Kinghan Church Belfast Celebrate 160 Years of Ministry

Kinghan Church Belfast celebrate 160 years of ministry to the deaf and hearing impaired community. Kinghan Church on Belfast’s Botanic Avenue will mark this milestone with a service on Sunday 21st May 2017. It starts at 11:00am & the guest speaker will be Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Rt Rev Dr Frank Sellar.

Kinghan Church Belfast Celebrate 160 Years of Ministry

Presbyterian minister, Rev. John Kinghan, started a mission to the deaf in 1857. He was a teacher in the Ulster Society for the Promotion of the Education of the Deaf, the Dumb and the Blind in Belfast. He began by using a room in the city’s Sandy Row area. Later he moved to a schoolhouse on Great Victoria Street but moved back to Sandy Row and new purpose-built premises called ‘The Bethel’ in the 1870s. The Mission remained there until it moved to its present site in 1899.

Looking forward to attending the special service Dr. Sellar commented.

“Rev Kinghan was a forward thinking individual. He realised even at that time that deaf people in the city shouldn’t be excluded from knowing the gospel in their own language and having their own place to worship.

In the Gospel of Jesus Christ we have good news to share and declare. The hope of salvation is for everyone! In Romans 10:15 the Apostle Paul says, ‘As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ As the services are signed, Kinghan Church has being doing just that with their hands for over a century and a half. I give thanks for their work, witness and ongoing mission in the city.”

The church is supported by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s (PCI) Council for Social Witness. It seeks to deliver an effective social witness service on behalf of PCI and to the wider community. The ground floor church was especially designed to meet the needs of deaf and hearing impaired people.

Kinghan Church Belfast Celebrate 160 Years of Ministry
The Church Choir ‘signing’ a hymn at Kinghan Church Belfast

Mary Carson has attended the church since she was eight-years-old. She is now a grandmother and her grandchildren also attend the church now.

“Every Sunday we walked to Kinghan Church from the local deaf school for our weekly service. There was no Sunday school available at this time, so this gave us an opportunity to meet other deaf children from the other deaf school.”

Years later Mary met her husband Tom at the church. They were married and had their two children, who are hearing and were baptised there.

“The congregation at that time was very mixed both old and young. Quite a lot of my friends and I had married and had our children around the same time. This gave us the chance to let our families integrate and interact.”

“Although the congregation’s dynamic was changing, as my friends and I became grandparents, we brought our grandchildren to church to help teach them the work of Lord as a family, again integrating and interacting with them and keeping the fellowship strong. This was very different in my childhood days as it’s special having your family with you at times of worship.”

Kinghan Church Belfast celebrate 160 years of ministry to the deaf and hearing impaired community. A 160th anniversary service will take place on Sunday 21st May at 11:00am.

While currently without a minister, the worshipping community meets every Sunday morning at 11:00am. Also various groups, both within and outside of the church, use its facilities and services during the week.

Kinghan Church Belfast celebrate 160 years of ministry with an anniversary service on Sunday 21st May at 11:00am. It will take place at their premises on Botanic Avenue.  Everyone is welcome to come to this service. You can find out more about Kinghan Church on the PCI website here.