A SERVICE celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Ordination of the Very Reverend Dr Howard Cromie was held in Railway Street Presbyterian Church on Sunday 20th June 2004.
|Pictured at a service celebrating the 50th anniversary of his Ordination is The Very Reverend Dr. Howard Cromie and his wife Kathleen (seated) Also included: (back row) Rev Brian Gibson, Mrs Jean Gibson, Mr Gordon Lindsay - Clerk of Session and Mrs Vivienne Weir - Elder, who presented gifts to Mr and Mrs Cromie|
|Mrs Vivienne Weir, a Senior Elder and life long friend of the Cromie family, is pictured presenting gifts to The Very Reverend Dr Howard Cromie and his wife Kathleen.|
The Rev Brian Gibson conducted the service and welcomed the large congregation. Mr Gordon Lindsay, Clerk of Session, and Mr Norman McClelland, former Clerk of Session, read the lessons.
The choir, directed by Miss Janet Ferguson, sang the anthem, 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' and the guest organist was Mr Peter Wilson, who was a highly valued organist at Railway Street for 27 years.
Mrs Vivienne Weir, a Senior Elder and life long friend of the Cromie family, presented Dr Cromie with a cross of Waterford crystal and a cheque. Mrs Cromie received a bouquet of flowers.
In the course of his sermon Dr Cromie reflected on the vast changes that have taken place in society in the last 50 years.
Yet in spite of constant change, he reminded the Congregation that there are certainties which are God-given, and by which we may direct our lives. There is the certainty of the Person of Jesus Christ who came for our salvation; the certainty of our experience of God's love; the certainty of a wise Providence that guides our lives; and the certainty of God's ultimate authority.
Dr Cromie who was Ordained at Scots Presbyterian Church, Enniskillen, on July 21 1954, was installed as Minister of Railway Street on January 10 1962, where he remained until his retirement on May 9 1993.
During his long and fruitful Ministry, he was a devoted pastor to his people, a guide and friend to the young and a comforter to the sick and elderly. Evangelistic in preaching, he led many to a saving knowledge of Christ and encouraged many to be involved in Church activities.
Twelve people entered full-time service in the Church during Dr Cromie's ministry.
A wise counsellor, he was active on many of the General Assembly Boards and Committees. He served for several years as Convener of the Irish Mission and later as Convener of Church Extension, during which time St Columba's and Elmwood Churches were formed out of the Railway Street Parish area.
The Church recognised Dr Cromie's work and ministry by conferring on him its highest honour when he was elected Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland for the year 1984 - 1985. During his Moderatorial year, he took as his motto "Forward together with Christ".
Dr Cromie's ability as a writer can be seen in his publications, which include 'Ulster Settlers In America' and his autobiography 'Through Changing Scenes'.
For some time, he was Editor of the Christian Irishman.
The service of celebration was followed by a reception in the Lecture Hall, which was attended by members of the congregation, Dr Cromie's family, including his nine grandchildren and a wide circle of friends.