Rome and I.R.A. Terrorism

The involvement of the Church of Rome in I.R.A. terrorism has been highlighted with the Hunger Strike of the I.R.A. prisoners at the Maze Prison, their deaths and the subsequent stand of the Roman Catholic Church resulting therefrom. Even the people of England have been shocked at the fact that the Church has been having special prayers in the honour of Bobby Sands the convicted I.R.A. terrorist, and special Masses for the repose of his soul.

The Church of Rome's attitude to the I.R.A. is worth consideration. At one time the Church condemns terrorism and acts of murder, arson and violence, and in another time the Church of Rome gives full honour to a person that spearheads such a campaign. Now it is a fact that the Church of Rome teaches that it is a mortal sin to take one's life. Yet the Church of Rome has taken a completely different stand on her own theology when it has come to the question of the self-inflicted death of an I.R.A. terrorist. Suicide is a mortal sin, but there is a special dispensation for I.R.A. terrorists. The doctrine of the Church is suddenly changed when an I.R.A. terrorist takes his own life, and it sees to it that that person dies with the full rights of the sacraments of the Church, and with the full honours of the so-called Christian burial which the Roman Catholic Church can give. All decent thinking people will ask the question, Why?

Then to add insult to injury we have a Jesuit priest from America uttering the vile blasphemy that Bobby Sands died like Jesus Christ. We would like to shout "Liar and Blasphemer" at this Jesuit priest. No man ever died like Jesus Christ. The death of the Lord Jesus Christ was absolutely unique, but to draw a parallel between the death of an I.R.A. convicted terrorist and the Atoning Death of the Lord Jesus Christ for sinners on the Cross shows the depths of blasphemy the Church of Rome will stoop to in order to justify her support for I.R.A. terrorism.

Now it is revealed that when the Pope's envoy came to visit the I.R.A. Hunger Strikers he brought with him specially blessed crucifixes from the Pope, and [3] Mrs. Hughes on a Radio Broadcast uncovered this, and said that her son had perfect peace as he held the blessed crucifix, which the Pope had sent to him, in his hands. Such a gift from the Pope surely an aiding and abetting of the Hunger Strikers in their action. Of course the Papacy has always taken an anti-British stance as far as Ireland is concerned. The Church of Rome, having taken this stand on I.R.A. terrorism and given to I.R.A. terrorists who take their lives the full honours of the Church, is bound to reap what she sows, and now the Pope himself has become a victim of terrorism, shot down in Saint Peter's Square by a would-be assassin.

Protestants who believe in the Bible which is the Word of God utterly condemn any attacks on any person's life. They believe in the Scriptural commandment "Thou shalt not kill", and while rejecting the Pope, (to quote the words of the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury - Archbishop Cranmer), as Christ's enemy and Antichrist, yet no Protestant would do any harm to the Pope's person. God is Judge and sooner or later all occupants of the Seat of the Papacy who claim to be the sole Vicars of Jesus Christ on earth will answer at God's Tribunal. God's people should be in prayer constantly in these days that Divine intervention will come to the situation in Northern Ireland, that the fear of God will come down upon the Province, and that we shall be delivered by a mighty Heaven-sent revival of true religion.

30th Anniversary of the Founding of The Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster
A sermon preached by Dr. Ian Paisley M.P. on 17th March 1981 in Crossgar Free Presbyterian Church

It is a great pleasure and privilege for me to be with you this evening and have this opportunity of ministering to you from God's Precious and Holy Word, on the thirtieth anniversary, not only of the founding of this congregation but of the founding of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. It is a great thrill to see in our congregation our brother Hugh James Adams. We are delighted he is able to be with us, and we bid him especially welcome tonight.

[4] I was looking at the photograph that was taken of the original Kirk Session of this Church, and some of the Committee members, and as our brother Mr. Harvey has pointed out to you this evening, there is now just Mr. Harvey and Brother Hugh James left of that original number photographed on that historic day, St. Patrick's Day, 1951. Of course, those that are left show the marks of the passing of the thirty years. Brother Hamilton Coulter said to me this evening "Your hair is almost as white as mine". So the marks of patriarchal age are coming upon us all.

There will be those, who no doubt, will take part, if the Lord has not come in the meantime, in the sixtieth anniversary of the Free Presbyterian Church. I don't intend to be celebrating that anniversary upon earth. I intend to celebrate it in heaven. Some of the young people who are here this evening will see that day, and they will took back, no doubt, as we look back over the thirty years with praise and gratitude and thanksgiving to Almighty God.


It is a strange thing that when historic events happen in Northern Ireland, the pen of the poet is always busy. I don't know how many poems have been sent to me about certain men that appeared recently on the hillside of County Antrim. All sorts of peoms and poetry have been constructed, and songs have been written and sung. But when the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster was formed I received a poem signed by a pen name R. Aven Hill, which, of course, is Ravenhill.

*** (See page 27) ***

Historic words, and yet within them there is a prophecy that the best has yet to be and the end is not yet, Praise the Lord!


Thirty years ago the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster was born on St. Patrick's Day, here in Crossgar in the little Mission Hall which stands beside this Church building. The Free Presbyterian Church struggled forth from Irish Presbyterian apostasy under deep stress and amidst fierce opposition.

One man when he arrived at the door of the Hall for the opening service had his coat covered with spittles - the spittles of those who stood along the footpath and spat on the people coming for the opening service.

The doors of Lissara Presbyterian Church Hall had been closed against the preaching of the Gospel by the Presbytery of Down contrary to the wish of the Kirk Session of the Church. Two elders had been suspended. Our brother Mr. Hugh James Adams and, of course, Mr. George K. Gibson. As a consequence the apostasy of Irish Presbyterianism had been exposed. When we raised the blue banner of Free Presbyterianism on that day the Irish Presbyterian Church [5] pronounced that we would live for a few months and then die and be forever forgotten.

The Unitarian Magazine of the Non-Subscribers carried an article entitled "Ranters", and they said that "the rise of the ranters had taken place in Crossgar, but in a few short months their ranting would be over forever".

The Church of Ireland carried an article which said that "the little bethels of Free Presbyterianism would soon be forgotten".

How foolish those predictions now sound after thirty years! Not only has the Free Presbyterian Church established itself, but it is the fastest growing Protestant Church in the country with a membership that has doubled since the last census. It has now churches in the Irish Republic, the United States of America, Canada and Australia. We met thirty years ago in a borrowed tin hall, now we have property valued at millions of pounds. Yes, and we never had a daffodil tea, or a pea-soup supper, or a jumble sale, or a pyjama picnic. We never stooped to any worldly form of raising funds and never will as long as I am around, and as long as the members here are around.


The achievements of this church were not gained without tremendous sacrifice. Twice as your Moderator I have been behind prison bars with my ministerial colleagues. Twice I have been before the courts, opposing apostasy. Once in Donaghadee, when they tried to stop the Rev. John Wylie and myself from holding a gospel open-air service on the sea front and on the second occasion because we rebuked Donald Soper when he denied the Virgin Birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We have been deported from Rome and Geneva because of our protest against Pa Pa and the World Council of Churches. Our people have also been persecuted. In the early days some Free Presbyterians lost their jobs and were sacked because they worshipped in our Churches. Others were driven from their homes. I remember a young woman coming to my digs where I was staying before I was married, and she said, "I have been put out. Can you get me somewhere that I can have shelter for the night. My father and mother have commanded me, 'Stay here but leave the Free Presbyterian Church, and if you don't, we have no time for you"'. That young girl loved the Lord more than she loved father and mother, and she walked the way of the Cross.

I want the young people of our Church to remember those early sacrifices!

The religious establishment tried to stop us. No people ever endured such savage attacks from the media. The media refused our Press announcements. They carried letter after letter villifying our Church, and refused to print one line that we sent in its defence. We were hounded as criminals and denied redress. Nevertheless God Almighty prospered us. [6]

Does God do miracles? The Free Presbyterian Church is God's miracle of the twentieth century. Humanly speaking this Church should have gone under. Everything was against its survival, and we were not without grave and terrible difficulties in those early days.


I remember Presbytery meetings when we sought to keep the wolf from the door, when we had to adjourn and I had to be driven round the country and beg 5 here and 10 there and 20 yonder to keep the doors open for God and His truth. We were nobodys and nothings, and we still are nobodys and nothings, but, thank God, God chooses the weak things to confound the mighty. We read in the Bible, "He that sits in the heavens shall laugh, for the Lord shall have them in derision". The Lord laughed, and the Free Presbyterian Church is the Lord's laugh at apostasy. He says, "I will take these people in their little tin Hall; these people that have been called ranters; these people who 'are going to fail in a few days', and I will shew the modernists - the apostates and the Romanists what I can do through the weakest of men", and, glory to God, He has done it, and He will do it again and again.

The Belfast News-Letter reported the following words, with which I finished my sermon, thirty years ago when I constituted this denomination and this congregation. Here are my words, "Just as the Free Church of Scotland grew in strength 'till it was almost as big as the Church it left, so I believe that this Church will go forward 'till all Ulster rings with its teaching". That statement has been more than justified. Not only does Ulster ring with the teaching of this Church, not only does Ireland ring with the teaching of this Church, not only does the whole United Kingdom ring with the teaching of this Church, but in Canada, where we have Churches in Toronto and Alberta; in the U.S.A. where we have Churches in Philadelphia and Greenville, and in Australia where we have a Church in Port Lincoln, there rings out the old-time religion which this Church was called into being to proclaim and to defend. IT IS THE LORD'S DOING, AND IT IS MARVELLOUS IN OUR EYES!

In the eighth chapter of the Book of Job, at the verse 7 you will read these words: "Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end shall greatly increase". Those words have been literally fulfilled over and over again in the history of the Free Presbyterian Church.


In an old Revivalist I see in 1952 the report of the first anniversary of this congregation, and rejoicing in the fact of a great year in Crossgar. The Church Income was l,220, and we thought that was a record offering and a record year. You have in your hands tonight the annual report of the Church, and you [7] will see that the Income this year has been some 17,883. Those figures themselves prove the truth of the Word, that "Though thy beginnings were small, thy latter end shall greatly increase".

Now, the Rev. Cecil Menary very wisely went to North Antrim to get his wife. I was reading in the Revivalist of some happenings up there in the Cabra area before the Cabra Church came into existence. The elders of Drumreagh Presbyterian Church, unsatisfied by the previous state into which that congregation had fallen by the decision of members of their Presbytery, invited me to conduct a mission in the old Cabra Schoolhouse. The Presbytery of the Route were dead scared that at the end of that mission a Free Presbyterian Church would be formed, so the Rev. Professor Barkley, who had been minister in Drumreagh, was sent to parly with the elders. He was afraid to meet them in Ballymoney, in case there would be a lot of talk about his visit, so he met them in what was described as the backside of the desert - in Finvoy, and there he had a meeting. He told the elders that the Crossgar Free Presbyterian Church was finished, that all its elders and people had drifted back to Lissara, that the Rev. George Stears could not be paid his salary and was reduced to poverty by the people who had called him, and that he had expressed his extreme sorrow that he had ever found himself in such an unhappy position. Those elders were wise men. They didn't accept the word of the learned Professor, but the following Lord's Day they drove to Crossgar. It was the Sunday after the installation of the Rev. Finlay, and they went into the Lissara Church (That was, of course, a very important day, the Sunday after a new minister is installed. Everybody comes to Church, not to hear the sermon but to look at the preacher) and there was a record turnout, and those elders counted the number, and there was one hundred and sixty people. They didn't wait to hear the sermon, they then came round to the Killyleagh Street Mission Hall, and they counted one hundred and twenty people in the Free Church that Sunday morning. They went back to Cabra and sent word to the Professor that he was a liar. It was a pity that those elders had not waited 'till the evening service, because in the evening service Mr. & Mrs. Wood and Timothy Timber were prominent in Lissara, while the Mission Hall had a very large congregation for the preaching of the Gospel. Now those elders, including our Brother Menary's late father-in-law, decided that the place for them was in the Free Presbyterian Church, and because of that your minister got a bride. So I have some part in that particular matter! I, of course, had some part in the wedding ceremony and some part in very interesting happenings after the wedding ceremony, as, no doubt, he will ever remember. I don't know whether with pleasure or with gratitude! That is a story for another occasion.

"Though thy beginnings be small, thy latter end shall greatly increase". [8]


Something happened thirty years ago in this village. Something happened in this village that has reverberated around County Down, around every little County of our beloved Province, and around the world because God was in it. God led us. God guided us, and God directed us.

Now there were many interested in the Free Presbyterian Church at that time. The Rev. Ivor Lewis was interested in joining the Free Presbyterian Church. In fact, Mr. Lewis and myself in his manse, drew up the Statement of Faith that the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster still adheres to. A meeting was convened in my Church with the elders of Lissara (I'm sure Mr. Cecil Harvey will remember that!) At that meeting the Rev. Geoffrey Chart, who was a candidate for the Lissara pulpit, was present. Mr. Lewis, Mr. Chart and the elders had a long conversation together. At that time it seemed that they were going to unfurl the flag with us and stand with us in the battle. But, alas, for them and for their ministry they fell by the wayside, and both of them have now crossed the River to answer to the great King and Head of the Church for their actions. But, you know, their decision while it was used by Satan to dampen the zeal of some at that time, only nerved others to take a bold and courageous stand.


This Church is not the Church of clericalism. This Church is the Church of the people. It is the strong elders and congregation in this Church that has made it what it is, and has kept it. May it ever be a strong Church, and God save us from clericalism and God make us a Church in the New Testament terms strong in membership and strong in convictions of its people.

The day came, when after a day and night of prayer, the decision was made that a step must be taken and a Church formed that would stand without compromise for the Crown Rights of King Jesus, and the Crown jewels of His Glorious Gospel. I thank God tonight, humbly, that I had the privilege on that occasion thirty years ago of preaching that constitutional sermon and declaring to the world that a body of men and women in Ulster were going to stand outside the camp and fight the battle for Jesus Christ. If I had known the way that I would have been brought, if this congregation had known the path along which it would have to travel, perhaps we would not have put our hand to the plough. God however kindly veils the future in order that we may be blessed and helped and strengthened in the time that we need grace. God does not give you grace for the difficulties of tomorrow. He gives you grace for the difficulties of today. God has given us grace, and through ill report and good report, through dishonour and honour, 'as deceivers' (as Paul says in 2 Corinthians chapter 46) 'yet true', we have continued to this day. Our Church is a Church today which the apostate denominations fear. [9]

I was hearing on the Radio as I was coming down to this service, that Bishop Eames was preaching around this area, I think it was in Downpatrick, and the Radio commentator said, "Although he didn't mention Ian Paisley's name we know who he was getting at." If I was getting at anybody I would mention their name. You'll not need to make any of your own deductions when I deal with a matter.


I want to tell you in closing why Bishop Eames is so mad. You see he is leading a deputation to the United States of America. They are going there to tell the people of the United States 'the truth about Ulster'. Now who is this deputation? First of all, they are taking with them, Mr. Bird. Well, who is Mr. Bird? And what does he know about Ulster? He is a Republican from the South of Ireland - a member of the Fine Gael Party. So 'Mr. Blackbird' is going to tell the people of America 'the truth about Ulster'. Then the Bishop is going to take with him Canon William Arlow, and Canon Arlow, we are told, 'no one would object to him, because if you read (says Mr. McKelvie, the Editor of the Church of Ireland Gazette) what Mr. Arlow said to the U.S. Committee of the Judiciary, then all your doubts would be expelled, and you would be happy that Canon Arlow is a part of the deputation'.


Now, I always make it my business to have the nose bag, and I went and got a copy of the Report by two members of the Committee of the Judiciary of the Ninety-Fifth Congress, because I thought it was most important that I should find out what Mr. McKelvie said concerning Canon Arlow's testimony, and why Canon Arlow is specially equipped, after what he said in this Report, 'to speak for Ulster'. Page 118 of the report. Mr. Eilburg a Congress man, asked Rev. Arlow, 'How does your position as just annunciated differ from the Sinn Fein position, if it does?' The Rev. Arlow replied, 'No I am not a supporter of Provisional Sinn Fein'. Mr. Eilburg, 'It sounds to me that you are saying something that is very close to their position'. Rev. Arlow, 'It is close to their position.' So out of his own mouth he says that he takes a position close to Provisional Sinn Fein. Questioned about the I.R.A. here is what he says about the I.R.A., 'I don't like them being regarded as the villains of our community'. You have not got to regard the bombers and the murderers and the killers, according to Canon Arlow, as villains. But on page 115 he says, concerning the I.R.A., 'What they are fighting for seems to me to be eminently reasonable', and he goes on, in page 120, to say, that 'the only way to deal with the Unionists is to take the base from under their feet'. This is the man that is going to tell America the so-called truth about Ulster, along with 'Blackbird', he is a speckled -bird. [10]


I have had some very interesting happenings. I don't know why. One day when I lived on the Beersbridge Road I came in from visiting, and my wife said to me, 'you have got a visitor, and you'll be surprised who it is'. I said, 'I don't know who it would be'. She said, 'It is Billy Arlow'. So I went into my sitting room and Billy Arlow was sitting there. He used to be a member of Church Street East Baptist Church, and he was the Secretary of Youth for Christ. He was then a Church of Ireland minister in Newry, and he said, 'Ian, I am in serious trouble and I have come for help and advice'. I said, 'It is a strange thing, Billy, that you would come to me for help and advice'. 'Well,' he said, 'I am having trouble with the Roman Catholic Bishop down in Newry, and if anybody could help a man to deal with a Roman Catholic Bishop, you are the man to do it'. He told me what the Bishop was doing, and I gave him sound advice how to spike the Bishop's guns. That is Canon Arlow. He comes to me for advice to spike the guns of a Roman Catholic Bishop, and then he goes to Feakle to talk to the Irish Republican Army. He then proclaims, "They are fighting a reasonable cause. They are not villains and Britain should pull the rug from under the feet of the Unionist people'.

I am very glad, even if Mrs. Thatcher could pull the rug from under our feet, we would jump up again and we would just be as strong without the rug as with the rug, and maybe she would get rugged in the process. I will leave that to your imagination.

Then we have another eminent man, Mr. McKelvie, who says that everybody who supports Ian Paisley in his political stand is designated demoniac. So all of you have demons, you have all demons! Very serious charges.


They are all going to America, and they are going to be orchestrated by Bishop Eames. No wonder he doesn't like Ian Paisley. No wonder he is seriously troubled about what is happening, because more and more Church of Ireland people are coming to me and saying, 'We can no longer stay in the Church of Ireland. It is getting more like Popery everyday. It is time we were out'. I replied, 'I have been telling you that for thirty years. Thank God you have got the wax out of your ears, and you are beginning to hear'.

[As we go to press it has just been announced that a Church of Ireland Rector has attended a service in the R.C. Church for prayers for the I.R.A. suicide Bobby Sands]

I tell you, the next thirty years will be the greatest thirty years that we have ever seen in Northern Ireland, because God has given us a firm base from which to work. The Free Presbyterian Church is more capable now to fight Popery and the Ecumenical Movement and the enemies of Ulster than ever she [11] has been before. And God is saying to this Church on its thirtieth anniversary, "Fear not little flock, it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom".

If I had stood in that little Hall and told you that after thirty years we would have about fifty Churches, if I told you we would have spread to America, Canada and Australia, if I had told you of the magnificent buildings that we would build, of the ministers we would have, of the College we would found, of the missionaries we would support, and of the millions of pounds that would be raised for God's work, you would have laughed at me. If I had said, 'When I come back in thirty years I'll be the member of Parliament for North Antrim and the member for Northern Ireland in the European Parliament', you would have said, 'That fellow is off his head'. I want to tell you, God did it! Do you want an answer to the Free Presbyterian Church? Don't look for your answer, like some fools, on Ian Paisley. John Hume said to me, one day in Europe, 'When you die, your Church will die'. I replied, 'You are a fool. When I die, God will send some young Joshua to lead us into the promised land', that is what will happen. I said, 'It is nothing to do with me. It is to do with Almighty God'.


Some of our best and most chosen foundation members have gone from us, and tonight we feel their passing. These men, the founding Kirk Session, members of this Church were dear and beloved men of God. Thank God that God gave me the privilege to know them, to be associated with them, and to stand with them in the battle. This Church however will go on, for when God buries His workmen He doesn't forsake His work.

I would say to the young people here, in my closing words, Young people, we are leaving you a great heritage. Be faithful to it! Remember the sacrifices that were made that you might have a church free from apostasy and popery, and free to serve the Lord Christ.

I was looking at that report in the News-Letter, when the News-Letter reported the opening of our Church here in Crossgar and what I said, 'They say you cannot form a congregation because the Code forbids it'. We have no truck with the Code. Irish Presbyterianism has sold the pass. It has betrayed the heritage of our fathers. We in Crossgar are going back to the old standards to preach the faith of our fathers.

Thank God we are still preaching I and we will continue to preach it 'till Jesus comes or calls!

God bless you! Your beginnings may be small but your latter end will greatly increase!

One little pun I must pass before I finish. I think Miss Emerson you should really rebuke Brother Cecil Harvey because he said his singing improved with the organist and all the time our sister played he didn't improve one iota. He was as poor as ever with his singing. Shame on you that you should not improve with [14] all the organ playing by good organists in this Church! It is a pleasure to be back here in Crossgar, a privilege to preach to you. I pray continually for this Church and its pastor and people. It is part of my ministry and part of my very being.

I remember the first day I came in that little Ruby saloon car. I needed a shoe horn to get me in and two shoe horns to get me out! I remember going into that little Hall. It was a Sunday night, and I spent half the night upon my knees in prayer. Little did we know how God was going to answer those prayers.

God bless you! The battle will be fierce in the coming days, and there will be many voices raised, but you who have been strong in faith and prayer in the past continue to pray for this preacher that unswervingly and with allegiance to Christ and Christ alone he shall continue to stand true to the principles of Christ's Gospel until He calls him to take his place among the redeemed in Glory.

How good is the God we adore,
Our faithful, unchangeable Friend,
His love is as great as His power,
And knows neither measure nor end.

Yes to the end shall endure,
As sure as the earnest is given
More happy but not more secure
When glorified with Him in heaven.



THE FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF ULSTER - How It All Beqan (continuedfrom March issue)
the Editor


"A new congregation - Crossgar Congregation of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster - is to be constituted in the Killyleagh Street Mission Hall, Crossgar, on Saturday.

This split in Presbyterians in Crossgar has resulted from the recent refusal of Down Presbytery to sanction the use of the Lissara Presbyterian Church's lecture hall for an evangelical mission and because the church's polling list was revised, according to some of the members, contrary to the rules of the Presbyterian Church.

This development was disclosed in Belfast to-day by Mr. George K. Gibson, A.R.I.B.A., one of the two elders of Lissara who officially protested against the mission ruling.

He said the new congregation would have five of the seven elders of Lissara, including the Clerk of Session, Mr. James Morrison, who would become Clerk of the new Session.

Mr. Gibson stated that interest in the Crossgar move had been manifested in various parts of Northern Ireland, and that some other congregations of the Free Church of Ulster were in process of formation.

Among those elders who are joining the new church are Mr. W. Miscampbell, superintendent of the Lissara Sabbath School; Mr. H. J. Adams, a Sabbath School teacher; and Mr. C. Harvey, captain Boys' Brigade Company. All the Sabbath School teachers are leaving to join the new congregation.

Minister, pro tem, will be Rev. George Stears, of the Presbyterian Church of South America. He was for 22 years in the mission field there and has been resident in Belfast temporarily for the past few years.

Mr. Stears expects to carry on with his missionary work but has agreed to take over the pulpit of the Crossgar congregation pending the appointment of a permanent minister.


This morning a letter, authorised by the five elders, was delivered by post to every member of Lissara Presbyterian Church, and to all ministers in Down Presbytery, setting out the reasons for the breakaway.

After referring to Presbytery's refusal to allow the church hall to be used for a mission, the letter deals with an alleged violation of the Presbyterian Code by the revision of [24] the congregational polling list while the pulpit was vacant.

It states that the revision was carried out although it had been stated publicly that that could not be done, and adds:

"It is significant that our clerk of Session, Mr. James Morrison, refused to sign the revised poll list against his conscience, and others of the Session also refused even to attend the meeting at which it was confirmed."


The letter states that the answer to the problem confronting Irish Presbyterianism to-day was to be found in the Assembly's College, where some of the professors "both in their teachings and writings deny the truths we hold so dear, reduce the Scriptures to the level of mere human writing, make little of our Confession of Faith and Shorter Catechism, deny the very Deity and Virgin birth of our Saviour, and place the Protestant doctrine that Christ bore our sins on the Cross on a level with the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Mass."

The constitution service at Crossgar on Saturday will be followed by the ordination and induction of the elders and the induction of Mr. Stears. The service will be conducted by Rev. Ian R. K. Paisley, of Ravenhill Evangelical Church, Belfast."


Scenes reminiscent of an old-time revival meeting marked the formal constitution in Crossgar on Saturday afternoon of the first congregation of the "Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster."

Bus loads of evangelical Presbyterians from distant parts of Ulster turned up to swell the throng which overflowed from the little Killyleagh Street mission hall which, in the few weeks since the schism started in the congregation of Lissara Presbyterian Church, has been transformed into a temporary church building, even to a stained glass window bearing the emblem of the new denomination burning bush and the motto "Christ for Ulster."

A large number of Presbyterians, led by five of the original seven elders of Lissara Church, have formed the new congregation in a general protest against "modernism" in the Irish Presbyterian Church, and in particular against the action of Down Presbytery in refusing to permit the holding of an "old-time gospel campaign" in Lissara Church Hall.

Killyleagh Street Hall was too small to hold all the supporters of the "breakaway" movement on Saturday, and many late comers sat on forms outside, listening to the service through loud-speakers. [25]

The Rev. Ian R. K. Paisley, minister of Ravenhill Evangelical Church, Belfast, conducted the service constituting the new church and inducting the ruling elders and the temporary minister, the Rev. George Stears, of the Presbyterian Church of South America.


Quiet solemnity marked the actual ceremonial, but earlier, as Mr. Paisley told the reasons for the breakaway - "We are going back to the old standard to preach the old Gospel" - and accused the Irish Presbyterian Church of having "betrayed the faith of our fathers," he was constantly interrupted by cries of "Halleluia," "Amen" and "Praise the Lord."

The enthusiasm reached its highest pitch as Mr. Paisley ended his sermon with the words: "Just as the Free Church of Scotland grew in strength till it was almost as big as the church it left, so I believe that this Church, with the blessing of God, will go forward till all Ulster rings with its teaching."

Mr. George K. Gibson and Mr. Hugh J. Adams, two former Lissara elders who were suspended by Down Presbytery when they protested against the banning of the Gospel, were inducted as elders of the new church, others being Messrs. James Morrison, William Miscampbell, William Emerson and Cecil Harvey.


Every seat was taken in the Killyleagh Street Church Hall, Crossgar, on Saturday afternoon, when the Rev. Ian R. K. Paisley, of Ravenhill Evangelical Church, Belfast, conducted the opening service constituting the Crossgar congregation of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. Extra forms had to be brought in to accommodate the congregation. There were two special 'bus loads of people from Belfast, and visitors from centres in Down, Antrim, Londonderry and Tyrone. The service was relayed by loudspeakers to the street.


The Rev. George Stears, of the Presbyterian Church of South America, who, Mr. Paisley said, was ordained to the ministry at a presbytery meeting in Rio Grande del Norte in May, 1935, was inducted as minister pro tem by Mr. Paisley. Five elders of Lissara Presbyterian Church, from which the seceding church is a breakaway, were inducted as elders of the congregation. They are Messrs. James Morrison (clerk), William Miscampbell, Hugh J. Adams, Cecil Harvey and George K. Gibson. Mr. [26] William Emerson was ordained and installed as elder.

Mr. Paisley, in the course of his sermon, said that they took their stand that day for the infallibility of the Word of God. They believed that the Bible from Genesis to Revelation was God's inspired, infallible revelation. When modernists were forgotten and heretics was no more the Word of God would stand for ever.

"We are not Unitarians," he declared. "We have no truck with Unitarians, whether they call themselves Non-subscribers or whether they take the false title of First Presbyterians. We are Trinitarians."

He would debate with any leader of the Irish Presbyterian Church in any hall in Belfast his statement that the Irish Presbyterian Church, in its General Assembly, had betrayed her position as an evangelical Protestant Church, and had allowed modernism and rationalism to take the seat of authority and rule her with ecclesiastical dictatorship.

The "lengthy epistle" which had been issued by Down Presbytery would be answered point by point. It was not true to say that it was the friends of the new congregation who wanted the Lissara poll list revised. They had protested that at an election held in Lissara Church there were people who had voted illegally. They took it to Down Presbytery, who had no option but to cancel the election, but cancelling an election did not mean cancelling the poll list.

Mr. Paisley said that people in Crossgar had asked themselves what was wrong with Irish Presbyterianism, when it did not want the Gospel in its church hall and when it suspended elders who stood up for the rights of the people.

Referring to Mr. Stears, he said that Church House knew very well who he was, and Down Presbytery could have found out from Church House who he was. As for himself, he (Mr. Paisley) had never claimed to be a minister of the Irish Presbyterian Church. He did not want to be associated with a Church which challenged the Word of God. He was the minister of a church at Ravenhill which 14 years ago had done the same thing that Crossgar was doing to-day and which had been given a year to last. To-day it was flourishing.

"They say you cannot form a congregation because the Code forbids it," said Mr. Paisley. "We have no truck with the Code. Irish Presbyterianism has sold the past. It has betrayed the heritage of our fathers. We in Crossgar are going back to the old standards and to preach the faith of our fathers.

"Just as the Free Church of Scotland grew in strength, so we believe that this Church will have the blessing of God and go forward until Ulster rings with its teachings."

Morning and evening services were held in Killyleagh Street Hall, which is a temporary worshipping place for the congregation, yesterday, and a Sunday School was held in the morning. [27]


A mission was planned to take place at Crossgar,
And folks were expected from near and far;
So the Church called Lissara was booked long before
And the Christians all felt there was blessing in store.

A preacher called Paisley had long been engaged,
And when Modernists heard it they all were enraged;
They knew that their heresies he would attack,
And they schemed and devised how they might keep him back.

It happened just then that the pastor resigned,
And for six months Lissara no other could find;
Sabbath by Sabbath they heard some poor fool,
Who was trained at Assembly's theology school.

When the pulpit was vacant the Presbytery met,
For to hinder the mission their hearts were all set;
"From Lissara we shall Mr. Paisley exclude,"
They said in a bold dictatorial mood.

So they issued instructions to close up the Church
On weeknights, and leave this good man in the lurch.
They would not permit him the Gospel to preach,
Or edify saints with the truths he would teach.

But in Killyleagh Street a good hall was soon found,
And the people were lured by the Gospel's sweet sound.
Night after night precious souls found the Lord,
And rejoiced in salvation proclaimed in His word.

Ere the mission was ended the young and the old
Had been brought in great numbers right into the fold;
No more could they listen to Modernist stuff,
Or endure the Down Presbytery's terrible bluff.

They founded a Church with its doctrines all sound,
Whose ministers stand on the truth's solid ground,
Warning lost sinners of judgement and hell,
And telling of Jesus the Saviour as well.

In spite of all scorn and the Modernist jeers,
Mr. Paisley inducted the Rev. George Stears;
Who ministers now to an increasing flock
Of people of true Presbyterian stock.

The Free Presbyterian Church of our day,
Now firmly established is winning its way;
In Belfast and North Antrim the cause has soon spread, [28]
And by Holy Ghost power will go further ahead.

The old Presbyterian Church in this land
Has now got no Gospel for which it can stand;
Professors like Davey and Wilson and Haire
Have corrupted the message she used to declare.

But God in His grace has raised up a new Church,
Whose preachers will not the old doctrines besmirch,
But will boldly proclaim the Infallible Word,
And seek to commend our Redeemer and Lord.

"Pray, pray for Revival," is Paisley's appeal,
As he starts on new missions with fervour and zeal;
May the Lord in each place, by the Holy Ghost's flame,
Do miraculous things and bring praise to His name.

- R. Aven Hill


The Presbytery of Down tried in vain to reply to the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. They produced a foolish document and then got the support of the Synod to try and bolster up their hopeless case.

The Press, "Northern Whig" and "Belfast Newsletter," gave both the Irish Presbyterian defence and our reply a very good show.

We reproduce our statements which deal fully with the childish remarks of the Presbytery.

The Presbytery of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster meeting in Crossgar on Thursday last considered the statements issued by the Presbytery of Down and the Synod of Belfast, and have the following comments to make.

The Presbytery of Down have been absolutely unable to clear the Irish Presbyterian Church in general and themselves in particular of the following charges clearly set out in the manifesto of Free Presbyterianism.

(1) The anti-evangelical and anti-evangelistic attitude of the Presbytery clearly manifested by their closing of the doors of the people's property against unanimous wish of the people's representatives, "the Kirk Session."

(2) The unitarian leanings of the Irish Presbyterian Church as signified in the following statements of the Principal of the Assembly's College who holds his position by the vote of the highest authority in the Church, the General Assembly.

"The Holy Ghost is not a Person in the same sense as the Father and the Son."
"There is no clear Trinitarian conception in the New Testament."
"I know of no proof text from Scripture that is conclusive for the doctrine of the Trinity."

This pro-unitarian position has been recently strengthened by the action of the Presbytery of Belfast in upholding those who invited [29] Unitarian Ministers to preach in their pulpits."

(3) The betrayal of the Protestant Reformation by their membership of the World Council of Churches which extended an inviting hand to the Church of Rome and consists of many idolatrous and Unitarian bodies.

(4) The apostasy of Irish Presbyterianism by its support of Professor Davey, who stated in Elmwood Presbyterian Church that parts of our Bible are "utterly damnable." (Page 47 "The New Bible of Syllabus," by Rev. James Edgar, B.A., a Minister in good standing in the Irish Presbyterian Church).

Professor Davey in his book "The Changing Vesture of the Faith" terms the Scriptural doctrine of imputation clearly taught in 1 Peter 2 and 24 as an "absurd theory" and places it on a level with the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Mass. (See pages 78-80 "Changing Vesture of the Faith").

The Presbytery of Down finding themselves absolutely unable to clear themselves of these charges, the commence to single out certain persons and with their "supposedly" limited knowledge of the true facts try to besmirch the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. It is them, not us, to use their own words, who make not merely "a flagrant breach of Christian Charity but of ordinary propriety" and distort "the facts in a manner which can scarcely be other than deliberate." [29]


The Kirk session or some members of it did not challenge the accuracy of the poll list, but what they did challenge was the validity of the election, where some people, whose names were not on the poll list, voted. This was what they appealed to the Presbytery about who then agreed to cancel the election; but cancelling the election did not mean cancelling the poll list. In fact, the convenor of the vacancy, Rev. Matthew Bailie, stated at a Church meeting in Lissara on Monday, 5th February, that "the poll list could not be revised" and then on the following Sabbath in Lissara stated that the poll list was not going to be revised. Is this fair dealing? Why do the Presbytery deliberately distort the true facts?

The Presbytery then charge the seceding elders of denying that part of their vows where they promise "IN THE LORD" to yield submission to the courts of this Church.

The words in the Lord are to be noted. Instead of denying their ordination vow they would have violated it if they had continued to submit to a Church which closed the doors to the gospel, and violated its own Church code deliberately by revising the poll list. As far as conscience permitted they submitted, but beyond that, like their convenanting forefathers, they dare not go.


Who, we would ask, has broken [30] the vows of ordination, the seceders who stand for the Bible and the Christ of the Bible, or the Principal of the Presbyterian College Professor Davey, who states "There are hundreds of discrepancies and direct contradictions in the whole Bible," and speaks of Christ in the following way: "Our faith finally is not in the Galilean Jew but in God"? We will leave each true Presbyterian to answer for himself.

The New Church is proud to be called "Free". Free from the blighting power of modernism, and gloriously Free in Christ the Great King and Head of the Church for "whom the Son makes free are free indeed."

 "Of Ulster"

We are not ashamed to associate ourselves in our name with our beloved Ulster. If by taking the name of Ulster we infer, as the Presbytery in their statements suggest, that we will leave the rest of the world "to the flames of God's wrath and judgement", then logically they themselves by taking the name "Ireland" must be guilty of doing the very same thing. How childish of the Presbytery so to argue.


We are most certainly Presbyterian, Presbyterian not merely in name but in faith and in practice. We accept the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Longer and Shorter Catechisms as the historic basis of Presbyterianism.

We believe and uphold these standards, not pretending to believe them and then seeking to overthrow them as the Irish Presbyterian modernists do.

We believe in the Presbyterian form of Church Government, i.e., the government of the Church by elders who are not, as the scriptures teach, to "lord it over the Church" as the presbytery of Down seek to do.

We are Trinitarians and cannot have any fellowship with Unitarians whether in the guise of "Irish Presbyterianism" or "Non Subscribing Presbyterianism."

We are Protestants. We cannot join hands with Romanism, the sworn enemy of all evangelicalism, or have fellowship with those who are almost on the same level of idolatry with her.

Who are the true Presbyterians, we who stand where our forefathers stood for the whole Bible with sword drawn against Romanism and Unitarianism or the Irish Presbyterian Church, who allow their leaders to deny the Bible and join hands with Romanism and Unitarianism?

We are not Baptists! The Presbytery of Down knows full well what a Baptist church membership consists of, i.e. those who have been immersed on profession of their faith. That will not be the basis of membership in Free Presbyterianism. The basis of membership of Free Presbyterianism will be in line [31] with Church membership as set out in the Confession of Faith.

It can be proved that great numbers of the Westminster Divines were in favour of a declaration similar to ours on Baptism.


Who will elect the elders? asks the Presbytery of Down. The installed elders were already elected by the people who constitute the new Church, and the elder ordained was elected to the office of ruling elder by the unanimous wish of the first members of the Free Presbyterian Church of Crossgar. What Presbytery ordained the elders, and inducted the Minister. In this matter the Rev. Ian R. K. Paisley did not act alone. The Presbytery concerned was "The Presbytery of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster." Westminster Confession of Faith page 311 gives the following definition of a Presbytery:-

"A Presbytery consisteth of ministers of the word, and such other public officers as are agreeable to and warranted by the Word of God to be church-governors, to join with the ministers in the government of the church." (to be continued)