Alumni - Rev Thomas Miller Junior
Thomas was the son of Rev Thomas Miller Senior who was the minister of 1st Cookstown Presbyterian Church and the founder and Headmaster of Cookstown Academy from 1806 to 1840.
After leaving school Thomas Junior went to Belfast Institute for his higher Education and thereafter was ordained to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. He served energetically as a missionary in the parts of Ireland where there were no Presbyterian churches and was instrumental in the establishment of a number of congregations.
He accepted a call to be the minister of 1st Lurgan in the 1850s and whilst in that town served for ten years as the Chaplain of the Lurgan Workhouse. He opened a school in the town and created a newspaper called ‘The Messenger’ which would eventually have a circulation which spread all over Ireland. His congregation grew so large that it became necessary to create a second congregation, today known as Hill Street Presbyterian Church.
His tireless work took a toll on his health and in 1858 he went on holiday to London, planning to attend a number of missionary society meetings while he was there. Tragically he was killed in a railway accident near Nuneaton when a cow strayed onto the track derailing the train.
In June 1858 a large public meeting was held in Lurgan chaired by Lord Lurgan; it was unanimously agreed that a public monument should be erected to the honour of Rev Miller with the funds being donated by the local banks!
Today the monument still stands at the top of Charles Street in Lurgan.