Former Presbyterian moderator, 98, dies

Former First Portadown Presbyterian minister Dr William Craig (95) with Moderator Dr Rob Craig and Mrs Karen Craig.

Former First Portadown Presbyterian minister Dr William Craig (95) with Moderator Dr Rob Craig and Mrs Karen Craig.

A former Presbyterian Moderator the Rev Dr William M. Craig died yesterday, after an illness, aged 98.

Dr Craig, a strongly evangelical and theologically conservative churchman, ministered in First Portadown (Edenderry) Presbyterian Church for 35 years (1948-1983), and he was a highly influential figure in church matters within the Co Armagh town during that time.

A Ballygowan, Co Down man, Dr Craig was Presbyterian Moderator in 1979-80 and he also had spells as Moderator of the Armagh-Monaghan and the Armagh-Down synods.

He was licensed as a Presbyterian minister in his home Ballygowan congregation in 1944 and was minister for three years in Ebrington Church in Londonderry (1945-48).

He retired as First Portadown Church minister in 1983.

However, following his retirement, he continued to live in the Portadown area, maintaining his links with the congregation as senior minister.

During his First Portadown ministry, the highly respected Dr Craig built the congregation up to more than 1,000 families, and he also widened his inspirational evangelical witness by compiling religious pamphlets and sermons.

Dr Craig is survived by his son Brian, and pre-deceased by his wife and a daughter.