Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland

Rev Beattie celebrates 40 years in Dunmurry

Rev William Beattie and Mrs Sally Beattie. US40-756SP


DUNMURRY Free Presbyterian celebrated the start of a very important anniversary last Sunday as the congregation joined together in song and praise for the start of the 40th anniversary of their minister, Rev William Beattie.

Rev Beattie joined Dunmurry Free Presbyterian Church in October 1965, making him one of the longest serving ministers in the Lisburn area.

Rev William Beattie. US40-755SP

He has seen many changes over the years, with congregations growing and two new churches, Hillsborough and Lisburn, being established in the local area.

"It has been a very eventful period," explained Rev Beattie. "There has been a lot of change ."It is a totally different place now and change has been forced on the local community by all of the Troubles."

After Rev Beattie began his ministry the congregation grew to such an extent the , church began to search around for a new building. Over the years, people moved away ' from the area, either due to the ever-increasing troubles in Belfast -, or because of the lack of local housing.

However, in 1975 the decision was made to look for a site for a new church and in 1978 Dunmurry Free Presbyterian Church opened its doors in Seymour Hill.

Rev Beattie was also instrumental in the establishment of the Free Presbyterian Churches in Hillsborough
and Lisburn.

Despite enjoying a very active ministry for the past 40 years Rev Beattie is showing no signs of slowing down, having just embarked on a three-year evangelistic programme.

"We have started doing a new type of door-to-door work," explained Rev Beattie. "There are a lot of people in the Seymour Hill, Dunmurry and Derriaghy area who have no connection with any church and we are finding a very real dissatisfaction and a need for change among the local population.

"It has been very encouraging and is overwhelming me with work."

In fact, the popularity of the church and the out-reach programmes has meant Dunmurry Free Presbyterian Church now has a student from Queens University and the Belfast Bible College working with them and is also receiving additional help from another minister from outside the area.

"We are looking forward to seeing very worthwhile work done for the glory of God and we have now embarked on a
three-year programme of church building," said Rev Beattie.

Last Sunday saw the start of a year of work and activities to mark this : momentous anniversary.

Special services were held in the morning and evening, were members of the church and visitors gave thanks for everything that has been achieved in the past forty years.

The commemorations will continue for two weeks at the end of October and the beginning of November when Rev
Kenneth Elliott from Portadown will be taking part in a special evangelic campaign.

There will also be events held throughout the Christmas and New Year period, with the celebrations culminating in a very special service next October to officially mark Rev Beanie's 40 years of dedicated service.