Ian Paisley

Dr Ian Paisley: 1926-2014

Unionist Politician and Founder of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster

The following are the pastor's notes and headers from a video conference given on the topic of Dr Paisley; they may not make abolsolute sense thereafter!

The Politician

  1. 'I describe myself as a child of God first of all', when asked if he’s Irish, British or Ulsterman'
  2. Began to speak out on national matters from 1949
  3. 1959 condemned Queen Mother and Margaret went to see the pope- spirit fornication with the antichrist 
  4. Edward Carson shadows: all opposition to Dublin’s involvement
  5. Loyalism
  6. Became involved with tough speaking politicians, some of whose reputations were questionable
  7. Orange Order
  8. Involved in street protests against Irish nationalism
  9. Tricolour flown on Falls Road saw one in window of the Rep Party, demanded it be taken down, rioting lasted two nights, till govt ordered the flag removed.
  10. He said he wasn’t responsible for the riots
  11. Defence of Protestant and opposing Irish unification
  12. Terrence O Neal
  13. Discrimination in employment and democracy- said a few angry things at the time but later denied justifying the discrimination
  14. ‘I’m anti Roman Catholic but I love the poor dupes who are ground down under that system’
  15. ‘The provisional IRA is the military wing of the RCC’
  16. Mid 60s civil rights: equal voting rights and job opportunities and housing
  17. IP targeted it: counter demonstrations 1968
  18. Rioting: O’Neal offered change, but not one right one vote
  19. Went to prison
  20. Gerrymandered and rigged elections- Derry – Nat majority but a Unionist-controlled council
  21. IP now acknowledges it was wrong, but at the time, he didn’t
  22. Dungannon: 300 waiting list for houses, but no Catholic offered a council house for 30 years
  23. Said Civil Rights was really just a plot for a United Ireland
  24. Battle of Bogside, Derry City, 1969- RUC unable to cope- troops called onto the streets
  25. Attacked the PM, spent two spells in jail for his agitation on the streets
  26. IP became MP for Bannside and North Antrim which had been O’Neal’s seat, 1970
  1. 1971: DUP founded, breaking away from the official unionist party, became UUP
  2. Planned Power sharing- DUP opposed to this, with Nats given cab positions
  3. And the Irish govt some further input, 1974, Brian Faulkner
  4. IP opposed to this power sharing: Said it was just a plot to unify Ireland, inc on the British side
  5. ‘No Surrender’
  6. A coalition formed- workers, UDA, paramilitaries intent on killing off power sharing: ulster workers council strike
  7. IP involved in organising this
  8. Association with men of violence
  9. Bombs planted in the Rep 1974; same in the UK
  10. As the bombs increased, IP was seen as part of the problem. Heath: a demagogue and a wrecker
  11. 1977 another strike demanding tough action against the IRA
  1. Thatcher election- he hoped she’d be tough on the IRA, especially as they tried to kill her ands the whole govt, and they’d killed Airey Neave
  2. Yet he hated her more than most- the Anglo-Irish agreement 1985- studies had been launched to share information and input regarding Northern Ireland
  3. IP determined to fight her and it
  4. Paisley’s army- 500 men on bleak hillside waving gun licences 1981, to take on the IRA and maybe Thatcher herself
  1. Opposed power sharing-
  2. Demanded Ireland republic give up territorial claim in the north and that IRA give up its guns and violence
  3. Mass rally 1985: where for the terrorists return to
  4. 1995 Drumcree march- loyal orange order
  5. 1998 lost the referendum on power sharing
  6. Used his position to support traditional morality, eg 1977 Save Uster from Sodomy campaign 
  1. 2007 became first Minister of NI, power sharing with Sinn Fein, Martin McGuiness as Deputy
  2. Rep of Ireland gave up its territorial claim, the IRS decommissioned weapons, so Dr No said ‘yes’
  3. Paisley appointed to the House of Lords in 2010 as Lord Bannside- his wife already there are Baroness Paisley

The Christian

  1. James Paisley Baptist minister, Ulster Volunteer Force, against Irish independence
  2. Born 1926: Irish Free State, partition, two separate govts
  3. Few weeks after he was born he was stopped by 50 gunmen while out visiting and preaching in his Austin car. Would have killed him against a wall but for their leader coming out ands recognising that the man, though a unionist, was a new father. Ian therefore saved his life- said it would be unlucky to kill him.
  4. Moved to Ballymena Baptist church as pastor. His mother brought about his conversion: she was conducting a children’s meeting: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
  5. “I wouldn’t like to be a lost sheep, I want to be a saved lamb”. Led him to the church, knelt down, and she took him to Christ
  6. Left school and went to friend’s farm in County Tyrone- ploughed, sowed, ran a farm. He thought often of the Bible. By the plough he got on his knees and prayed he was willing to go and say what he told him, he’d be a preacher of the gospel. Asked to say a word at the mission hall- it only lasted 3 mins- a humbling experience
  7. Studied theology in wales, made a name as a preacher. Ravenhill Evangelical Mission church east Belfast. Attracted large crowds wherever he went. Came from Crossgar – asked the Presbyterian church for the church hall. Session decided and agreed to lend it, but the presbytery went above their heads and overruled, having instead a dance night.

The Christian Leader

  1. He split and formed the Free Presbyterian church, through 50s, sprang up, attracted to a more fund. Message.
  2. Early in 1950, the Committee of the Crossgar Mission Hall approached the 24-year-old Rev. Ian Paisley to determine whether he would conduct a Gospel Campaign in the town. After careful consideration and prayer, the date was fixed for February 1951. The Campaign Committee, the majority of whom were office-bearers or members of Lissara Presbyterian Church, feeling that the Mission Hall would be too small, decided to ask their Kirk Session for the use of the local Presbyterian Church hall for the campaign. This was unanimously granted at a meeting of Session.
  3. However, in what local people saw as evidence of the liberal agenda that was becoming increasingly evident in their church, the Down Presbytery meeting on Monday January 8th 1951 ruled that the mission should not go ahead in Lissara Church hall. It is doubtful that the local elders were ever properly informed of this because the plans for the mission continued. Certainly the ordinary members knew nothing about the ruling.
  4. Matters were drawn sharply to a head when on the evening of Saturday 3rd February 1951, just 90 minutes prior to a march of witness to advertise the mission, Down Presbytery held a special meeting to which Lissara’s Church Session were summoned. At this meeting the Moderator of Down Presbytery demanded that the Lissara Session reverse their decision to grant the use of the church hall to the missioners
  5. The evangelicals, who had already been battling against liberalism in their own congregation, saw these moves as further evidence of the downward trend in their denomination. They could not believe that the Presbytery would ban a gospel mission in their own church hall.
  6. These events were as yet unknown to those who were at that time gathered for a March of Witness. They made their way to Lissara Church Hall only to discover that the Down Presbytery had closed the doors of the hall to the preaching of the gospel and to them. One of the abiding memories of those who were on that March of Witness is having to shelter from torrential rain in the porch of their own church hall from which they had been locked out
  7. The Mission however, went on in the Killyleagh Street Mission Hall and was blessed of God in the salvation of 94 precious souls.
  1. 1951
  2. Increasingly attacked Catholicism- 'Adolf Paisley'; 1962, he went to the Vatican itself to protest
  1. Opposed to ecumenism,
  2. 1962, of Pope John XXIII: 'the Romish man of sin is now in hell'
  3. The Controversy
  4. Ecumenism- protested outside Presbyterian Gen Assembly at Church House
  5. 1966 marched to the assembly through Catholic Crummock Street
  6. 1966 set up own newspaper Protestant Telegraph
  7. Alleged priests and Catholic churches assisted in storing weapons and petrol for riots
  8. Evangelism
  9. Every Friday afternoon at 1pm.
  10. Uncle guarded him in the eighties
  11. Anti-Ecumenism
  12. Jesuits, Pope, great apostasy
  • Protestantism vs the Gospel
  • Too much politics?
  • Unneccary barriers erected against RCs responding to the gospel?
  • Dallying with violence? 

Image by Scottish_and_Northern_Ireland_Ministers.jpg: Scottish Governmentderivative work: Alison - Scottish_and_Northern_Ireland_Ministers.jpg, CC BY 2.0, Link