Bannside Library, 135-139 Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast
Messages from the Prison Cell (Booklet)
Messages from the Prison Cell – 50th Anniversary Copy
On 19 July, 1966 Ian Paisley, was arrested as he traveled to his mid-week Prayer meeting. He served a three month prison sentence rather than sign a bail bond which would have taken from him his freedom of speech. His sentence was served in full.
2016 marks fifty years since the events of 1966 which were to prove hugely significant in both the development of the Church he founded and in the political role he undertook.
By 1966 Ian Paisley had served as the Minister of Ravenhill Free Presbyterian Church for 20 years. Throughout the three months he was imprisoned he sent a weekly letter to his congregation as their Pastor. These letters took the form of devotionals and were later gathered and printed in a booklet entitled Messages from the Prison Cell.
To mark the 50th Anniversary of Lord Bannside’s first imprisonment, we have reprinted the booklet without additions or changes. It is exactly as it was first published.
Reading it will give you a sense of the relationship between a Pastor and his Congregation and between a Prisoner and his Lord. It evokes the spirit of the time – a time when there was a spiritual awakening alongside uneasy and frightening political developments. These times heralded what became known as “The Troubles” in the history of Northern Ireland.