Samuel Lyle Orr

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Very Rev Samuel Lyle Orr (c.1850–1930) was an Irish-born 19th/20th century minister of the Free Church of Scotland who served as Moderator of the General Assembly in 1913/14. The Lyle Orr Awards have been granted by the Free Church of Scotland annually since 1914 to children showing great Bible knowledge.[1]


Milton Free Church (St Vincent Street Church), Glasgow

He is thought to have been born near Monaghan in Ireland around 1850, close to what later became the boundary between southern Ireland (Eire) and Northern Ireland.

In 1904 he was preaching in Armagh.

He moved from Northern Ireland to Glasgow in 1908.[2]

He was minister of Milton Free Church in Glasgow living at 230 West Regent Street.[3] Milton Free Church is now commonly called the St Vincent Street Church and is by the architect Greek Thomson.[4] It was one of the architectural gems of the Free Church of Scotland, usually famed for their puritanical approach to church building.

In 1913 he was elected Moderator of the General Assembly, the highest position in the Free Church of Scotland. He was succeeded in 1914 by Finlay Macrae.[5]

Some time around the First World War he moved to Saltcoats in Ayrshire.

He died at Ballyalbany, Monaghan, on 17 January 1930.[6]


He was married to Ann Henrietta Orr (1859-1913).

His son, James Barbour Orr, who had been a Free Church minister at Shettleston was killed in 1917, serving as a Captain in the Royal Scots Fusiliers, soon after his marriage to Joan Livingstone Young.[7]

His daughter Henrietta (1886-1904) is buried at Monaghan with his wife.[8]


  • Calvin's Idea of the Church in its Bearing on Our History (1909)
  • Historical Sketch of Ballyalbany Presbyterian Church (1940)[9]