Fahan Presbyterian Church

Jesus is Lord - Romans Chapter 10 v 9

Second American Connection


Then came Rev John Brown McBride who was ordained at Fahan on December 29 1860.  He was born in Armoy in April 1835 and educated QCB ACB BA  (QUI) and licensed Route Presbytery 1860.  After about 6 months as a probationer, he was ordained in Fahan.  There he continued during the whole of his active ministry.  He was clerk of Derry Presbytery 1894-99 and married the daughter of William Coffey, Ballymoney in 1864.  He resigned his charge on August 4 1896, in order to facilitate the union of Inch with Fahan.  He resided in Cliftonville, Belfast since his retirement and he died on August 13 1906.  The following is recorded in the August 17 1906 edition of the Witness: - 

"He was distinguished for kindliness and warm heartedness and deep and sincere affection.  He was a man of no ordinary attainments.  He possessed a fine literary gift, which was recognised, in his appointment as examiner in English under the Board of Intermediate Education, a position that he held for a number of years.  He also acted as superintendent of Intermediate and Royal University examinations.  He was most of all perhaps distinguished for his clear logical acumen, which rendered him a wise counselor to his friend and a formidable antagonist in debate.  His knowledge of law which was something more than amateur, enabled him to render valuable assistance to the members of his congregation, whilst his judgement was rarely at fault in such matters.  During the course of his long and varied experience he accumulated a vast amount of information regarding men and matters and from this he could detail many interesting incidents, without, however, transgressing the limits of due regard to the secrecy under which much of his knowledge has been obtained.   He was an ideal host, friendly, hospitable, entertaining and always able to contribute successfully to any subject under consideration.  As a preacher he occupied a high place amongst his brethren, his sermons being marked by clearness of thought and beauty of diction, and delivered with a freedom and power that compelled the attention of his hearers.  A widow, 5 daughters and 2 sons survived him.   

It was during Mr. McBride's ministry that the manse at Fahan was built due to this trip to America to collect funds. 

The united change of Fahan and Inch gave a unanimous call to Rev Robert Lynn who was installed on November 24, 1896.  Robert Lynn was born in Killaloo and educated MCD ACB GA in 1889 and licensed in Glendermott May 5 1891 and ordained at Aughnacloy on 13 December 1892 which he resigned from on November 3 1896.  He was married in 1897 to Lizzie who was a sister of Rev John Brewster of Malin Presbyterian Church.  His wife was a daughter of Mr. John Brewster J.P. a well known Derry merchant and a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Buncrana.   

In the Londonderry Sentinel Tuesday morning August 30 1904 it was noted that "Rev Prof. Henry preached on Sunday evening at 5 on the occasion of the opening of the new hall at Fahan which will serve as a church for Presbyterian residents of the rapidly rising place.  It is almost 5 years since the Derry Presbytery put on record its sense of need for a Presbyterian Church at Fahan, and this year the assembly made a grant towards the services of the licentiate as assistant to Rev RJ Lynn, the minister of Fahan and Inch congregation in connection with the project.  The new hall has been welcomed by many who felt the inconvenience of travelling 3 miles to Rev Mr. Lynn's church near Burnfoot or almost 4 miles to Rev Mr. Moody's at Buncrana.  The building project was taken up by enthusiasm by all concerned and resulted in a hall 36 feet x 18 feet of wood with iron roof and wooden floor heated with a stove in the centre.  It is situated on the ground above Fahan Station and is approached by the country road, which leads, by a newly made pathway to the vestibule.  

Rev Henry's sermon to the congregation was that they not just provide and maintain their churches but encourage ministers by regular attendance.  The hall will seat comfortably 150 and on the opening service 50 failed to find accommodation.  Speaking after the sermon Prof. Henry said: -  "Let us congratulate all concerned in the achievement we signalise by this evening service.  The rapid growth of Fahan as a residential place and place of holiday resort has made urgent the need long felt for a regular Presbyterian service on the spot.  The members of our church residents or lodging here are so far from a Presbyterian place of worship that the infirm, the old and the children, to say nothing of the indolent and slack, have been practically debarred from religious ordinances after the Presbyterian form.  That is a condition in which our church could not leave its member without.   A grave dereliction of duty, and to which this comfortable and tasteful hall with a regular Sabbath Service will put an end.  The whole church will appreciate the local enterprise and zeal to which it is indebted for so timely an addition to its equipment for local work.  The seaside summer holiday is a steadily growing institution.  Work is becoming harder year after year and the need for rest and recuperation in the bracing sea air becoming more urgent.   This brings our people in increasing numbers into watering places where the church accommodation is insufficient and where more must be provided for their religious interests go derelict and suffer.   You have done spiritually well in putting up this little church and Presbyterianism will be strong and religion in the locality the better for it in all time to come ..... " 

He congratulated the church members on their enthusiasm for the project especially that they are few in numbers and their resources not unlimited.  Also the hall was paid for. 

In the summer of 1905 the floor of the heating chamber at the church was to be covered with boards so to be used for housing the bicycles.  In March 1906 the church was to start building the teachers residence at Burnfoot.