Born 14 November 1801 at Gellilwyd, Tre-lech, Carmarthenshire, the son of a family in comfortable circumstances. The greater part of his education was received at home and in the Sunday school. He spent some years on his father's farm, but, feeling an inclination towards the ministry, went to a school at Haverfordwest in 1822. He began to preach in 1823 and spent a short time in the Carmarthen grammar school before going to the preparatory school at Newtown, Montgomeryshire, from which he was received to the Gwynedd Academy in that town in 1825. He was ordained at Capel Als, Llanelly, 5 and 6 July 1829. He soon came into prominence as preacher and lecturer. He was a born leader, of strong and uncompromising convictions and actuated by unflinching principles. He was a good citizen and served Llanelly and his country well; he was a member of the Board of Guardians and the Board of Health, etc. He founded four new Congregational churches at Llanelly. He was also one of the pillars of his denomination. As he was by nature a politician and a social reformer, his selection as the first editor of Y Diwygiwr, 1835, was an event of significance in the history of Welsh Congregationalism. He supported the party which believed in the voluntary system of elementary education and maintained that the cost of education should not be a charge on the State. Apart from his work as a church minister his chief contribution to the thought and life of his period was his editing of Y Diwygiwr for thirty years (1835-65). He took little heed of the verbal cleverness or the satirical taunts of his opponent, David Owen (Brutus), in Yr Haul. Brutus attacked and made light of the influence of Nonconformity but David Rees defended its foundations and its principles. Through the medium of Y Diwygiwr he succeeded in bringing into being a new outlook on radical Nonconformity. He retired from the editorship of Y Diwygiwr in 1865 and from the ministry in 1868. He died 31 March 1869.
Published date: 1959
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