Dervock Presbyterian Church celebrates 375th Anniversary

Dervock Presbyterian Church celebrates 375th Anniversary

The congregation gathered, under Covid-19 rules, at Dervock Presbyterian Church Carncullagh for the 375th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service. WK23KC34BM

Staff Reporter


Staff Reporter


THE Congregation of Dervock Presbyterian had a thanksgiving service to mark their 375th Anniversary on Sunday June 6.
Dervock Presbyterian Church is situated half a mile outside of the village of Dervock in the townland of Carncullagh. Our purpose is “Making & Maturing Disciples of Jesus.”
The congregation was formed in 1646 under the ministry of the Reverend John Baird. In 1646 the village of Dervock was a military station occupied by the Earl of Argyle’s regiment under the control of Colonel Sir Duncan Campbell. 
The Reverend John Baird was chaplain to this regiment.
Dervock first meeting house was near the Straham River. It was a very simple building built out of stone and mud. It was roofed with bog fir.
In the Congregations 375 years they have had sixteen ministers.
1646    Rev. John Baird  
1654    Rev.  Hugh Vaunsse
1687 – 1698  Rev. Robert Stirling
1703 – 1718  Rev. Thomas Stirling
1723 – 1745  Rev. John Orr
1751 – 1789  Rev. Joseph Douglas
1790 – 1838  Rev Alexander Martin
1827 – 1872  Rev. Joseph Bellis
1857 – 1904  Rev. Alexander Field
1904 – 1912  Rev. John Stanley Pyper
1912 – 1926  Rev. William Norman Maxwell
1926 – 1970  Rev. Robert Gardiner Mc Bride
1971 – 1977  Rev. Harold Boyce
1979 – 2012  Rev. James Armstrong Thompson
2014 – 2018  Rev. Scott William Moore
2021 – present   Rev.  Campbell Mulvenny.
During Joseph Douglas’s ministry (1751-1789) the church was moved to its current site on the Carncullagh Road. Lord Macartney owned the land and therefore gave the congregation an acre of ground in perpetuity at the annual rent of five shillings per annum and in 1766 the new church was built.  

In 1835 under the ministry of Joseph Bellis (1827-1872) the original church on the present site was removed, and the present church built. Almost £500.00 was subscribed by the congregation in less than one month.  The new church building was thought to cost just over £900.00 and when the new church opened the congregation were only a few pounds in debt.
It was during the Reverend Alexander Field’s ministry that the present manse “Mansefield was built (1877-1878). Alexander Field did a preaching tour of America to raise the necessary money to build the manse. His preaching tour was so profitable the Reverend Field enabled the Congregation to totally renovate their meeting house and build a Church Hall in the years 1887-1888. Dervock was one of the first Congregations in the Route Presbytery to have a Church Hall.
Reverend Field was Clerk of the Presbytery of Route for a number of years. During his ministry in Dervock, he was recognised by the Presbyterian Theological Faculty, Ireland, by being awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity.
The Rev John Pyper was minister of Dervock from 1904-1912. He was a man of skill. He was not just a preacher, he was in fact a possession footballer. He and his two brothers played in Ireland’s national football club.
Throughout the Congregation’s 375 years, ten men from the Congregation were ordained into the ministry of Word & Sacrament. Over recent years there have been a few people within the congregation who have entered missionary work.

Dervock Presbyterian Church Secretary, Mr Dave McQuilken is currently writing a book on the history of the Church, over its 375 years. This book will be published later on in the year.
Previous ministers, wives, and families were welcomed back to the 375th Anniversary Service. Dr James Thompson led the congregation in prayer while the Reverend Scott Moore read Psalm 136.
The newly appointed Minister of the Congregation, the Reverend Campbell Mulvenny preached from Psalm 136. The Reverend Mulvenny main point within his sermon was that “God’s love and mercy continues forever with his people.”
The Reverend Mulvenny pointed out to the Congregation how God’s love and mercy is seen through the Sovereignty of God in His works of creation and redemption. God in His grace and mercy has remembered us in our low estate. God in His grace and mercy sent His Son the Lord Jesus Christ to deliver us from our sin and misery. God in His loving kindness meets our greatest need through the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Reverend Mulvenny encouraged the Congregation to give thanks to the Lord for what He has done throughout the life and witness of the Congregation over the last 375 years. The Reverend Mulvenny asked the Congregation to be much in prayer as they enter this new era of ministry asking the Lord to enable us as a missional congregation to be salt and light were God has place us.
In October the Congregation is hoping to have a special week of mission to mark the Congregation’s 375th Anniversary. The Guest Preacher will be the Reverend Scott Woodburn.
The Congregation is very much looking forward to September when hopefully all its organisations will be able to resume once again after the Covid-19 Pandemic.  The Congregation is settling up two new organisations from September. A new Parent and Toddler Group called “Shine” and a Youth Fellowship called “Strive.” Please feel free to follow them on their Facebook page.


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