THE BAHÁ'ÍS OF NEWTOWNABBEY
WHO WE AREThere have been members of the Bahá'í Faith living in Northern Ireland since as early as 1912, but the numbers really began to grow after the Second World War, when new assemblies were formed in Belfast, Bangor, and many other regional towns.
In the early 1970s, the first local Assembly was formed in the newly created 'Borough of Newtownabbey'- in the 1950s, the area had been known as 'Belfast Rural District', then it was twice enlarged to its present size and renamed 'Newtownabbey' along the way.
The 'Local Spiritual Assembly of Newtownabbey' (to give it its full name) has been running ever since, though obviously its membership has changed over the years. With no full-time clergy of any kind, Bahá'ís elect members to the Local Assembly each year, to run the administrative affairs of the Bahá'í community.
In Newtownabbey the Bahá'ís have always taken a keen interest in social, charitable, cultural and environmental affairs within the area, and have often been involved in supporting the work of local and regional charitable organisations. For example, the 'International Tree Foundation'- an organisation which was in fact founded by a member of the Bahá'í Faith (Mr. Richard St.Barbe-Baker).
So in the future, Bahá'ís intend to stay aware of all the social and environmental changes in the area, and to take a keen interest in exigencies of the region in which we live.