The roots of the Free Presbyterian witness in Ballymena go back for many years to the raising of the separatist standard in the town by the late Pastor James Kyle Paisley. In November 1933, Pastor Paisley resigned his position as minister of Hill Street Baptist Church to commence a separatist witness for Christ and the Gospel. Meetings were held at first in rented property on the Waveney Road, with the power of God being manifested in the conversion of souls. The fledgling congregation then pursued the erection of their own building, the Gospel Tabernacle, also on the Waveney Road.
The foundation stone was laid in 1934 by Dr. T.T. Shields, pastor of Jarvis Street Baptist Church, Toronto, Canada. The Gospel Tabernacle was then completed and opened in 1935 for the preaching of the Gospel, becoming the scene of the faithful labours of Pastor Paisley for many years. In the early 1960's, due to Pastor Paisley's failing health, his son-in-law, the Rev. R. J. Beggs, began to engage in much of the preaching in the Tabernacle.