The Rev’d John William Patrick Lowry, B.A., B.D. was installed on 10th September 1959, following a unanimous call, as the eighteenth minister of Bushmills. Born at Magherafelt on 17th March 1926, Pat Lowry was educated at Methodist College Belfast and Queen’s University Belfast. His theological training took place at Assembly’s College, Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey and London University from whence he obtained a Bachelor of Divinity degree. Mr. Lowry was ordained at Glenan and Middletown in County Monaghan. During Mr. Lowry’s tenure, the congregation of Bushmills embarked on an ambitious Christian Stewardship programme, where the congregation was exhorted to greater depths of commitment to the church and her King. The result was an increase in giving and a steady improvement of the church’s activities, resources, and property.
Mr. Lowry is still remembered fondly in Bushmills where his zest for life and interest in people won him many friends. He was especially interested in work with young people and had a gift in winning their love, friendship and respect, rather than demanding it. He was a popular speaker, his gifts being called upon by the BBC for religious broadcasts, such as “Thought for the Day”.
In 1959 Mr. Lowry accepted a call to St. John’s Newtownbreda in Belfast, where he ministered faithfully in a large congregation at the height of what became known as “The Troubles”. He died in 1982, aged 56. A short edition of his sermons, prayers and radio talks, entitled The Light Shines On, containing much material from his ministry in Bushmills, was published posthumously. He is buried in the church graveyard at Bushmills. Mrs. Lowry continues to reside in Bangor.