Ivan McElhinney was born in a farmhouse perched on top of one of the hills of Donegal. It was a small holding providing a low family income in de Valera's Ireland.
An evangelical conversion catapulted him into a strong vocation- a sense of call to the ordained ministry, but he was totally without any of the academic requirements. He was admitted to a college in England that facilitated the study to achieve the necessary qualifications. His student years coincided with the onset on the Northern Ireland Troubles in the streets of Belfast.
His ministerial training was completed in the West Indies and he was ordained by the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas. In that Church he exercised pastoral care of the poor and needy for a total of seven years and led evangelistic missions in various parts of the Caribbean region.
Back home initially to the Irish Border as the Troubles still raged, he worked through the Peace Process to the shaky politics which only slowly took over from outright violence. He was elected as President of the Methodist Church in Ireland for the year 2006/2007. Upon retirement in Ireland he returned to Jamaica to work again as a Pastor and Evangelist. In an active retirement he has a fruit and vegetable garden to raise funds for Child Care in Jamaica.