indeed, be a source of gratification to the eloquent and zealous
pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church to find that, after the labours
of upwards of a quarter-of-a-century, both 'in season and out of
season', among the flock that values his ministerial devotion, he can
cast his eyes around the handsome temple which has just been
completed for further extending his usefulness, and to meet the wants
of an increasing congregation. . ."
quotation from 'the Sentinel of Thursday, March 20, 1879, referred
to the opening in Londonderry the following Sunday of the new
Carlisle Road Presbyterian Church, which was described as "one
of the most substantial commodious and elegant Presbyterian Churches
in the North of Ireland."
cost of the building will fully reach £6,000, a sum
considerably above the original contract," continued the report.
"To defray this large outlay the congregation have liberally
subscribed and contributions have not been confined to the
members..." The minister to whom the report referred, was Rev.
Robert Ross, DD, who had been installed in March 1850, and remained
in charge of the congregation until July, 1894.
Ross was, in fact, the third minister of the congregation, which was
established in June 1838, and, at first, met in the city's former
Theatre located in Fountain Street. it vanished recently in the
re-development of the Fountain Street area.
first minister, Rev. John McFarland, who took up duties in June,
1838, remained for four years and was succeeded by Rev. Marcus Dill
Reid, Licentiate of Limavady Presbytery who was installed in May,
1843, and remained until his death on August 2, 1849. Under the
ministry of his successor, Mr. Ross, the Congregation increased to
such an extent that the present Carlisle Road Presbyterian Church was
built, and, on Sunday, special commemorative services will be held to
mark the centenary of its opening.
special preacher at the morning service will be the Moderator of the
General Assembly, Right Rev. Dr. David Burke, who was formerly
minister of Great James Street Church, in Londonderry, and at the
evening service a former minister of the Carlisle Road congregation,
Rev. John Girvan, will be the special speaker.
part of the centenary celebrations an exhibition depicting the
development of the congregation during its century in its present
building, will be presented in the Lecture Hall, on Wednesday, March
28, at 7.30 p. m.
minister of the congregation, Dr, Ross was elected Moderator of the
General Assembly in 1886, and, when he died in 1894, he had completed
44 years in the ministry.
other ministers of the congregation were: Rev. John Huey, 1895-1919;
Rev. David Hay, 1919-1927; Rev. Samuel McVicker, 1925-1956; Rev. John
Girvan 1956-1964; and the present minister, Rev. Richard Graham, who
was installed in February 1965.
just as many of the congregation's ministers made outstanding
contributions to the Presbyterian Church, so, too, were valuable
contributions made to the community by many of its members, such as
Sir John Ross, the last Lord Chancellor of Ireland, who was a son of
Carlisle Road Church manse; Alderman Sir William McLearn, who was
three times Mayor of Londonderry; and Alderman James Hamilton, who
was also a former Mayor of the city, and, for 18 years was Grand
Chief Templar of Ireland.