son of a leading tradesman (who was a member of Albany church) at Haverfordwest. He came to Methodism when only a boy — about a dozen letters which passed between him and Howel Harris, in the years 1739-50, are preserved in the Trevecka collection at the N.L.W. In 1742 he began to hold meetings, at first at his father's house, and afterwards in a hired room; and 1745 was recognized as an exhorter. But in 1751 he went over to Moravianism, and joined George Gambold in beginning Moravian services in a warehouse on the quay — the origin of the later society, and therefore of the 1763 Moravian congregation, the only one in Wales. But Sparks was a difficult man, and when the congregation moved to its new chapel on S. Thomas's Green, his autocratic actions led to his being disciplined and ‘silenced.’ In the meantime, his father had died (1762), and his over-sanguine conduct of his business brought him to bankruptcy (1766) and eviction from his house (1768). He is found keeping school in 1769, but in the same year he was paralysed and died at the age of 42.
Published date: 1959
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