To all those who kindly made time to discuss with me their perspectives on the world of Ulster evangelicalism I express my thanks: Professor Finlay Holmes, Revd David Temple, Alywn Thomson, David Porter, Revd Brian Kennaway, Dr John Douglas, Glenn Jordan, Cecil Kilpatrick, Revd Stephen Johnston, Revd John Woodside, Revd Martin Smyth MP, David Hewitt, Dr Joe Liechty, George Patton, Revd Dr John Dunlop, and the late Revd Dr William Fleming. I am also grateful to many others who contributed through informal discussion and gave me new ideas or insights at important stages. Amongst these, an e‐mail from Dr Miroslav Volf at about halfway helped to clear a way forward and Dr Neville Douglas directed my attention to useful sources that I would have otherwise missed.
I also wish to record my thanks to the Laing Trust, without whose generous scholarship it is unlikely that the doctoral research, on which this book is based, would have reached completion.
Much of the information for this book has been gathered at the following locations: the library at Queen's University, Belfast, the Linenhall Library, the Presbyterian Historical Society, Trinity College Dublin, and Union Theological College. Staff were unfailingly cooperative and helpful. I am grateful to staff both at ECONI for making archival material available and at Orange House for their generosity in giving me copies of much of their published literature.
All Bible quotations are taken from the New International Version (NIV).
I wish to thank in particular Revd Warren Nelson and Dr Peter Childs for their encouragement to undertake doctoral research in the first place. At London Bible College, I am deeply grateful to Dr Derek Tidball for his tolerance, wisdom, and tact in supervising my erratic progress. I am indebted to Professor Steve Bruce for his constructive criticism and generous advice (p.vii) throughout the pre‐publication process. Any errors, factual or interpretative, are entirely my own.
A special word of thanks is due to my parents for their practical help and support. To my mother for her wonderful hospitality during many visits to ‘the North’ and to NCM, who, whether the subject is his beloved geography, or history, politics, archaeology, or whatever, continues to demonstrate an unfailing curiosity and infectious enthusiasm to ‘go exploring’ in this complex world. Better teachers (and parents) a son could not have.
Finally, and even the trusty thesaurus on the word processor cannot help me find the right words here, I owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to the three women in my life. To Ciara and Catriona for charmingly reminding me of life's right priorities, and to Ines for her consistent encouragement and patience throughout everything. It is to them that this book is dedicated.