Willie grew up on a dairy farm in Co. Fermanagh and attended Portora Royal School where he excelled more at rugby and rowing than academically! He came to faith in his teens and grew in faith through the faithful ministry of Magheracross Parish Church and the life of Clogher Diocesan Youth Council and Fellowship. He went on to take as degree in Agriculture from Reading University where he met his wife Caroline. On leaving university he worked alongside his parents on the family farm whilst also lecturing part-time at Greenmount Agricultural College.
In 1997 through an encounter with the Holy Spirit he sensed a deepening of God’s call to ordination and was selected to train for ordination at the Church of Ireland Theological College. He graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2000 with a degree in Theology and was ordained Deacon in June 2000 and Priested in June 2001. He served his curacies in St Paul’s Church of Ireland Lisburn and in Hillsborough Parish. He then worked as Curate in Charge of Emmanuel, Clermiston, a community Fresh Expression of St Thomas’s Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Edinburgh. With the arrival of three children, Willie and his wife Caroline felt they needed to put down roots, so returned to Northern Ireland to serve in the Parishes of Killaney & Carryduff. In November 2012 Willie joined Drumbeg as Rector and has continued to enjoy his ministry among us.
Willie is deeply passionate about faithful Bible teaching, equipping God’s Church in the Word through faithful Bible study, pastoral care, helping the lost sheep of the Church to find their place again in the worshipping community, supporting the world Church, to calling the Church to a ministry of care to the poor and marginalised and opening the Church doors to those who don’t yet know the love and salvation of Jesus. He has a particular heart to see dead parishes rejuvenated in faith and number. In his spare time Willie enjoys rugby, a pint with his friends and spending time with his family. He has a vision for Drumbeg Parish to grow disciples who serve in leadership both here in Drumbeg and in other places and to call children and adults to a saving faith founded in and on Jesus. His motto for life is: ‘Live knowing you are loved by God and that God’s love is for sharing’.