History

History2019-01-26T16:37:23+00:00

The oldest Presbyterian Church in Randalstown is the Old Congregation founded in 1655.  2nd Randalstown did not come into existence until 1774 when Rev. William Holmes of Ballyeaston was appointed to preach in Randalstown or Ahoghill (whichever he found most convenient!).  Rev. William Holmes was installed on 11th January 1775 of the joint charge of Randalstown Burgher Congregation and Brookside, Ahoghill.

In 1780 Thomas Smith was ordained on 12th October 1780 and in 1785 the Synod granted a collection to aid the building of a Meeting House in Randasltown.  Mr. Smith resigned in 1799 and fled to America following his involvement in the 1798 rebellion.  It was at his resignation that the fellowship in Randalstown was first recognised as a separate congregation.

Thomas Reid became minister of the congregation in 1805 and was succeeded by Henry Stewart, a man of vision and energy, who, during his 28 year tenure saw a Manse built in 1851 (at a cost of £220) and a new Meeting House constructed in 1857 (costing £400) and a gallery added in 1867 (for £130).

The Congregation holds records of : Baptisms from 1850 to the present; Marriages from 1845 to the present and Kirk Session Minutes from 1850 to the present.

List of Ministers

  • Thomas Smith               1780 – 1798 – Fled to America
  • Thomas Reid                   1805 – 1849 –  Died
  • Henry Stewart                1850 – 1878  –  Died
  • James Kennedy Elliott    1878 – 1880  –  Called to Magherafelt
  • Robert Trimble                1881 – 1892  –  Retired
  • James Henderson           1893 – 1895  –  Called to Creggs & Roscommon
  • William Martin                 1895 – 1922  –  Resigned at the Union of First and Second
  • Joseph Watson               1922-1930  –  Moved to Canada
  • Cuthbertson Jackson      1925 – 1930  –  Called to the Crescent, Belfast
  • Samuel Robert Auld        1930 – 1947  –  Called to Ballina, Killala, Dromore West
  • Wilfred Sloan Martin        1947 – 1959  –  Called to Knappagh & Lislooney
  • Samuel Bell Moles           1960 – 1971  –  Called to Union Road, Magherafelt
  • Robert Coffey                  1972 – 1975  –  Resigned from PCI to join the Baptist Church
  • George Shegog Dickson  1976 – 1977  –  Called back to Aughnacloy
  • Samuel George Anketell  1978 – 1985  –  Called to Portrush
  • Francis John Kelly            1985 – 1999  –  Retired
  • Robin Brown                    1999 – 2017 Called to Portadown