Brannockstown Baptist Church has a long and rich history. It was founded around 1870 by John La Touche, master of the Harristown estate. The La Touches were wealthy and influential aristocrats in France until the Huguenot expulsion. David La Touche was the first member of the family to settle in Ireland, where he purchased Harristown from the Eustace family in 1768. His great-grandson John La Touche became a Christian and was baptised by the well-known Rev. C. H. Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. Wishing to share the good news of Jesus and call people to follow him, John gathered a small congregation, which in its infancy met in a cottage in the village. In 1882 a gothic chapel of limestone and red sandstone was erected, followed in due course by the manse next door. John La Touche taught and cared for the church family, and later made provisions for the continuation of the church following his death in 1904.
The longest serving Pastor of the church was Robert Dunlop, originally from Co. Monaghan. A well-known national religious broadcaster and author, Pastor Dunlop served for 42 years before retiring. If you would like more information about the history of the church and of the La Touche family, you will find it in Robert Dunlop’s 1982 book, “Plantation of Renown”. A short presentation on the history of the church was also recorded on the occasion of the church’s 150th anniversary.