First Ballyeaston

Presbyterian Church


"His House on the Hill"


Book Cover

A history of First Ballyeaston Presbyterian Church, entitled "His House on the Hill", has recently been published covering the years from 1676, when the church was first established, to 2004.


Written by Jim Wilson, whose family has had connections with the congregation over several generations, the history chronicles the ups and downs of this congregation of early Scottish settlers and their descendants over almost 330 years.
The congregation has been served by only 12 ministers, the current minister being the Rev. Edwin S McDowell who was installed on 25th May 2007. Our past minister the Rev. J. H. MacConnell was installed on 26th March 1969 and retired in June 2006 after 37 years faithful ministry. The present church was built in 1834 and is the third on this same site on the edge of the Sixmile Water Valley.


Originating out of Ballyclare (Non Subscribing) Presbyterian Church, founded around 1653, the congregation in Ballyeaston grew to cover a large area including the Glenwherry area where the people had been advised by Antrim Presbytery in 1672 to join themselves to some congregation, initially Ballyclare. It was not until 1823 that permission was granted to the people of Glenwherry to build their own meeting-house. Again in 1846 the then minister of First Ballyeaston, the Rev W. J. Raphael, was involved in the erection of the "Missionary Station of Kilbride" to full congregation status.


Among the Appendices to the history is a census record of the congregation in 1813 giving names, ages and occupations of all 388 families involving 2013 members. An earlier Historical Sketch by the Rev. W.J. Harrison covering the years 1676 to 1930 has also been reproduced.
Published in a paperback volume of some 300 pages
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Last updated 12 January 2016

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