HOME        ABOUT         TOUR NEWS        CONTACT
First Reformation
Second Reformation
Covenanters in Scotland
Covenanters in Ireland
Sites & Tours
Sunday School Materials






William Martin
And the first Irish Presbytery

After the death of David Houston in 1696, the Covenanters in Ireland had no minister of their own for sixty-one years. During this time they held fellowship meetings in each others’ homes. Sometimes, ministers would come over from Scotland to preach to them. John Macmillan came over in 1707. When the first Scottish Presbytery was formed in 1743, the Irish Covenanters asked them to send ministers over to preach to them. The next year, the Irish Covenanters came under the control of the Scottish Presbytery.

In 1757, William Martin became the first Reformed Presbyterian minister to be ordained in Ireland. He was born near Limavady in 1729, studied theology in Scotland under John McMillan, and then came home to be a minister in Ireland. He preached all over the counties of Antrim, Londonderry and north Down. In 1763, a young man from Larne called Matthew Lynn became the second minister. He preached throughout county Londonderry, in fields and houses, because there were no church buildings. The first church building was built at Kellswater in 1760.

Now there were two ministers, a Presbytery was set up in 1763. Soon, more ministers were appointed but William Martin and Matthew Lynn both left for America, and some of the other ministers died. This meant there was no Presbytery from 1779 until it was set up again in 1792, by which time there were six ministers and twelve congregations.

Read more!
Adam Loughridge, The Covenanters in Ireland (Belfast, 1984), pp 14-27, 50-6

Wiliam Martin
William Martin
Kellswater River
Kellswater River
Back to Reformed Presbyterian Church since the 17th Century
Copyright © 2010 The Reformed Presbyterian Church. All Rights Reserved. PRIVACY