A highly regarded minister, the Very Rev. Dr Howard Cromie, who served in Scots Presbyterian Church in Enniskillen, passed away peacefully on October 6, 2017. 

A Service of Thanksgiving for the Life and Ministry of Dr Cromie, a former Presbyterian Moderator, was held in Railway Street Presbyterian Church, Lisburn on Monday, October 9. Earlier, a short private service for the family was held in Scarva Street Presbyterian Church, Banbridge. 

A book entitled, ‘Footprints on the Sands of Time - A History of Railway Street Presbyterian Church, Lisburn 1860 to 2008’ by John Andrew Kelly records the following: The Rev Howard Cromie 1962-1993: The Rev. Howard Cromie MA, BD was installed in Railway Street Presbyterian Church on 10th January 1962.

For eight years prior to coming to Lisburn he was minister of Scots Presbyterian Church, Enniskillen. When Mr. and Mrs. Cromie moved to the Magheralave Road manse with their two little boys, Alan was five years old and David was three. Their daughter Gillian was born on 13th June 1963. Fiona, their second daughter, was born on 9th December 1965.

Mr. Cromie was brought up on a farm at Ballydown; the family worshipped in Scarva Street Presbyterian Church, Banbridge.

After four years at Magee University College, Londonderry, Mr. Cromie attended Trinity College, Dublin, and graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1950. He then proceeded to New College, Edinburgh, the Theological Faculty of Edinburgh University, where he graduated Bachelor of Divinity. His final year was spent at the Presbyterian College, Belfast, now known as Union College.  

Two years as Student Assistant at Richmond Craigmiller Church of Scotland, Edinburgh, gave him his first experience of pastoral work and after returning to Northern Ireland he gained further pastoral experience as Licentiate Assistant at Great Victoria Street, Belfast, and a further year at St. Enoch’s, Belfast.

Mr. Cromie received a unanimous call to the congregation of Scots Church, Enniskillen and was installed there by the Presbytery of Clogher on 21st July 1954. That same year, on 31st August, he married Miss Kathleen Moore in Scarva Street Church, Banbridge.

The book records that on Remembrance Sunday 1987, Dr Cromie was preaching to a packed congregation with the Royal British Legion present. “A note was passed to him telling him of the massacre at the cenotaph in Enniskillen in which 11 people died including six members of his former congregation. Sixty-three others were injured, some of them permanently disabled. This was devastating news to have to convey to the congregation and in the light of which to preach God’s saving grace in the sermon.”

After a long and effective ministry Dr Cromie, who was elected Presbyterian Moderator in 1984, preached his retirement sermon at Railway Street on Sunday, May 9, 1993.   

He died peacefully on October 6, 2017, at Silver Birch Lodge Nursing Home, Saintfield. Surviving him are his wife Kathleen, two sons Alan and David and two daughters Gillian and Fiona.