The Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland has published a further booklet (No. 13) in its Biography Series documenting the life of the Rev Dr Robert Stewart, D.D.,1783-1852, by the Very Rev Dr John Lockington.
A parish minister who served for 43 years in 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church the Rev Dr Stewart was actively involved both in the General Synod of Ulster (Moderator 1816-7) and in the newly formed General Assembly (Moderator 1843-4).
He strongly opposed the new national school system introduced in 1831, was involved in the controversy over the legality of Presbyterian marriages, played a crucial part in the negotiations between the government and the Belfast Academical Institution that made it possible for students for the ministry to receive their entire training in Belfast and was one of the early promoters of overseas mission.
However, it was his support for the Rev Dr Henry Cooke in the confrontations over Arianism within the Synod of Ulster and the famous debate in 1827 which lasted for 3 days with the parish priest of Ballymena over papal supremacy that made him a well known figure in Presbyterian circles.