarland B.A., J. H. Orr B.A., D. S. Ker
Coulter B.A., and Thomas Dunn B.A. The Rev. D. S. Ker Coulter, Mr. Campbell's
oldest friend in the ministry, in a voice choking with emotion, delivered a
panegyric describing Mr. Campbell as, "a real Nathanael, a man of great
humility of spirit who ever chose the lowest place among his brethren. He was a
Christian gentleman, brought up in a pious home. He early rendered himself to
Christ. He loved his Church and Saviour and worked hard for the extension of the
Redeemer's Kingdom. His fellow-worshippers had been influenced by his
conduct, and the life he led had created a deep feeling among them and within
them. He had loved God's house, and his rapt attention to every word was
inspiration to the occupier of the pulpit."
Mrs. Campbell was a true helpmeet and shared her husband's devotion to the
sanctuary. She followed him within the veil, some years later, at a ripe age and
after a spell of ill health, and she too was sorely missed.
The other I must mention specially was Samuel Lyttle of "Laganbrae"
who was for forty years an elder in the Maze. He acted as Congregational
treasurer and when he had held this office for over a quarter of a century the
members of committee presented him with a beautiful chiming clock, suitably
inscribed, in recog�nition of his long and valued services. He passed away on
4th March, 1941. At a memorial service in the Church tributes were paid to his
life and work by Revs. Parker and Dunn, the latter likening him to Elijah, -� he was no ordinary man, -a farmer whose acres were the envy of
many-the best tilled and the heaviest croppers in the district; in daily
work an example to all around of what a husbandman should be, . . and a sinner
saved by grace. He loved his Saviour. He loved his Church. He loved to sing and
talk of grace, for without grace he knew well there was no hope for any man. Oft
enjoying his hospit�ality, sitting or kneeling by his sick bed, poring over the
congregational accounts with him, I knew well where his heart and his love were.
But he found the Christian life a strenuous thing, for in him the elements were
divinely mixed in deepest colours, and he was, like Elijah, a man of moods, now
elated on some Carmel, now dejected, a
man of extremes. It was his nature. Life to him was no easy jaunt; it was a
wrestle; it was a fight but in the end it was always a triumph.
A son of Wm. Lyttle of Parkview, Hillsborough, Samuel Lyttle had lived in his
early days in Donacloney. On his marriage he came to reside at the Maze, and had
spent 48 years there, all that time being intimately con�nected with the
congregation and taking the deepest interest in its welfare. He had more than a
little musical talent, and it rejoiced the minister's heart to hear him join so
lustily in the old familiar psalms and hymns. He had a great affection for some
of Sankey's pieces too. He had sat under Moody and Sankey at their revival
meetings. Doubtless these pieces were bound up with precious memories of deep
soul stirring experiences. A favourite was "In the sweet by and by",
and it was fitting that it should be played by the organist, Miss Gladys
McCarthy, at the memorial service. .