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
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.
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
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.
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.