New Minister at Carnlough, Cushendall and Newtowncrommelin – Rev David McGaughey

Rev David McGaughey has been installed as the new Minister of Carnlough, Cushendall and Newtowncrommelin Presbyterian Churches.

55-year-old David previously served as Minister of Bookside Presbyterian Church in Ahoghill and Associate Minister to the congregation of Cuningham Memorial in Cullybackey before acting as ‘Stated Supply’ prior to his installation in the Glens of Antrim.

A ‘Son of the Manse’, David was born in Magherafelt but spent his formative years in Killeel where his father, the late Dr David McGaughey was minister of Mourne Presbyterian Church for three decades.

Sharing a little of his testimony and personal story, he said: “When I was a teenager, I came to realise my need for personal salvation and at the age of 14 I came to saving faith in Christ alone.  When you are a Christian, your faith shapes everything; it directs how you should think and what you should do.  It shows you what life is all about and what we are here for.”

Despite his genuine love for the Saviour, David admits that he was not keen on following the path to the pulpit in his early years.

“I would have been a Jonah-type character who ran away; if anyone suggested entering the ministry to me, I would have rubbished the idea, but God had other plans.  I originally went to the college of Business Studies but within months I was at the University of Lancaster studying for a history degree and God was increasingly speaking to me and through different sermons and Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ book: ‘Preaching and Preachers’ I came to realise that He had other plans for my future.”

After spending time at Union Theological College, David became the Assistant Minister at Shankill Road Presbyterian Church under Rev. James Neilly.

He recalls: “I loved every minute of living and working on ‘the Shankill.’  A lot of tough things happened there; I had just driven past the spot where the Shankill bomb exploded just before it went off.  They were tough days, but I loved the Shankill and its people.”

David loved the village of Ahoghill and the congregation at Brookside where he served for ten years.  Personal circumstances led him to take a break from Pulpit ministry for a time. 

However, he found that: ‘the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance’ as the Lord continued to work in his life.

“I knew that if God wanted me to be back in the ministry, then he would open the door.  As Spurgeon said when he quoted Jeremiah: ‘do not fear their faces or I will confound you before them.’  I spent six or seven years at the Cuningham and loved it; Rev. David Murphy and I worked very well together.  After that, God opened the door for me to be ‘Stated Supply’ in Carnlough, Cushendall and Newtowncrommelin.”

New Minister at Carnlough, Cushendall and Newtowncrommelin – Rev David McGaughey
Rev David McGaughey – New Minister at Carnlough, Cushendall and Newtowncrommelin

As he looks forward to continuing his ministry there, David adds: “I have really enjoyed my work here so far; I just find people the same everywhere.  You just go in, start talking to and getting to know them – that’s where it all begins.  My priorities are preaching, praying and pastoring; people are starting to joke about my three Ps because I have used them quite a lot recently.  I grew up in Kilkeel by the sea and by the mountain so in Carnlough and Cushendall I am beside the sea and in Newtowncrommelin I am in the hills and in the mountain, so it is like being back at home.”

Outside church, David enjoys his dog, Puma, as well as fishing in the River Braid.  He is the proud father of Katie, Lucy, Sally and Caleb and a doting grandfather to Lucy’s daughter, Anthena.