Born 27 January 1779 at Nantydderwen in the parish of Llanwrtyd, Brecknock. He came of a well-known local stock; on his mother's side he was related to the family of John Penry. He was nurtured in a religious home and for a time attended a school kept by the incumbent of Llanwrtyd. He was received into church membership at Llanwrtyd by Isaac Price. After being apprenticed as shoemaker he went to Llandovery in 1796 and to Merthyr Tydfil in 1797; he took part in the founding of a Congregational church at Merthyr. Returning home, he began to preach at Llanwrtyd in 1799. He preached for four years before he was ordained; in 1800 he undertook a preaching tour in North Wales. He was ordained minister of Llanwrtyd and Troedrhiwdalar on 8 August 1803, the Presbyterian Board making him a grant of five pounds on that occasion. He founded causes at Bethel, Cynghordy (in the valley of the Towy), Ebenezer (on the eastern slope of Mynydd Epynt), Abergwesyn, Beulah, and Olewydd; he also succoured weak churches in the hundred of Builth. He witnessed periods of religious revival and several hundred new members were added to his churches, particularly in his jubilee year - 1853. That jubilee was celebrated on an extensive scale and an oil-portrait of him was presented to Brecon College. He continued to preach to the end of his days. He died 20 August 1874. A man of strong physique, he had a clear and bell-like voice, and his mode of delivery was easy and popular. He had warmth as an evangelist - he followed in the tradition of Howel Harris and other religious leaders of the 18th century.
Published date: 1959
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