By Joseph Thompson
The Rev Jonathan Simpson served Portrush Presbyterian Church for well over 50 years as their first minister. When he came there was a very small congregation and no building. He visited America four times to raise money in order to provide an excellent suite of buildings, calling himself ‘an Irish beggar’ in the process. He was a strong evangelical who did all he could through his preaching, teaching and tract distribution to win souls to Christ.
As a very strong swimmer he personally rescued 12 people from drowning in the waters off Portrush and helped to rescue many more through his work with the Portrush lifeboat for many years. The work of the lifeboat service at Portrush was enhanced in 1995 by the D class inshore lifeboat ‘Jonathan Simpson’ named in memory of the Rev Simpson who was Honorary Secretary from 1864-94.
The Rev Simpson was a major figure in the Portrush community for nearly 60 years.
Whether you are interested in the history of Portrush Presbyterian Church or the history of Portrush or of its lifeboat there is a great story here.