Dunmurry Presbyterian

A Friendly Church for ALL


150 Years On - A Brief History


1860  Presbyterian Congregation at Dunmurry officially constituted at a service on 23rd March.

Mr. Robert James Arnold M. A. ordained and installed as first minister of the congregation on 21st November

For three years the new congregation met in a temporary church.

1863  Lease of land for church dated 29th May. New church building opened 22nd November

1895  Church opens school, known as Trinity School, on south side of main road through village.

1902   Rev. Arnold resigns in February after a ministry of 41 years.

Mr. Robert Davey B. A. ordained and installed as Minister on 8th July. 
Throughout the 19th century, Dunmurry was growing. A mill village grew up round the mills by the banks the Glen River.

The Kirk Session Minute book records the names of all new church members, and the number who have transferred from churches in other areas is noticeable.
Another factor in the growth of Durunurry was the convenience of the railway, which made it possible to work in Belfast and live in Dunmurry.

1903   Church building extended and altered out of all recognition, largely creating the familiar building which stands today.

As originally built, the church building was much simpler being rectangular in shape - it was extended to give its present "Tee" - shape. The spire was added and the ornate brickwork on the outside is possibly also from this time.

1930   Trinity School closes on the opening of the new Dunmurry Public Elementary School (what is now Dunmurry Primary School) on the Glenburn Road. Pupils transfer to the new school.

1931   The former schoolhouse of Trinity School renovated and extended to create church hall, known as Trinity Hall.

This created a rather unusual situation whereby the church and church hall were separated not only by a main road, but by the railway line as well. The split site was to become an increasing problem in the years to come.

1945   Rev. Davey retires on 31st December after a long ministry of 43 years.

1946   Rev. James Albert Donaldson, previously a minister of Great James Street, Londonderry, installed as minister.

1950   Major renovation of Church building completed.

1960   Rev. Donaldson has to retire early through ill-health, actually taking ill in the pulpit.

1961    Rev. William Cowper Lynas M. A., previously minister of Ballywillan, Portrush, installed as minister on 13th April.

1967    A second church hall opened, known as the Davey Hall. The new hall was connected to the existing Trinity Hall, and was larger than it.

1971   Trinty Hall bombed at end of August. The hall was used as a courthouse on certain days and the incident happened the night before the court was due to sit. Trinity Hall and adjacent Minor Hall subsequently demolished.

1974    New Trinity Hall, built on site of original Trinity Hall, opened, along with the adjacent Lynas Hall on the site of the old Minor Hall.

1989    Rev. Lynas retires.

1990    Rev. John Alexander Braithwaite B.Sc., B.D., previously minister of Mount joy and Drumlegagh, Co.Tyrone, installed as minister on 27th June.

2006    Congregation voted to sell church building and move across the road and railway line to the hall site, taking perhaps the biggest decision in the history of the Presbyterian community in Dunmurry since the split of 1829.

2010     Rev. John Braithwaite retires.

Research and detail by Colin Sherrard 

2010     The New Complex  on the hall site has been completed, comprising of a New Manse, two meeting rooms, one main hall, kitchen, foyer and Sanctuary. 

2010      With the vacancy declared due to the retirement of Rev J Braithwaite, the church was under the spiritual guidance of Rev. Irwin  and the members of the church  completed a calling to Rev. Grant Connor to be ordained and installed as the minister of the Dunmurry congregation.

2010  October ****** Set in the new Complex the first Service was the ordination and installation of the Rev Grant Connor was