50 Years in The Ministry
Rev. J. Steen Celebrates Jubilee
Rev James Steen the esteemed minister of the Presbyterian congregation at Killaig, Macosquin, near Coleraine, celebrated the golden jubilee of his ordination on Tuesday. Mr Steen who is 73, is the longest ordained Presbytreian clergyman in the General Assembly still in active service, an honour which he has been privileged to hold since Febuary 1961.
Most of his fifty years have been spent in his present charge. He was installed there by Coleraine Presbytery on October 26, 1928.
His ordination by Monaghan Prebytery, took place in Cahans Presbyteran Church, near Monaghan town. He was minister of that congreation for 10 and a half years when he accepted a call to Orritor, Cookstown, in his native County Tyrone. It was from Orritor that he moved to Killaig.
A son of the manse, Mr Steen was born in Glenelly, Plumbridge, where his father, the late Rev. John Steen, B.A., was minister.
He was educated at Stabane Academy and at Magee University College, Londonderry. While undergoing his theological studies, he was student assistant in Urney Presbyterian Church, Sion, Strabane.
Mr Steen, a preacher and pastor beloved by all who know him is also held in high regard in the courts of his church. The Synod of Ballymena and Coleraine chose him as their Moderator for this year and how fitting that the honour coincided with his jubilee.
Coleraine Presbytery, at their recent meeting, passed a resolution of congratulations, rejicing with Mr Steen and with the congregation which supports him so loyally.
Mr Steen followed in the footsteps of his father, who was a native of Castletoothery, Coleraine, and who was also ordained by the Monaghan Presbytery, in Smithborough Presbyterian Church, County Monaghan, on May 26 1868, almost 100 years ago. Twelve years later he was installed by the Strabane Presbytery in Glenelly (Plumbridge) where he remained until his retirement in May, 1923.
He was one of that noble band of commuting ministers, who in 1869, agave to the Presbyterian Church for investment, the Royal Bounty which had been paid annually by the Government to the Irish Prebyterian ministers since the days of King William III who first directed its payment at Hillsborough on June 19, 1690, while on his way to the Boyne.
On Mr Steen's death on August 29, 1928, only five of those ministers remained.
Rev Normal J. Houston of Banagher Presbyterian Church, near Dungiven, is a nephew.
Rev James Steen
The Rev. James Steen, who died suddenly yesterday at his home, The Manse, Killaig, Co Londonderry, wasthe oldest preaching minister in the Presbyterian Church in Ulster. He was 76.
Born at Glenelly Manse in 1890, he was the last surviving member of a family with four generations of service to the ministry. He and his father, the Rev. John Steen, of Glenelly, who was ordained in 1868, gave between them almost 100 years of service to the Presbyterian CHurch.
Mr. Stten was educated at Magee University College, where he graduated in arts and theology in 1909. He was one of the last Ulster clergy to complete such a degree course at Magee and received the G.A.M.C. The following year candidates for the ministry had to go to Trinity College, Dublin, to study for their degrees.
His first charge was at Cahans, Co. Monaghan, where he served from 1913 until 1924, when he was appoited minister of Orritor, near Cookstown.
He was appointed minister of Killaig, near Coleraine, in 1928, and held the post until the present time.
In November, 1963, his 50 years service to the ministry was marked when he became Moderator to the Synod of Ballymena and Coleraine.
A bachelor, Mr Steen is survived by two brothers, a sister and a niece.
August 17, 1966 at Killaig Manse, Macosquin, James Steen, Minister of Killaig Presbyterian Church, Funeral to-morrow (Friday) at 2-30 pm to Killaig Burying-ground