Ian, who was nominated by 12 of Ireland’s 19 Presbyteries told The Times this week he was “greatly humbled” by his election. He will succeed Dr. Michael Barry at the next General Assembly.
Ian, who was brought up in Antrim, initially living in Firfields, then Market Square before moving to Novara Park, said: “One of my fondest memories was visiting my grandmother who lived in Riverside”.
“The main influences in early years were my parents, David and Ena McNie, their close friends, Heather and Ivan Stockdale and minister Rev T.P. Blackstock who was one of the unsung heroes of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.”
“As a child I had links with High Street Sunday School, the neighbouring congregation in which my mother played the organ. For many years I was a member and on the leadership team of 1st Antrim Youth club. Memories of the Friday night club and the annual camp are often recalled. First Antrim was a congregation that has produced many ministers for our church who can look back with gratitude and affection to the strong Christian influence that many within the fellowship prayerfully contributed to our callings”, he said.
A past pupil of Antrim Primary, Ian then went to Belfast Royal Academy and aspired to become a teacher before the Lord made His plans for the young man’s life known.
After progressing through Union Theological College, Ian was ordained as Assistant Minister at Alexandra Presbyterian Church, Belfast, in 1978 before being installed in 1980 at Kilkeel Presbyterian Church. He became Minister at Trinity Presbyterian, (Ballymoney), in 1991 and has remained there ever since.