Born 22 June 1786 at Pig-y-swch, Llanuwchllyn, Mer., the son of Evan Ellis, a roadmender. He joined the Baptist church at Llanuwchllyn in 1806 and began to preach in 1809. Having attended the school of Jesse Jones, Ffordd-las, he proceeded to the Abergavenny Baptist Academy in 1811 and left there in 1813 to become an itinerant preacher and school-master. In 1814 he married Mary Jones, Ffordd-las, and the following year was ordained and inducted to the pastorate of the churches at Llanefydd, Llansannan, and Llangernyw. Lacking gifts of oratory, he was not a popular preacher, but his reputation as a theologian and scholarly exegete spread widely. He was a thinker of some originality, well versed in church history and a scholar of no mean calibre. In 1819 he was called to the pastorate of Cefn-mawr, Denbighshire, where he remained until his death, rendering yeoman service to his denomination as a preacher, writer, and organizer. Besides building up his own church he figured prominently in founding nine other churches in the immediate vicinity. Among his many publications are the following: Unoliaeth a Gweledigaeth yr Eglwys, sef, Llythyr Cymanfa Cefn Mawr, 1828; Arddangosiad Syml o Syniadau Gwahaniaethol, neu Egwyddorion Priodol, y Bedyddwyr Crediniol, 1829; Anogaeth i Athrawon ac Athrawesau ein Hysgolion Sabothol, 1830; Cofiant Abel Vaughan. In his major work, Hanes y Bedyddwyr ac Egwyddorion Sylfaenol ein Cyfundraeth, he had proposed to recount the history of his denomination from the beginning to his own day, but he died before completing his task, and only four parts were published. His materials were later catalogued by James Spinther James, who also collected his letters, which are now in the Spinther MSS. in the National Library of Wales. His essays on the Apostolic Fathers are at the Baptist College, Bangor. He died 28 March 1864. His nephew Edward Ellis is separately noticed; [another brother, JOHN EVANS (1791 - 1855), known as ‘Siôn Pen-rhiw,’ was an Independent lay-preacher — see Jenkins, Hanes Hen Gapel Llanuwchllyn, index].
Published date: 1959
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