The 84-year-old was minister of Dromore Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church from 2001 to 2015, as well as serving at Moneyreagh, Ravara and Rademon. Following his retirement he continued to worship in the family pew at his beloved church at Rampart Street. As Minister Emeritus of the Dromore church, he retained a keen interest in church affairs, and only a few weeks ago helped conduct a special memorial service during Easter week.
Rev Peden was also Moderator of the denomination from 2001-2003 and again from 2010 – 2013, as well as serving as moderator of the Presbytery of Bangor from 1998 – 2001.
He was particularly delighted when Dromore Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church installed Rev Brian Moodie, from South Africa, as minister last October. The two men built up a strong bond in the short time they had together.
Paying tribute, Rev Moodie said:
“Rev. Sam has been a warm and welcoming presence since my arrival at Dromore. It has been a privilege to get to know him as my predecessor
in ministry and to feel his support and encouragement in my first seven months in Dromore. He was clearly a blessing to so many people,
not just in the Dromore Church where he served faithfully for 14 years, but also to many in the wider Dromore community.”
Clerk of session, Amy Flanagan, said:
"Rev. Sam was a faithful member of our Church and this was expressed in his fundraising efforts and Sunday School teaching. His car would be
full on a Sunday morning as he picked up as many of our Sunday School pupils as he could fit into his car along with his own family (those were the days before seat belts became law). His love for the younger members of our Church was evident at all times.
Over the years his fundraising efforts resulted in generous donations both to our Church Building Funds as well as ‘The Friends of the Cancer Centre’. He was a person I had the pleasure of knowing. A friendly smile, time to talk and humility. We will all will miss him."
God Bless You, Sam".
Rev. Peden was blessed with a long and happy marriage to his beloved May, who sadly predeceased him in 2013.
Sam was supported by his family:
His sisters Amy and Georgie.
His children and their spouses: Sharon and David, Pamela and Garth, David and Margaret, Alan and Rhonda, Sonya and Myles,
His grandchildren:Ryan and wife Astrid, Rachael, Jordan,Adam and Megan, Stuart, Emma, Zoe, Aaron, Hannah,Gareth, Marcus, Zara,and great-grand-daughter Keziah, together with his wider family, his friends and all who loved him.
Aside from his clerical and family duties, "Rev Sam", as he was known to most people, had a great many interests, including bowls, cricket and rugby.
In recent weeks, Rev Sam experienced failing health and he died in hospital on 17th May.
The elders, committee and entire congregation of Dromore Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church are greatly saddened at the loss of their highly-esteemed and dearly loved former minister and friend.
His funeral took place on Sunday 20th at 2:30pm in Dromore Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church in Rampart Street.