History of Dromore Reformed Presbyterian Church

The Reformed Presbyterian Church has had a witness in the Dromore area since 1772. A congregation was established in the town in 1812 and was ministered to by the Rev. John Stewart who was also at the same time minister of the Rathfriland congregation. In 1837 the congregation received their own minister, James Steen. Sadly he resigned from the congregation and the Reformed Presbyterian Church after only one year and joined the Presbyterian Church.

Although faithful elders and members sought to maintain the work and witness of the congregation it was, with declining numbers, reduced to the status of a preaching station. Between 1840-1898 it was cared for by the Bailiesmills congregation and from 1998 – 1990 was overseen by the Dromara session.

In the 1980s, with dwindling attendances and an increasingly derelict building, many thought that Dromore was suffering from the advanced stage of terminal decline. Some had concluded that the door should be closed and the building sold. However, the small nucleus in Dromore had a different vision. They believed that under God the work could be revived and rebuilt. Steps were taken by the Eastern Presbytery to implement this vision under the leadership of Rev. Prof. Robert McCollum (minister of the Lisburn congregation) and an interim session including Rev. J.A. Hawthorne, Mr. John Bond and Mr. John Sommerville.

Regular evening services were commenced in May 1991. By May 1994 the Eastern Presbytery, sufficiently encouraged by growing numbers, established both morning and evening services. At this stage Rev. Prof. McCollum conducted morning worship in Dromore before conducting morning worship in Lisburn.

With growing numbers attending the services and the redevelopment of the church building site a new meeting-house was built and opened on Friday 19 th May 1995. In September 1995 a retired minister Rev. Prof. Fredrick S. Leahy took on responsibility for supplying the pulpit both morning and evening. Under his faithful preaching the nucleus continued to grow. It was this ministry that was to set the firm foundation of all that would follow.

Early in 2003 the growing nucleus under the care of the Eastern Presbytery called Rev. David J. McCullough to be the organising minister of the expanding work. Today the church continues to experience God’s blessing. Between 60-70 presently attend the services for worship both morning and evening. The group is made up of people from all age groups and backgrounds. In the autumn of 2005 the interim session established a Sabbath School for the instruction of the children in the reformed faith. Today the developing church in Brewery Lane has a two fold emphases – systematic, expository preaching of the Word of God and the establishing of a warm, loving church family eager to share the gospel with all.

In December 2007 the Eastern Presbytery formally organised the church planting work of Dromore into a fully fledged congregation in its own right. That same month the members voted for their own elders.  Two men were elected. In January 2008 Mr. Mark Patterson and Dr. Raymond Steen were ordained and installed as the founding ruling elders of the new congregation.

We invite you to come along and be a part of the history that King Jesus is writing in our midst.