The Ulster Presbytery's 2011 Anniversary Committee at a meeting in Hillsborough to discuss plans for 60th Anniversary Regional Rallies. L to R: (front row) Deputy Moderator Dr Lindsay Wilson (Castlederg), Moderator Dr. Ron Johnstone (Newtownards), Committee Chairman Rev Gordon Dane (Crossgar), Committee Secretary Rev Alan Smylie (Ballygowan), and Clerk of Presbytery Dr Ian Brown (Londonderry). (back row) David Williamson (Hillsborough Clerk of Session), Mervyn Carrick (Dungannon Elder), Wesley McAuley (Ballymoney Elder), Rev Trevor Baxter (Ballynahinch), Dr. David Mcllveen (Sandown Road), Dr Stanley Barnes (Former minister of Hillsborough) and Roy Moore (Crossgar Elder).
FREE Presbyterians from Lisburn, Hillsborough, Dromore, Crossgar, Ballynahinch, Dunmurry and Aghalee will hold a Service of Thanksgiving in Hillsborough Free Presbyterian Church on Friday March 18 to mark the 60th Anniversary of the formation of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster.
Local rally organiser, the Rev Gary Goodes (Hillsborough), will lead the meeting and the speaker will be the Dr Stanley Barnes, former minister of the church. There will be special singing by The Hillsborough Ladies Choir and Dr Fred Greenfield (Dunmurry) will also minister in song.
Co-ordinated by the congregations of the Ulster Presbytery, the rally at Hillsborough is one of eight special services being held in Free Presbyterian Churches throughout Northern Ireland.
Pictured in Crossgar on 17th March 1951 at the opening of the first Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster are L to R: Jack Gibson, George Hutton, Cecil Harvey, Rev Dr. lan Paisley, William Emerson, Rev George Stears (Minister Pro tem), James Morrison, George K Gibson, William Miscampbell and Hugh James Adams.
The Free Presbyterian Church was formed in Crossgar, Co Down on March 17, 1951.
There are now around 70 churches in the Ulster Presbytery including some in England, Scotland and Wales and the Republic of Ireland. There are also 24 in the North American Presbytery including one in which the first language is Korean and four more in Australia and Tasmania.
Free Presbyterian missionaries in many countries of the world and the church has financed the building of a 700-pupil school in Kenya. In addition, Free Presbyterians have sought to bring relief to Tsunami ravaged areas in India and earthquake torn Haiti to name just two of the bigger projects that were engaged in.
Speaking of the eight forthcoming Regional Rallies, Free Presbyterian Moderator Dr. Ron Johnstone said: This anniversary affords us an opportunity to remember the sacrifice of our founding fathers; to rejoice in the great things the Lord has done for us as a church and to re-dedicate ourselves to the principles of the Free Presbyterian Church and to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."