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Loughaghery Presbyterian Church

Loughaghery Presbyterian Church.
Loughaghery Presbyterian Church.
Rev Leslie Patterson Minister Rev. David McConaghy Minister Emeritus
Rev Leslie Patterson
Minister
Rev. David McConaghy
Minister Emeritus

Loughaghery Road, Anahilt.

Minister: Rev Leslie Patterson

Telephone: 9263 8977

Minister Emeritus: Rev. David McConaghy

Sunday services:

Morning: 11.00am.

Evening service as announced.

Presbyterian Church in Ireland Website:

WEb Site: http://www.presbyterianireland.org

HISTORY

One Sabbath day in August 1750 the Rev. John Semple of Anahilt was absent from his pulpit, assisting at a Communion elsewhere.  The Seceders seized the opportunity of conducting a service within the bounds of Anahilt congregation, and accessions followed.  Really the prime cause of disaffection was distance from Anahilt, for Mr. Semple was strictly orthodox and evangelical.

The Rev. Andrew Black, lately installed in Boardmills, conducted services occasionally at Loughaghery, and was assisted from time to time by the Rev. Thomas Mayne, Drumgooland.  A meeting-house was erected near the lough, and the first minister, Mr. William Knox (lic. Down) was ordained in Aug. 1755.  In 1762 by a movement unrecorded we find Mr. Knox installed in Scarva and the Rev. William Ronaldson, the minister of Scarva installed in Loughaghery.  There is also evidence which appears to nullify this. Mr. Ronaldson was born, educated and licensed in Scotland, and was a friend of Mr. Knox (see Scarva and Glascar).

The demission of Mr. Ronaldson and the ordination of Mr. Samuel Edgar (lic. Down) were announced to the Synod in May 1771, the date of each not being stated. Mr. Ronaldson removed to America in 1773, and from 1774 to 1781 acted as stated supply at Long Cane, S. C. Poplar Springs and Joppa, Ga.  It is noteworthy that he was succeeded at Long Cane by the Rev. Thomas Clark, formerly of Ballybay.  At the Revolution Mr. Ronaldson remained loyal to Great Britain, and was banished as a Tory.  He returned in 1783 to Charleston, S. C., and died there of ship-fever the same year.  The Rev. Samuel Edgar erected a new meeting-house on the site which still remains in the possession of the congregation.  Like many of his brethren, he conducted a classical school to eke out a scanty livelihood.  He died at the age of thirty-eight on 9th May 1785.  His widow survived him for upwards of forty years.  Rev. Samuel Oliver Edgar, Armagh, was his son, and the Rev. Samuel Edgar, Brookvale, a grandson.

The next minister was the progenitor of a succession of ministers who have served in Loughaghery for upwards of a century and a half. Mr. William Moorhead was ordained on 27th October 1786 at a stipend of £36 with oats.  He was a son of Mr. William Moorhead, farmer, Drum.  In 1796 Mr. Moorhead was a candidate for the chair of Divinity in connection with the Burgher Synod.  He retired in 1829 and on 2nd June the same year his son, Robert Moorhead, was ordained as his assistant and successor.  As no provision was made for the support of Mr. Robert Moorhead, his father said that it might safely be left to the congregational committee.  The Rev. William Moorhead died on 23rd January 1837.  The Rev. Robert Moorhead built the third and present meeting-house.  His death occurred on 13th March 1877.  He was succeeded by his son, the Rev. John Nesbitt Moorhead, who was installed in July 1877.  He had been ordained at Cloughey in 1872.  The Rev. J. N. Moorhead resigned on 6th May 1938 after a ministry of sixty-six years and died on 22nd September 1939 at the age of ninety-five.

The Rev. John Nesbitt Moorhead was succeeded by the Rev. David John Creelman who was called on the 6th March 1939 from the congregation of Glenhoy, Co. Tyrone, and installed on 19th April 1939.  His ministry in Loughaghery was interrupted for a short time in 1943 when he served as an Honorary Chaplain to the Forces under the Y.M.C.A.  Mr. Creelman resigned his charge on 27th November 1946 to go to the united congregation of Wexford and Enniscorthy, and soon afterwards in 1947 he married Miss Bessie Moorhead who was the daughter of Rev. John Nesbitt Moorhead, and a sister in the Banbridge Hospital.

The next minister was Mr. John Hendley Rankin (lic. Tyrone) who was ordained on 7th May 1947.  He remained as minister until September 1963 when he accepted a call to 1st  and 2nd Markethill.  A short time before the end of his ministry the church roof was re-slated and the interior of the building re-decorated.

Rev. Andrew Crooks of Bethany Church, Belfast, was installed on 2nd April 1964 and during his ministry a new Church Hall was built across the road from the Church.  In 1970 the Presbytery of Dromore appointed Mr. Crooks as stated supply in the neighboring congregation of Cargycreevy and he retired from the ministry on 30th June 1971 and went to live at Ballygally, Co. Antrim.

In the year 1971 Loughaghery and Cargycreevy congregations were happily and harmoniously united and on 23rd February 1972, the Rev. David McConaghy was installed as the first minister of the united charge.  He was brought up in the congregation of Toberkeigh, near Bushmills, and served as a missionary with the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian from 1963-1971. 

During Mr. McConaghy’s ministry a new Church Hall built on the site of the previous wooden hall, was opened on 3rd June 1989 by Mrs. Elizabeth Meikle.  The Pipe Organ, which had been installed in 1950, was replaced with an Electronic Organ in 1999.

Mr McConaghy retired on 30th April 2002 and is now the Minister Emeritus of Loughaghery and Cargycreevy. During a long vacancy, the Convenors of the vacancy in turn were - the Rev. David Porter, minister of Second Dromara (May 2002 - May 2003), the Rev. Gary Glasgow, Minister of Anahilt and Drumlough (June 2003 to January 2005) and the Rev Dr Bert Tosh, Senior Producer, Religious Programmes - BBC (February 2005 - October 2007).

The present minister, the Rev Leslie Patterson, formerly assistant minister of McQuiston Memorial Presbyterian Church in the Presbytery of East Belfast, was ordained and installed as minister of the united charge at a Service of Installation in Loughaghery Presbyterian Church on Friday 19th October 2007.

A full history of the church entitled “OUR HERITAGE”, 1750-1988, can be seen on this website.

Brief history as recorded in a book ‘Lisburn’s Rich Church Heritage’ by John Kelly

The first Meeting House was built on the shore of Lough Aghery in 1750 and the first minister was possibly the Rev Rawlingstone, a Scotsman, though there is no reliable evidence to support this claim. The first recorded minister was the Rev William Knox. The first building was thought to be small, rather primitive and probably had a thatched roof - no remains are to be seen. During the Rev Samuel Edgar’s ministry, the second Meeting House was built, about half a mile from the first. It is thought that this building, also of a primitive nature, was in Milltown in the vicinity of Loughaghery House, though the exact spot is not known. From 1786-1938 three men called Moorhead, the father William, his son Robert and grandson John Nesbitt were ministers successively in the congregation. The Rev Robert Moorhead built the third and present Meeting House and major renovations took place in 1895 and 1963. In 1971 Loughaghery and Cargycreevy congregations were united and the Rev David McConaghy (now Minister Emeritus) was installed as the first minister of the united charge on 23rd February 1972. During his ministry, a choir room and minister’s room were added in 1981 and a new church hall built on the site of the previous wooden hall, was opened on 3rd June 1989. The pipe organ, which had been installed in 1950, was replaced with an electronic organ in 1999. The present minister, the Rev Leslie Patterson, was ordained and installed as minister of the united charge on 19th October 2007.