PROFESSOR F. J. PAUL M.A., D.D.
A native of the Glarryford district Professor Paul was brought up in the Killymurris congregation and received his early education at Ballymoney Intermediate School and the Methodist College, Belfast, before going to Queen’s College where he obtained his M.A. degree in the Royal University of Ireland. He was a distinguished career and was an accomplished linguist. Dr Paul studied in the universities of Leipzig, Geneva and Madrid. He was licensed by the Presbytery of Ahoghill in 1902 and was ordained in Bushmills on 5th November 1902 where he had a very successful ministry.
He devoted a great deal of his time in giving tuition to young people whom he encouraged to go to college. In addition to his ministerial duties he continued his own studies and secured the degree of Bachelor of Divinity at London University. On September 5th 1911 he resigned from the Bushmills congregation, having been appointed Professor of Church History at Magee University College, Derry. He transferred to Assembly’s College, Belfast in 1922, and in the following year he was appointed principal, as a tribute to his great ability.
Further honours were conferred on him when in 1929 he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Queen’s University, and a like honour was also bestowed on him by the University of Glasgow. He was a member of the Senate of Queen’s University, having been elected by convocation in 1939.
Professor Paul took a special interest in the work of the General Presbyterian Alliance, and was closely identified with its work and organisation. In 1933 he was appointed vice-president of the General Presbyterian Alliance, and some years later he was elected president, but owing to the state of his health he was unable to accept this honour and the duties attached to the position.
In 1936 he had the unique distinction of being appointed as Cunningham Lecturer, Edinburgh, and an honour which had never been conferred on any minister of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. He was also a writer and contributed to many journals and was the author of a book “Romanism and Evangelical Christianity.” He took a great interest in the general work of the Church and acted as convenor of the Jewish Mission and later of the Continental Mission.
About to start up his car to drive to Belfast Professor Paul collapsed and died suddenly at his seaside home at Portmoon, Bushmills on Thursday 10th July 1941, the revered head of the Presbyterian College, Belfast and an outstanding figure, not only of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and other lands but of evangelical religion generally of which he was a staunch supporter. After a service in Bushmills Presbyterian Church Professor Paul was laid to rest in the adjoining churchyard.