FRANCIS, ENOCH (1688/9 - 1740). Baptist minister

Name: Enoch Francis
Date of birth: 1688/9
Date of death: 1740
Spouse: Mary Francis (née Evans)
Child: Jonathan Francis
Child: Benjamin Francis
Parent: Francis David Francis
Gender: Male
Occupation: Baptist minister
Area of activity: Religion
Author: Robert Thomas Jenkins

Born at Pant-y-llaethdy on the Teify, between Llanllwni and Llanybydder, son of Francis David Francis, of a family whose religious roots were at Rhydwilym; see the table by T. Shankland in Trafodion Cymdeithas Hanes Bedyddwyr Cymru, 1911-12, which shows that at least eleven of the family became ministers. Enoch Francis's upbringing was in the 'Tivy-side church,' either at its first centre at Glandŵr (Llandysul), or at Dre-fach, or (perhaps more probably) at Rhos-goch (Llanarth). About 1707 he began preaching, at Llanllwni; when he was ordained assistant to James Jones (died 1734), pastor of ' Tivy-side,' is not known, but it was obviously before 1721, the year in which he was selected to preach at the Baptist Association meeting (at Hengoed) in 1722. He had married (c. 1718) Mary Evans, of Hengoed, and was living at Capel Iago in Llanybydder. His Association sermon in 1729 (at Llangloffan) was published - reprint in Trafodion Cymdeithas Hanes Bedyddwyr Cymru, 1911-12. In the Arminian controversy of 1729, when his second-cousin Abel Francis went over to Arminianism, Enoch Francis was on the Calvinist side, and in 1733 published Gair yn ei Bryd, in defence of Calvinism. By that time, he had moved to Pen-y-gelli on the outskirts of Newcastle Emlyn, and had been since 1734 superintendent minister of ' Tivy-side,' with four or five collaborators - the church had a number of congregations, which later on became separate churches, such as Aberduar, Pant Teg, etc. Francis itinerated diligently within (and without) his wide circuit, and acquired great fame as a preacher - to judge from the words of Joshua Thomas and others, it would seem that 'majesty' and sobriety, rather than revivalistic emotionalism, were the marks of his preaching. In August 1739 his wife died, and on 4 February 1739/40 (when away from home, at Fishguard) he himself died, at the age of fifty-one; he and his wife were buried at Cilfowyr. He had six children. A daughter of his married Stephen Davies; and Jonathan Francis of Pen-y-fai and Benjamin Francis of Horsley were sons of his. As has been mentioned, Abel Francis was his second-cousin.


Published date: 1959

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