The Father of the General Assembly

Rev Alex Cromie
Rev Alex Cromie

This weekend marks the 75th anniversary of the ordination of Rev Alex Cromie who is the longest serving member of our General Assembly. Mr Cromie was ordained in Gilford on 29 November 1934, and he and his family will be sharing in a special service there this Sunday, led by Rev Samuel Newell, minister of Gilford congregation.

A native of Ballymoney, where his father had a draper’s shop, Mr Cromie was educated at Ballymoney Model School, Ballymoney High School, and then at Magee College, Londonderry, which he entered as a 16 year old. He also spent a year at Princeton, and completed a degree in Law from Trinity College, Dublin.

After serving an assisantship in Malone, Mr Cromie was ordained in Gilford where he served until 1946. He was then called to Limerick and Ennis (1946-50) and to Trinity, Cork (1950-55) before returning to Clifton Street in Belfast (1955-66).

A man of great energy and commitment to the advancement of the church, Mr Cromie spent his last two charges in the new congregations of Abbey, Monkstown and Lisnabreen, Bangor. His nephew, Rev John Seawright, currently serves as minister of Abbey, Monkstown. The ministries of uncle and nephew in Abbey were¬† separated by the ministry of my late, dear friend, Rev Ernie Brown, who was such a help and encouragement to me in my ministry in Carnmoney. Alex also served as Deputy Clerk of the General Assembly during Dr Tom Simpson’s moderatorial year in 1983.

Congratulations to Alex in achieving this significant milestone, and best wishes from all his fellow ministers and elders in the General Assembly of which he is the “father”.