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During 2013 Second Ballyeaston Presbyterian Church celebrated its founding 250 years ago. As part of these celebrations a book on the history of the church is being prepared.

The church, originally called Rashee Presbyterian Church, was founded in 1763 as a Seceder congregation - it was located at the Five Corners. The first minister was the Revd. Anderson who unfortunately died two years later.

The Revd. William Holmes was ordained in 1768 and in 1787 a new Rashee Presbyterian Meeting House was built on the site of the present church.

Church Image

The Revd. John Wright ministered between 1813 and 1840. In that year the Secession Synod and the Synod of Ulster united to form the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and the name of the congregation was changed to Second Ballyeaston.

In 1843 the Revd. Alexander Pollock was ordained and he served until 1859 (the year of the Great Revival).  The fifth minister was the Revd. A. Porter who was a local and served from 1860 to 1901.

In 1901 the Revd. William Brann was ordained.  Soon after, work started on rebuilding the church which was reopened in 1903.  The architect’s drawing of the South Elevation is reproduced to the right.
Architect Drawing of South Elevation

A few years later the Parade Manse, stables and sexton’s house (the last adjacent to the church) were built and trees planted around the site.

Original Church Photo

Mr. Brann served until he died in 1945 having been joined in 1941 by the Revd. James Coulter who resigned in 1965 after receiving a call to a church in Scotland. During the 1950s Mr. Coulter encouraged the building of the Brann Memorial Hall on the site of the sexton’s house.

Brann Hall Photo

The Revd. Robin Boyd was installed in 1966 serving until 1988. During his ministry the Coulter Hall was built adjacent to the Brann Hall in 1982.


At this time it was virtually impossible to have large functions in town centres, so Mr. Boyd came up with the idea of a series of Country Fairs which ran from 1972 to1978, and these helped to integrate the church into the local community. Ballyeaston Vintage Tractor Club, which still meets in our Halls, largely grew from the efforts of members of this congregation who were involved in the Fairs.      

The next minister was the Revd. Purvis Campbell. While he was in post the Minor Hall was converted into the Boyd Room. As part of the Millennium Project landscaping of the grounds included improved access to the sanctuary and Halls.

As part of our International Links Programme, the Revd. David Kiarie of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa, served with us as an Associate Minister for two years.

Church Photo


Our present minister, the Revd. Chris Glover was installed in 2006, the year after Mr. Campbell accepted a call to Belmont Presbyterian Church.

A further stage of improvements began with the adaptation of the front of the sanctuary in 2009 to cater for those with disabilities and to facilitate the multi-dimensional aspects of worship. During 2012-2013 refurbishment of the Halls complex took place which provides hospitality to our community.  Eventually it is hoped to link the buildings so as to provide a welcoming area.

Over the years worship has changed with the introduction of hymns as well as psalms, the organ in place of the tuning-fork, and the development of a Worship Group and Band in addition to the Choir.  An audio-visual system has evolved to enhance the services.

The well-known Ballyclare Male Voice Choir was formed through the efforts of the Revd. James Coulter and the choirmaster Mr. Albert McClenaghan. The Templepatrick Presbytery Choirs’ Festival was initiated by the choirmaster Arthur Finlay in 1968 and will be held this year in our church on the 11th April.

In the early days there were very few opportunities to meet outside worship except for Choir Practices. Once suitable accommodation was provided, organisations such as the Sunday School and Bible Class, the Boys’ Brigade (shared with 1st Ballyeaston and held in 2nd Ballyeaston) and the Girls’ Brigade (shared with 1st Ballyeaston and held in 1st Ballyeaston), the Women’s Missionary Association (now Presbyterian Women), the Indoor Bowling Club, Badminton Club, Youth Club, Shine (our Drama Group) and recently, Moms and Tots. These organisations are open to all within the local community.

Second Ballyeaston Presbyterian Church History Book     
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