Rev and Mrs Carlsen
The first phase complete
At the beginning of the new year, 1958, the members
and friends of the church set about repaying loans toward the cost
of the first phase of the building project amounting to
approximately £2,500 to make possible the erection of the second
phase of the new church building which was urgently needed.
On Sunday 19th January 1958 there was a special
visit from Rev W.Esseltyn, District Superintendent of the South
African Native Church and also a pioneer missionary, evangelist and
At a members meeting Mr and Mrs Cook were the first
delegates elected from the church to go to the District Assembly.
By June 1958 work had started on the main sanctuary.
In an effort toward removing of the debt upon the church, a gift day
was held on Saturday 7th June. The Rev Lown was at the church from
8.00am to receive gifts and promises of help for the church building
fund. The amount of money lifted that day was £ 124.2.9. Also that
weekend a conference was held with Rev Jack Ford. BD, from
Manchester, as the speaker. "Fifty Golden Years" was the title of a
coloured film strip, with recorded narration and background music,
illustrating the origin, growth and worldwide activity of the Church
of the Nazarene. The NYP Fellowship showed it on Saturday 6th
The following is extracts from a letter given to
members and friends on 25th February 1959:
Dear Friend and fellow member,
A special meeting will be held on Saturday next,
28th February at 7.30pm to consider the completing of the church
premises by the building of the main sanctuary.
It is anticipated that the first cost of erecting
the church, that is, to complete the walls, windows, roof spouting,
drains etc (without inside work) will be about £I,000.
Apart from the church building there is a
mortgage on the manse, taken out in October 1954, for £1,500;
repayments are £8.0.2 a month. This mortgage, of course, is more
than covered by the value of the manse.
The recommendations of the Church Board is that
the building should be commenced, provided:
1. That the membership will pledge itself to
raise a substantial part of the £1,000 within a given period of
time. (One year was suggested).
2.That a sufficient number of brethren will
covenant to bear the main burden of voluntary work, faithfully,
according to ability and with endurance.
With prayerful good wishes for your spiritual
encouragement and physical health. May He be with us as we meet to
do business for His glory.
Sincerely Yours in Him
Thomas Smyth (secretary)
Albert Lown (pastor)
At the meeting a decision was taken to resume
work upon the structures of the main church sanctuary in the near
future. The members accepted the contents of the above letter. The
building fund treasurer; Mr T. Cook, informed the meeting
that in the period January 1956 to date the sum of £2,343 had been
given towards the cost of the present building.
In May 1959 Miss Corrie Ten Boom, whom God had
kept through horrendous treatment by the Nazi's, visited Northern
Ireland. Miss Ten Boom, from Holland, gave the morning address on
Ladies day at the Lisburn Church on Sunday 24th May.
On Saturday 12th September 1959 the Rev Lown
called a special board meeting before he embarked upon a tour of
Canada. He announced to the board his acceptance of a call from the
Paisley Church of the Nazarene in Scotland. He told the board that
it would be early in the new year.
The British Isles North District Preachers
Conference, meeting for the first time in Ulster, was held in the
Lisburn church on the 25th, 26th and 27th November 1959. Dr H. Gish,
Professor of Moral Philosophy at the Nazarene Theological Seminary,
Kansas City, USA, gave the morning lectures under the chairmanship
of Dr G. Frame. Addresses, followed by discussion periods, included
youth work, the need in Eire and Holiness literature.
The farewell services for the Rev Albert Lown and
family were held at the end of January 1960. The public farewell
service was held on the Monday night with the Rev J. Sanders, of the
Skegoniel Church in the chair.
At the January 1960 board meeting it was decided
that the Rev Glyn Thomas, from Wales, would fill in until a new
minister was in place. The Rev Thomas and his wife stayed in a
caravan on the church site as some work had to be done to make the
manse ready for them.
A special board meeting was called in March 1960
to discuss the vacant pastorate. After some discussion a vote was
taken to nominate the Rev Glyn Thomas. The vote was unanimous. It
was then taken to the annual members meeting. The members voted by
two thirds majority for the Rev Glyn Thomas and the Rev Thomas
accepted the call. The induction service was held on Wednesday 30th
March 1960. The Rev J. Sanders presided and the Rev McCleod
(Dromore), Rev Smyth and Rev Lucas (Belfast) and the church board
A letter sent to the church board from Mrs
Carberry proposed a league of church loyalty for the children at the
morning service only. It was agreed to commence it on 3rd April
1960. The age limit was set at 16 years old. The league of church
loyalty still runs today and prizes are given every year.
Dr George Frame, District Superintendent, was
present at the December board meeting to look at the plans for the
completed church. The plans showed the main sanctuary with a seating
capacity of 250 with a little outshot at the end of the plan for a
platform and pulpit.
At a members meeting held on 8th February 1961 it
was decided once again to continue with the building of the
sanctuary. Dr and Mrs Frame were present and said they would pay for
one of the £12 windows and hoped to raise this to £20. A number of
others promised £20 each.
The morning service on the 9th July 1961 was
taken by a student from the Nazarene College called John Paton, who
was later to become the 3rd pastor of the Lisburn church. He based
his message on 1 John chapter l v 1 dealing with Jesus, the perfect
man. John Paton stayed with the Rev Thomas during Mr Thomas's
illness to help with visitation. Although John had been told about
Rev Thomas's blindness it still surprised him when he knocked the
manse door for the first time and Mr Thomas answered and said "Nice
to see you brother". The surprises didn't stop there! Mr Thomas
brought John in and then asked him if he wanted a cup of tea. Rev
Thomas made the tea and then proceeded to pour it as well. John
Paton was getting a bit edgy by this time and wondered if Mr Thomas
really was blind. Every morning John came downstairs for breakfast
Glyn was "reading" the newspaper and asked John if he had read about
such and such an event that had occurred. What John didn't know was
that Glyn had listened to the news on the radio earlier that
The Sunday morning service of 26th August 1961
saw a visit from the well known Scottish evangelist and gospel
singer Mrs Seth Sykes. The following Sunday saw Rev Glyn Thomas
return to the pulpit after a lengthy period of illness.
The faithful ministry of the Rev Glyn Thomas
continued to be a source of encouragement to the willing band of
voluntary workers who gave up their Saturdays, after working all
week in their own employment, to carry on with the second phase of
the church building.
In April 1962 the Rev J. Sanders, B.D. conducted
a week long special evangelistic campaign. The Lisburn Herald
reported that it was a very successful campaign with quite a number
of seeking souls being blessed and edified.
In May of the same year a Revival campaign was
conducted by Rev Doris McDowell from the United States. On the last
Sunday extra seating had to be put out due to the very large
On the 5th November 1962 an article appeared about
the Rev Thomas in the Daily Express entitled "The Dog That Takes To
Sermons". The article went on to say:
Rev Thomas With Vicky On Their
Way to Church.
"Vic, an I8 months old Golden Labrador, never
misses a sermon by the Rev Glyn Thomas, pastor of the Church of the
Nazarene in Lisburn, Co.Antrim. She guides blind Mr Thomas into the
pulpit, then settles down beside him- though sometimes she favours a
less ostentatious seat in a pew beside Mrs Thomas. Said 54 year old
Mr Thomas yesterday at Portadown, Co. Armagh, where he was
preaching; "She behaves very well during the services and seems to
enjoy them. When she hears me pronounce the benediction, she knows
its about to be over and gets up ready to go. My dog takes me to the
homes of church members in Lisburn".
The work at the church was continuing on at a
steady pace. Tommy Smyth recalls sitting on top of the completed
rafters with William Carson eating ice cream at 12 o'clock midnight.
By the end of the year good progress had been
made on the building with the walls completed and the roof tiled.
Robert Collins recalls they completed the roof tiling in one day and
that night it poured with rain.
The church board made a decision to put the
offerings into the building fund to clear the debt.
1963 was to be another big year in the life of
the church. The major work outside was almost complete and work had
begun on the inside of the building.
Another story told by Robert Collins was that
when they completed the floor in the sanctuary Fred Carberry hired a
sanding machine to prepare the floor for polishing. They were
sanding the floor well after midnight when somewhere between 2 and 3
o'clock in the morning they had visitors. It was the police wanting
to know what was going on.
The Roof Tiles Going On To The
1st May 1963 the Annual General Meeting took place with Dr George
Frame chairing the meeting. It was announced that the opening of the
new church building would be on Thursday 30th May 1963. Dr Frame
also announced that Dr Benner, a General Superintendent of the
Nazarene Church, was to be in Northern Ireland and he would be
pleased to be at the opening.
The following article appeared in the Ulster Star on
31st May 1963:
"CHURCH THAT WE BUILT" OPENS AT LISBURN.
"Parishioners who worked as bricklayers,
plasterers, painters and slaters in their spare time built the new
Church of the Nazarene in Warren Gardens, Lisburn, which was
officially opened last night. The Rev Glyn Thomas, their blind
minister who goes to church accompanied by his faithful Labrador
"Vic" said that about a dozen members of this Wesleyan church had
devoted their spare time since last September: Mr Bob Collins, one
church member, worked right through the night and well into
yesterday so that everything would be ready for the ceremony.
Mr Thomas estimates that the voluntary work
has cut the cost in half and expects the final figure to be about
At the ceremony was the former minister, the
Rev A J. Lown, who came from Scotland especially, for the
occasion. He is responsible for much of the design of the new
church, including the original sound proofed nursery room
where children can hear the service and see their parents without
disturbing the worshippers.
Dr G. Frame, District Superintendent of the
Northern area of the British Isles, was a guest speaker. Dr Hugh
Benner, ofKansas city and the Rev W. R. Bromley, whose work is in
New Guinea, also spoke".
The platform party at the opening of the
Some of the names of the people involved in the
construction of the church included Fred Crothers who was chairman
of the building committee. He not only guided other workers but
himself laboured ceaselessly. His two sons Edward and Trevor aided
him much. Other names included Thomas Smyth, Fred Carberry and son,
Joe Megrath, William Carson and son, John Henry, Thomas Cook, Chris
Morrison, W. Hamilton, Reg Davies, G. Keery and Ernie Part who,
aided by his workmates, did a lot of the brickwork on the new
On Sunday 23rd June 1963 the Rev Ian R. K.
Paisley was the morning speaker. He based his message on Luke
chapter 23 v 33 especially dwelling on the words "The place which is
Another campaign was held at the beginning of
November 1963. It was conducted by Jimmy Hamilton, the legless
Scottish evangelist. Mr Hamilton, who came from Motherwell, told the
congregation how God had spared his life after losing both his legs
in a train accident in childhood.
The church wanted to bring young people in the
immediate neighbourhood into surroundings where God was worshipped
and where there was something to attract and interest them. A
Vacation Bible School was planned for the last two weeks of August
1964. About 150 children were in attendance. Mrs Thomas was in
charge, ably assisted by Mr Cook, the Sunday school Superintendent,
along with a band of willing workers.
On Sunday 20th September 1964 the Rev Duncan
Campbell, the well known Revivalist, preached at the morning
service. The text he took for his message was Romans chapter 6
verses 5 and 6.
In June 1966 Sam Perkins kindly volunteered to
take on the upkeep of the church grounds and to this day you can see
Sam either cutting the lawns, trimming the roses or doing some other
job around the church.
At the October 1966 board meeting the Rev Thomas
informed those present of the Advisory boards decision to appoint
him to the work in Dublin. The farewell services for Rev and Mrs
Thomas were held at the end of November 1966. At the public farewell
on Monday 27th Joe Kerr presided over the meeting. Also present were
Rev McCleod, Rev McCracken, Pastor Harvey and others. A cheque was
presented to Mr Thomas for the work in Dublin.
B. Row- Mr Henry, Mr T. Crothers, Mr E. Crothers,
Mr Perkins, Mr Callister, Mr
McConkey, Mr Jess and Mr Galbraith. F. Row- Mr Megratli, Mr Smyth,
Mrs Thomas, Mr Cook, Mr F. Crothers, Mr Davies and Vicky the Dog
It was decided at the board meeting that before the
Rev and Mrs Thomas left that a photograph of them with the board be
During 1967 William Collins, from the Tansy
mission hall, was a regular in the pulpit including the prize giving
for the league of church loyalty in June. Donald Wilson also helped
out a lot during this period without a pastor.
On Sunday 16th February 1969 a young minister by
the name of the Rev John Paton preached for the pastorate. John had
been to the church in 1961, to assist the Rev Glyn Thomas, while he
was a student. The church board met with Dr Frame on Thursday 27th
February 1969 and the board unanimously nominated the Rev Paton's
name to go forward to the members. They were in favour and on
Saturday 3rd May 1969 a packed church welcomed their new minister
the Rev John Paton and family. All the Irish Nazarene ministers were
present. On Sunday morning Dr Frame preached and dedicated the new
electric organ. On Sunday night the Rev Paton preached his first
sermon as minister of the Lisburn church taking his message from
Matthew chapter 9. On the Monday night a praise service was held.
Those taking part included Mrs Mcllwaine, Mrs Crooks, Mrs Brown, Mr
McCandless, the Campbell family and Mr Hyde.
At the August 1969 board meeting the Rev Paton
presented to the board a sketch of a proposed new church notice
board with details of sizes and materials. The board considered and
accepted the design and wording.
After the Rev and Mrs Thomas left in 1966 there was
no weeknight activity for the young people. At the July 1970 board
meeting Mr Perkins
told those present that he had desire to start something for the
young ones in the church namely the Trailblazers and the
Pathfinders. He said that some parts of the uniform could be
purchased from Kansas City while other parts could be made locally.
He was given permission by the Rev Paton and the board to pursue
this further and in the autumn Mr Perkins and his volunteers got the
groups up and running. Alice Kelly, a former member, made all the
necessary pieces of the uniform.
At the board meeting in February 1971 it was
reported that approximately fifty children had joined the
Trailblazers and Pathfinders. The groups proved to be a very
worthwhile venture which met the physical. mental, social and most
importantly the spiritual training of the young people.
Later on in the year it was proposed and passed
by the board that a special offering for the Spanish Radio Programme
"LA HORA NAZARENA" would be lifted at the harvest praise service and
that the church would match the offering pound for pound. To this
day the church still has this special offering although it is now
known as the Worldwide Radio Ministry. This is a very important work
as radio can get to places and people who would otherwise never get
a chance to hear the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ.
In June 1972 the Jess family presented to the
church a gift of two new hymn boards.
During 1972 another venture was discussed and
passed. This was to be a Saturday night meeting called "The Open
Door" and was a Christian outreach to the teenagers in the area.
In November 1973 the church board was informed by
the Rev Paton that he had been called by Bolton First Church of the
Nazarene to be their pastor and that he had accepted the call.
The Caravaners In The Early 1970's
The Rev Eric Lewis came to preach on Sunday 16th
December 1973, after being invited by the church board, with a view
to the possibility of being called as pastor.
On Thursday 17th January 1974 the farewell
service was held for the Rev John Paton and his family. Pastor
McCandless spoke on behalf of the Elim church and Fred Campbell on
behalf of the local mission halls. His last Sunday preaching in the
Lisburn church was 20th January 1974.
A special members meeting was held on Monday 4th
February 1974 to vote for the Rev Eric Lewis as the new pastor and
he was elected. His induction service was held at the beginning of
In 1975 a new communion table was provided as a
gift to the church from William Carson snr in memory of his late
daughter, Judith Carson. Joe Kerr was able to get two chairs, which
were almost a perfect match for the table.
The Rev Maynard James, sometimes known as the
"fearless evangelist", was invited back to the church to conduct the
"Radiant Life and Bible Prophecy Conference". It ran from Sunday
17th to Sunday 24th September 1978. He answered publicly questions
on Bible Prophecy and he also prayed for and anointed the sick
according to James chapter 5v 14.
It was the 25th Anniversary of the Lisburn Church
in 1979. The silver jubilee weekend was held on the 24th and 25th of
November. All the former ministers of the Lisburn Church took part,
as well as the current minister at the time, Rev Eric Lewis. Michael
Harper from England was the special singer.