DAVIES, DAVID CHRISTOPHER ('Christy '; 1878 - 1958); missionary and representative of the British Missionary Society (B.M.S.) in Wales

Name: David Christopher Davies
Date of birth: 1878
Date of death: 1958
Spouse: Margaret Davies (née Parker)
Parent: Elizabeth Davies
Parent: John Davies
Gender: Male
Occupation: missionary and representative of the British Missionary Society (B.M.S.) in Wales
Area of activity: Religion
Author: Evan David Jones

Born 16 July 1878 at Clydach, in the Swansea valley, Glamorganshire, second of the 10 children of John and Elizabeth Davies. He was brought up in a musical family; the father (who was employed in a local foundry) played the trombone with the Clydach brass band, and was deacon and treasurer of Calfaria (B) Church. The pastor of the church was T. Valentine Evans (father of Sir (David) Emrys Evans) to whom Christopher felt greatly indebted. When he was 12 years old and had reached the top class at school he had to work for a year in the family grocer's shop before being apprenticed to a tailor at Ystalyfera, where he was baptised in Soar Church. At the end of his apprenticeship he worked in Swansea and Cardiff before entering the service of Colmers of Bath. There he became a member of Hay Hill Church, and in 1900 decided to enter the ministry. The week his father died he had an interview for entry to Spurgeon's College. He commenced his course there in January 1902. During the Christmas vacation of 1904 he came under the influence of Evan (John) Roberts ' Revival. While he was a student-pastor at Thorpe-le-Soken he felt a call to the missionary field, especially China, but the B.M.S. designated him for the Congo. After receiving medical instruction at the Livingstone Institution and spending some months at Brussels improving his French, he departed from London August 1906 to go to his mission station in Yalemba in the Congo, near the mouth of the river Aruwimi. He soon mastered Heso, the language of the inhabitants. The natives called him Molembia, and revered him deeply. He also became proficient in Lingala, which was the common language of the inhabitants of the Upper Congo. He translated parts of the New Testament into both Heso and Lingala. He composed hymns in their languages and had them sung to Welsh tunes.

In 1919 the Society transferred him to the rapidly growing city of Leopoldville. His task was to concentrate attention on the new arrivals of the Bangala tribe, who spoke Lingala. In 1933, because of his ill-health, he returned to Wales as a representative of the B.M.S. He arranged summer schools in various locations before being stationed for a period in the Theological College, Aberystwyth, and afterwards at Cilgwyn, Newcastle Emlyn. His good humour, his great sense of fun and enthusiasm greatly inspired those attending the summer schools. He retired in 1943 and spent the rest of his life at Mumbles, where be became a member of the Welsh (B) church, Capel Gomer, in Swansea.

In November 1914 he married Margaret Parker, a deaconess at Bloomsbury (B) Church. They had two daughters. He died 4 May 1958, soon after being elected an hon. member of the B.M.S.


Published date: 2001

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