1st Dromara Presbyterian Church
in Ardtannagh townland on
the road between Dromara and Banbridge
This congregation was originally part of Dromore until 1713 .
The older church , which had been built in 1717, was small, thatched
and in bad repair.The first minister was Rev. John Campbell from
1715 until his death in 1724 . he was succeeded by Rev. John King
in 1726 until his death in 1762. Then Rev. James Birch from 1764
but he became infirm and his grandson, Rev. James Birch Black
took over in 1816. Rev. Black was suspended in 1823 for drunkedness.
. Next was Rev. William Craig from 1823 until his death in 1871.
There was a dispute over the next minister and the Reformed Prersbyterians
took over the meeting house until compelled to hand it back .
A new Meeting House was built in 1826 on the site of the old
church and cost £2,000 which was raised by private subscription.
In 1836 it was described as a large, plain, rectangular building,
capable of holding 1,200 people with an average attendance in
summer of 900 and in winter 700. Inside is an inscription by Rev.
William Craig, of Marybrook, Dromara, pastor in 1826. After the
difficulties following Rev. Craig's death, the next minister was
Rev. William Shepherd from 1874 until his resignation in 1880
then followed by Rev. John R. McCleery until 1884 when Rev. Edward
Ekin took over . Other ministers were F.S.K. Jamison & W.
Wilson & Rev. W.G. Glasgow in 1910.
here for a 19th century account of the beginnings of
Newspaper articles from Down Recorder;
clergy- fight in meeting house 2 Mar 1844;
here for a story about a member of the church c. 1888
Records from 1763, for records see Batch # C700041 & M700041
on www.familysearch.org; graveyard attached, oldest gravestone
1769; gravestone inscriptions Vol 19 UHF; email me for a gravestone
This photo was kindly sent to me by Ella Patterson