Preacher’s body found in the Bann

Pastor David Greenow and his wife Emily.
Pastor David Greenow and his wife Emily.

THE local evangelical community is deeply shocked after the body of an 85-year-old preacher was discovered in the River Bann at Knock Bridge last Thursday afternoon.

David Greenow, who lived at Bleary Road, Portadown with his elderly wife Emily, had been discharged from hospital a week before he drowned in the river, close to the Mullahead Road.

Police say that a post mortem was carried out and they are not treating the death as suspicious. He had been in hospital a number of times over the past few years.

Mr Greenow’s body was taken from the Bann after four o’clock on Thursday afternoon. Earlier, he had left home in his car to park at Knock Bridge and go for a walk along the towpath, and the police and fire service were called to the scene after there were reports of a body in the river.

He was a ‘freelance’ full-time preacher until three years ago, and attended the Bridge Community Church in Lurgan where Pastor Thomas Marcus described him as “a great man of God who preached the Gospel throughout the world for over half a century and who will be greatly missed”.

He had close ties with the Mountain Lodge Pentecostal Church in Darkley where three elders were shot dead and seven church members were wounded in an INLA attack during an evening service in November 1983 - it was founded by the father of his future wife Emily Hunniford, whom he met and married there.

Pastor Marcus said that Mr Greenow - who came originally from Hereford - was originally a pastor in the Apostolic Church, but left in order to preach in a wide range of evangelical churches - Elim, Pentecostal, Apostolic among them - and travelled all over the world on various missions.

These included a long-running mission in the old Plaza Ballroom in the Edenderry area of Portadown some 50 years ago, and which is now the premises of McNabb’s Undertakers and taxis.

After training in Bible College in Wales, Mr Greenow came to Northern Ireland and settled in the Bleary area after he married the former Emily Hunniford. They have no children.

Pastor Marcus added that “unkind theories” were being put forward after the death, but pointed out that Mr Greenow was now in his mid-80s and was frail and his death may have been an accident.

“I have known David for at least 10 years and look back on a superb Gospel ministry by a good man. My sympathies are with the family,” he said.

The funeral service was at Knocknamuckley Parish Church and he was buried at St Saviour’s, Dobbin.