Annahilt Presbyterian Church,
built in 1889.
Rev. Gareth McFadden
Windmill Road, Annahilt.
Minister: Rev. Gareth McFadden
Telephone: 9268 2394
Minister Emeritus: Rev. Scott Martin
Presbyterian Church in Ireland Website:
This congregation was sometimes called Hillsborough and the Rev. John McBroom settled here as the first minister. He had been ordained in Portpatrick in 1656, deposed for non-conformity in 1662, and was installed here in 1663. He died on 7th July 1682 as appears from the tomb-stone still to be seen in Anahilt graveyard. It is there stated that he was here twenty years. There were disputes about the boundary of the congregation and that of Lisburn. In those days people had to go to the meeting house of the district and not to another at a greater distance, even if they greatly preferred the distant minister.
In 1697 ‘perambulators’ were appointed by the Synod of Ulster to settle this boundary issue, but in 1698 the people of Blaris asked to be rejoined to Lisburn, “finding by experience their annexation to Hillsborough (as it was then called) to be extremely inconvenient”.
The next minister after Mr. McBroom, of whom there is any account, was Mr. James Ramsey, son of Rev. Gilbert Ramsey of Bangor, who had previously supplied Maghera and appears to have been ordained here shortly after the Revolution of 1689. He was present at the Synod in June 1694 and died on 24th February 1708. Then came Mr. Charles Seaton (lic. Belfast) who was ordained here on 9th December 1708. His father, Rev. P. Seaton of Dyce in Scotland, had been forcibly deposed there and came over to Ireland. The Rev. C. Seaton died in this charge on 27th August 1737. He was succeeded by Mr. Samuel Simms (lic. Monaghan) who was ordained here on 18th June 1739 was called to Tullylish in November 1746, and who died on 14th October 1768.
The Rev. John Semple of Ahoghill was installed on 7th June 1749 and he became known by his controversy with the Seceders whose intrusion into certain areas provoked bitter resentment. Mr. Semple's pamphlet, The Survey Impartially Examined, was written in reply to A Brief Survey which sought to justify these incursions, and it obtained a wide circulation. He died here on 24th March 1748. A much longer ministry followed when Mr. Robert McClure (lic. Derry) was ordained on 29th April 1760. After 42 years he was given an assistant and successor in the person of Mr. William Wright (lic. Bangor) on 24th June 1802. Mr. McClure died on 11th May 1828. Mr. Wright practiced as a physician, married a daughter of his predecessor, became Moderator of the General Synod in 1826 - 27, and after retiring in 1839 he died on 20th August 1844.
Mr. Thomas Greer (lic. Coleraine), son of the minister of Dunboe, was ordained on 17th January 1839, and had an even longer ministry. It lasted till his death on 26th March 1886. Mr. Greer’s brother, Mr. McCurdy Greer, became M.P. for Co. Derry and a champion of tenant right. Professor W. W. D. Thompson, M.D., Professor of Medicine at Queen's University, Belfast, was a grandson.
The Rev. Josias Mitchell of Drumlee was next installed on 27th April 1887, and he was responsible for erecting a new church, a school, manse, a teacher’s and sexton’s residence, at a total cost of £4,000 (The church was built in 1889). He retired from the ministry on 28th July 1925 and died on 20th April 1931. Mr. Mitchell was followed by Rev. Hugh McKinty, formerly of Upper Cumber, on 3rd March 1926. He continued the structural improvements with electric lighting and a new organ in 1939, and an electric heating system in 1946. Mr. McKinty died on 6th February 1950.
The congregation then called Rev. David Joshua Irwin of Claggan. He was installed on 5th July 1950 and retired on 7th July 1973. New windows were installed in the church in 1955 and a new pipe organ in 1972.
Following upon Mr. Irwin’s retirement in 1973 the congregation was united with Drumlough on 1stSeptember 1974 and the Rev. John Scott Martin, minister of Drumlough, was installed in Anahilt on 12th Sept. 1974, the first minister of the united charge. The Anahilt manse was sold in 1975, a new Church Hall was opened in 1977, and the old Ballykeel-Ednagonnell School, which had been the Church Hall, was sold in the same year. Mr. Irwin died on 15th September 1978. Mr. Martin retired on 31stMarch 1997 and is now the Minister Emeritus of Anahilt and Drumlough.
The present minister, the Rev. Gary Glasgow, previously assistant in Abbot’s Cross was installed as minister of both Anahilt and Drumlough Presbyterian Churches on 2nd September 1998 in Anahilt Presbyterian Church. The sexton’s house was rebuilt in 2002.
Brief history as recorded in a book ‘Lisburn’s Rich Church Heritage’ by John Kelly
The first minister, the Rev John McBroom, was installed in 1662. The congregation has worshipped in three separate Meeting Houses, the present one having been built in 1889. At the same time a schoolhouse, manse, teacher’s and sexton’s residence were erected at a total cost of £4,000. Electric lighting and a new organ were installed in 1939 and an electric heating system in 1946. New windows were installed in the church in 1955 and a new pipe organ in 1972. More recently, in 2002 the sexton’s house was demolished and rebuilt. The congregation was united with Drumlough in 1974 and the Rev Scott Martin was installed on 12th September 1974, the first minister of the united charge. The manse was sold in 1975 and a new church hall was opened in 1977, after the sale of Ballykeel-Ednagonnell School, which had been the church hall. Since 1887, seven men from this congregation have entered the Presbyterian Ministry, and several missionaries have gone on to serve the Lord overseas. The Rev Gary Glasgow, was installed as minister of the joint charge on 2nd September 1998.
THE Rev Gareth McFadden, former Associate Minister of High Kirk Presbyterian Church, Ballymena, was installed as minister of the united charge of Drumlough & Anahilt congregations on Thursday evening September 23. He succeeds the Rev Gary Glasgow, who moved to Gardenmore Presbyterian Church, Larne in September 2009.