THOMAS, JOHN (fl. 1689-1712), early minister of the Tivy-side Independents

Name: John Thomas
Gender: Male
Occupation: minister of the Tivy-side Independents
Area of activity: Religion
Author: Robert Thomas Jenkins

He lived at Llwyn-y-grawys, Llangoedmor, near Cardigan; nothing is known of his family, and little of his career; unsupported tradition makes him a university man. He was a member of a mixed (Independent and Baptist) congregation on Tivy-side; one of the houses at which it gathered for worship was Rhosgilwern (Kilgerran), which is thought to have been the home of Jenkin Jones (died 1689). As John Thomas's signature is the first of those attesting Jenkin Jones's will, it is possible that he was already co-pastor with him. But by that time, the question of infant Baptism was disquieting local Dissenters, and a public debate on that subject was arranged (1691 or 1692) between John Thomas and John Jenkins (1656? - 1733) of Rhydwilym. The upshot was that the Baptist members of the mixed congregation left it and became members at Rhydwilym. In 1709, Thomas localised his congregation in a new meeting-house at Llechryd. He was a member of the 'synods' which met in an attempt to compose the famous controversy at Henllan Amgoed, Carmarthenshire - see Owen, Jeremy); it is clear that his influence was great, for the leaders of both parties speak of him with great respect. His name does not appear in John Evans's list of ministers (c. 1715), and a deed resolving the property of his widow gives the date of his death as December 1712.


Published date: 1959

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