Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Paisley to step down from ministry

The Rev Ian Paisley
The Rev Ian Paisley

The Reverend Ian Paisley is to step down from ministry in the church he helped establish 60 years ago.

The 85-year-old former MP, now Lord Bannside in the House of Lords, told his congregation in Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian church in Belfast that he will now take time to write his memoirs.

The founder and long time leader of the Democratic Unionist political party in Northern Ireland set up the new religious denomination in 1951 after a split with the main Presbyterian church.

Dr Paisley, who retired as MP for North Antrim after 40 years ahead of the 2010 General Election, was moderator of the church for most of its history.

The famed evangelical orator stepped down from that role three years ago but continued to preach in Martyrs Memorial on Belfast's Ravenhill Road.

He told his congregation that he would be writing an autobiography.

"I will be telling some stories that will make some people laugh and others blush," he said.

Dr Paisley is due to oversee his final service in the church next month.

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