PRYS, OWEN (1857 - 1934), Calvinistic Methodist minister and college principal

Name: Owen Prys
Date of birth: 1857
Date of death: 1934
Spouse: Elizabeth Prys (née Parry)
Parent: Ann Prys
Parent: Absalom Prys
Gender: Male
Occupation: Calvinistic Methodist minister and college principal
Area of activity: Education; Religion
Author: William Richard Williams

b. 25 September 1857, son of Absalom and Ann Prys of the Factory, Pen-llwyn, near Aberystwyth. His educational career started at the National School, Pen-llwyn, which was kept by his uncle, after which he was for a time a pupil-teacher at the British School. In 1876 he went to the Normal College, Bangor, finishing up in the first class. Then, until 1883, he was headmaster of the Board School, Goginan. When he was at Bangor his principal interests had been music and mathematics, but after leaving college he fell under the influence of Carlyle and Channing, and became interested in theology. In 1883 he went to Peterhouse, Cambridge, but on winning a £100 scholarship migrated to Trinity College. He graduated in 1886 with first class honours in the Moral Sciences Tripos. He stayed on for another year at Cambridge. In 1887 he was appointed lecturer at Owen's College, Manchester, as assistant to professor Adamson, and then spent a year in Germany, mostly at Leipzig. He had started preaching in 1883 and had soon come into prominence. His sermons were the fruit of a penetrating and compact intelligence and of a wide experience of life and of the gospel, and he preached with extraordinary fervour. In 1890 he was appointed a tutor at Trevecka College and the following year was ordained and appointed principal. The college was moved to Aberystwyth in 1906, and amalgamated with Bala College in 1922, but Prys remained its principal until he retired in 1927. The subjects he taught were divinity, religious philosophy, and ethics. He was a quiet, reserved man, but in class the truth would kindle his imagination and in the fervour of his spirit that truth would become a blinding flame. He married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Parry of Tal-y-bryn, Bwlch, Brecknock, 2 August 1893, and they had two daughters. He filled a very definite niche in his denomination. In 1904 he delivered the ‘Davies Lecture’ at Cardiff, his subject being ‘The Doctrine of Man.’ He was elected moderator of the General Assembly in 1910, and of the South Wales Association in 1917. In 1922 he was given the degree of D.D. honoris causa by the University of Wales. He was elected moderator of the General Assembly (for the second time) for the bi-centenary celebrations of the denomination (1935), but d. 12 December 1934.


Published date: 1959

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