THE STORY OF A PLACE OF WORSHIP
Banbridge Road Presbyterian Church, Dromore
The Old Celtic Cross,
A short history to celebrate
the Sesquicentennial of
Rev. Hugh R. Moore, M.A.
It came to pass . . .
On the 11th October 1836 a deputation of people from
the town waited on the Session Synod requesting that services should be
held in the town of Dromore.
By 1841 a church had been built.
On the 7th of March 1843 the first minister was
Ordained and Installed.
The pictures on the cover are photographs of actual
paintings; part of an
Illuminated Address presented to the minister, the Rev. James Rentoul,
1915 by the congregation.
TO MY WIFE
my constant source of encouragement throughout my
TO THE MEMBERS OF
past and present who have
served God so faithfully
through their church
I gratefully dedicate
this book and give
God the glory
The Author wishes to record his appreciation and
grateful thanks to:�
Mrs. K. Aiken, Glynis and Gary for their very
Mr. Andrew Doloughan not only for correcting the
proofs, but also for his advice and all his useful suggestions
The Dromore Leader for the use of their files.
The Banbridge Chronicle for their co-operation
and tolerance. All who helped with information, paper cuttings,
The Rev. Lena Baxter, B.L.S., B.D., and her
sister and brother for the use of materials and pictures from
the Illuminated Address presented to their great-grandfather,
the Rev. James Rentoul in 1915.
Mr. Jim Ball for material on the Union
The Very Rev. Howard Cromie, D.D. for
information on the Rentoul family
And especially to the Rev. A. L. R. Bickerstaff
who provided much of the `straw' for the bricks of the Rev.
McKee's ministry as well as his own boyhood memories of the Rev.
James Rentoul and his mother's recollections of the Rev. McKee
Also those members of the Church Committee who
acted in an advisory capacity, Mrs. H. McDonald, Miss M.
Coulter, Dr. R. McNeice, Messrs. J. Walker, W. Spratt, W.
Wilson, and C. Thompson. Their help was valuable and
This story, for it is that, rather than a
history, has been written in view of the fact that the congregation
will be celebrating its 150th anniversary, perhaps in the near
future, or at the latest in March 1993, 150 years after the first
minister was ordained.
I have tried from the material available to
produce an account that is fair, factual, and I hope readable. In
parts it may not be as detailed as it ought to be, but the main
events are recorded `warts and all.'
It is for the most part a distillation of
Presbytery records, the minutes of Session and Committee, minutes of
organizations, as well as newspaper accounts, and the memories of
those who were actually `there'.
I have tried to be accurate, and to verify oral
tradition where it has been used. Where there are inaccuracies,
sources not acknowledged, important events or people omitted, I
apologise - you will forgive me.
The phrase often used by writers, the `dignity of
history', may have its critics, but reading and researching material
for this story has brought home to me the dedication of the
ministers and the sacrifices of the members who gave of their time
and money that the Kingdom of God might be extended through their
church - Dignity is there.
Ralph Emerson once said that the use of history
is to give value to the present hour and duty; so I ask you to read
this story thoughtfully that it may help you to be more earnest in
your service of the Christian Cause and one hopes the future of
Banbridge Road will be worthy of its past.
It has been my privilege to gather this material
and write this story. I shall cheerfully bear the reproach of having
failed to do justice to Banbridge Road, its ministers and its
"Light and shadow by turns, but always love."