The Early Years 1867-1925

The first minister was Rev David Hunter, a native of Ballymacarrett. He was ordained on 25th December 1867 and was by all accounts a man held in very high regard both as a public speaker and a writer. Mr Hunter’s poetic and literary gifts were generally recognised and with his kindly nature he had an extremely successful ministry at Mountpottinger. On 14th November 1884 Rev Hunter passed away aged 45 having completed 16 years of faithful ministry in the congregation.

The Rev W J McCaughan, a native of Ballycastle and minister of Wellington Street, Ballymena, was installed in Mountpottinger on 17th September 1885 and ministered for over 12 years. In 1885 when he was installed there were 268 families, 139 communicant, 256 freewill offering contributors, 2 Sabbath schools, 550 scholars and Sabbath collections amounting to £102. At the end of his time in Mountpottinger these figures had risen to 700 families, 472 communicants, 630 freewill offering contributors, 7 Sabbath schools, 1,597 scholars and Sabbath collections of £479. On 3rd February 1897 Mr McCaughan accepted a call to St Andrew’s Church, Toronto, Canada.

On 14th October 1897 the Rev Robert Duff, a native of Ahoghill, was installed as minister of Mountpottinger having been minister in Ballina, St George’s Liverpool and Belgrave, London. Mr Duff was one of the most genial and warm hearted of men, greatly loved by his congregation and all who knew him. One of the most notable changes to take place during Mr Duff’s ministry was the introduction of hymns into Sunday worship. Some were opposed to any change but the overwhelming majority were in favour of this addition so from 1st January 1922 the revised psalter and hymnary was accepted by the congregation into the praise of the Sanctuary. On 16th January 1925, after a ministry of 27 years in Mountpottinger, Mr Duff passed away at the age of eighty four after a short illness. In June 1928 the congregation erected a tablet in the church and a monument in Knockbreda Cemetery to his memory.

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