‘Inspirational’ Free Presbyterian minister to be laid to rest

Rev Kenneth Elliott
Rev Kenneth Elliott

‘Inspirational’ minister Rev Kenneth Elliott will be laid to rest today after falling ill suddenly earlier this week.

A minister with Bethany Free Presbyterian Church in Portadown for 43 years until his recent retirement, Rev Elliott was a man of high faith and values,

Long-time friend Rev David McIlveen said Rev Elliott was second only to the church’s founder Rev Ian Paisley when it came to his skills as an evangelist.

Born on December 27, 1943, Rev Elliott’s ministry spanned to the Omagh area in his early years before he settled close to his native Co Armagh home.

It is understood he had some heart issues recently but had received minor surgery and was thought to be on the mend.

The family said it was a shock when he died suddenly last Saturday.

A family statement said: ‘Words cannot convey the pain that we feel at this time.

“Whilst we share unbelievable grief, we also feel immense honour and pride that we were able to call him Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather.

“His life’s work and ministry of 43 years service to the town and his leadership will live on for many years to come in our hearts and lives and in many many others throughout the Portadown area.

“His heart was always burdened for the people of Portadown, and that burden never diminished but burned deeper throughout his life’s ministry.”

Long term family friend DUP Cllr Margaret Tinsley, who has known the Elliott family since she was a child, said was devastated at the loss of a ‘true friend’.

Rev Elliott is mourned by his wife Jean, children Allison, Shirley and John; grandchildren Richard, Rebekah, Victoria, Daniel, Jordan, Bailie, Blake, Mia and Lily and great-grandfather of Beth and Evie.

His funeral service is in Bethany Free Presbyterian Church today (Tuesday) at 1pm, followed by a private interment in Kernan Cemetery.

No flowers please. Donations if desired payable to Bethany Free Presbyterian Church building fund, c/o Alan Wray & Co Funeral Directors “The Old Meeting House” 24 Portmore Street, Portadown BT62 3NG