Born 28 June 1860 at Pantrasol, Llanarth, Cardiganshire, one of the four children of Abraham Jones, of the Llandysul neighbourhood, and his wife Elizabeth, who hailed from near Llangeitho. The father had to seek work in Glamorgan, and the upbringing of the children fell to the mother, on the small homestead of Tŷ-rhos. David (known as ' Dafi Tŷ-rhos') had little schooling, mostly at Talygarreg, under John Thomas, a grandson of Thomas Phillips of Neuadd-lwyd. He was received into church membership at Pisgah, Talgarreg.
Apprenticed to a tailor when not yet 12, he afterwards worked at Cwrtnewydd, and later in a shop at Lampeter, but found neither place congenial; nor did a move to Ffestiniog in North Wales prove auspicious. He returned to South Wales, settling down at Deri, Glamorganshire; there, towards the end of 1880, he was encouraged to start preaching. Later, he underwent instruction at private grammar schools at Pencader, Carmarthenshire, and New Quay, Cardiganshire. He had become an acceptable preacher, but felt that his knowledge of English was defective, so he put in two years at the Western (Congregational) College, Bristol, where his English preaching improved to such an extent that he was offered the pastorate of a small church nearby. But he preferred the Welsh ministry; and after spending some time at Cardiff University College he was ordained pastor of Porth (Rhondda) church in October 1887; there he married Florence, daughter of Idris Williams, a prominent Congregationalist at Porth; they had four children. In the summer of 1891, he accepted a call to the churches of Bethesda and Llantysilio, Pembrokeshire. His renown as a preacher grew rapidly, and in 1895 he was called to succeed E. Herber Evans at Salem, Caernarvon. He was very successful at Caernarvon, and remained there till his death on 7 February 1919; he was buried in Llanbeblig new cemetery.
As is customary, Stanley Jones's published sermons give little idea of his power in the pulpit. He had become - and continued to be - one of the greatest preachers in his denomination; a preacher first and foremost, for he took little part in the councils of the denomination, and eschewed civic and political activities. He did, however, contribute articles to Y Geninen, chiefly recollections of his native countryside; and he published a selection of these under the title Myfyrion ar fin Afonydd (1904). He had a handsome presence; his delivery was deliberate; and his sunny and unassuming personality made him most attractive to his hearers in all parts of the country.
Published date: 1959
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