Born 29 March 1772 at Sgythlyn, Llanfihangel Iorath, Carmarthenshire. He hailed from a deeply religious family. He was educated, from the time he was 7 years old, at various schools, including David Davis's school at Castellhywel. He was received into church membership at Pencader when he was between 14 and 15 years of age. He began to preach at Pencader in 1792 and was invited to serve Ebenezer, Pontypool, on probation; he stayed there six months. He received a call from Neuadd-lwyd near Aberayron, and was ordained there on 5 April 1796. He was married on 29 March 1798. He served regularly at Pencader, started a church at Llanbadarn-fawr, and supported the church at Tal-y-bont, north Cardiganshire, between 1796 and 1810. Neuadd-lwyd school was founded in 1810 and opened on 15 October that year. From 1810 until 1840 he had charge of the church at Neuadd-lwyd and of the school.
The school became renowned and many ministers sent their sons to it. The master was assisted in his teaching work by some of his best pupils. Phillips's main aim was to produce preachers and ministers rather than scholars - that is why he was so anxious to give them a good grounding in the knowledge of the scriptures. Among his pupils were J. Rhys Kilsby Jones, and the two first missionaries who went to Madagascar - David Jones and Thomas Bevan. Sermons by Phillips were published in 1803, 1808, 1811. Besides these he published a Catechism, 1812; Natur Cyfamod Eglwys, 1815; Sypiau Grawnwin …, 1818; Ychydig o Hymnau Efengylaidd, 1821 (2nd ed., 1842); and - his more important work - a short commentary (in Welsh) on the New Testament, 1831. He died 22 December 1842.
Published date: 1959
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