Historical Background

There has been a Covenanter witness in the north Antrim Area since the 1700’s when the local Covenanters, known as the Society People met in societies at Milltown, Newbuildings, Ballyboggie, Taughy, Balnamore, Macfin and Ballymoney Toon.


The first Covenanter minister, Rev William Martin, preached in the Ballymoney area, at the Vow Townland.  The congregation met in the open air, on a hill near the River Bann, where stepping-stones permitted the early Covenanters to cross over from Londonderry.  In 1770, Rev. Martin led some 1200 emigrants to South Carolina USA.  To mark the 250th anniversary of the ordination of the Rev Martin, a Conventicle was held at the Vow in 2007 and a memorial stone was unveiled at the Old Vow graveyard.


The Ballymoney Meeting House was built in 1829 in its current location at Brewery Lane, off Charlotte Street and has remained largely unaltered in appearance from its original design.  A gallery was added in 1886 for an additional 100 people.  The Holmes Memorial Hall was built in 1957 and has been a tremendous asset to the congregation.


In 2001 the congregation acquired the adjacent former Court House, and after extensive renovation mostly by voluntary labour, the Charles Lanyon building was brought into service in 2009 and has been used for outreach to the community through public meetings.


Since becoming a single charge Ballymoney has had six ministers. Following the completion of the meeting house on 30th March 1829, a request was made for ministerial aid at the Presbytery meeting in Kilrea on 20th October 1830.  The Rev Dr William Stavely was appointed as joint charge of Dervock and Ballymoney congregations.  Ballymoney became a distinct congregation in its own right in 1877, when Rev James Brown became the first minister (1877-1883).  He was succeeded by Professor John Ramsey (1886-1940), Prof Renwick Wright (1941-1952), Rev Dr Hugh J Blair (1953-1993), Rev Ian Morrison (1994-1999) and currently Rev Edward McCollum (from 2005).


Current Status

The congregation has a high percentage of senior members; the Sabbath School is small in number, with youth outreach through a thriving Girls’ Brigade and Boys’ Brigade.    Within the congregation there is a spirit of prayer, with many members attending one or more of the available prayer meetings.  Most of the ladies attend an active Womens Missionary Association and a Seniors Fellowship is well supported. The Word is preached faithfully twice each Lord’s Day, with the desire that by the grace of God the congregation will grow both spiritually and numerically.