Born 27 February 1883 in Capel Bach, a smallholding in Abergwili parish, Carmarthenshire, where he was brought up by his grandparents, Dafydd and Hannah Dafis. It was to them, and the local inhabitants of the district of Peniel, that he was indebted for the vivid and vigorous language he spoke, full of words and expressions that are no longer in colloquial use. After leaving school he became a farm servant at Rhyd-y-rhaw, Peniel, and became a member of Peniel (Congl.) church, where he began to preach in August 1903 under the ministry of H.T. Jacob. He attended the Old College School at Carmarthen before going to Bala-Bangor College in 1905. On 13 September 1908 he was ordained minister at Seion, Pontypridd, but moved to Addoldy, Glyn-neath, where he was inducted on 1 January 1911. Finally he was inducted on 13 September 1915 as minister of Gellimanwydd (Christian Temple), Ammanford, where he served for 50 years. He arrived at Ammanford during World War I and committed himself to his pastoral ministry in the district. He made friends with everyone; many went to him in tribulation and he visited everyone. He showed great concern about the unemployment and poverty of the 1930 s and became chairman of the local Distress Committee. When Ammanford was adopted by the town of Wallasey, he was appointed a member of the consultative deputation that went there.
One of his many hobbies was astronomy. He knew the stars by name, and on many a clear night he observed them through his telescope outside his house; he became a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He also took an interest in gypsies, with whom he made friends. His published works- O ganol shir Gâr, Cyn dringo'r Mynydd Du, Rhamantwr y De and Cyffro'r hen goffrau -abound in old Carmarthenshire phrases, old beliefs and rural amusements, and reveal his vivid imagination and story-telling gifts. He was a well-received evangelical preacher but he gave most of his attention to pastoral duties. He travelled much on the continent of Europe, often travelling on cargo ships from Swansea. He also went on a preaching tour of the U.S.A. As president of the Union of Welsh Independents he delivered his address from the chair in Pwllheli in 1958 on ‘The continuance of the Pentecost’. One of his many generous acts was his gift of £1000 to his denomination's Assistance Fund. He received an honorary D.D. (Oslo), and in 1965 he was awarded the O.B.E. in acknowledgement of his humanitarian acts and for his bravery on many occasions in rescuing persons in danger of drowning.
He married (1), 10 November 1908, Anna Twining, Richmond Tce., Carmarthen (died 1933). He married (2), 1934, Sarah Jane Davies, Wauncefen, Heolddu, Ammanford. He died 10 August 1968 and was buried in Gellimanwydd cemetery.
Published date: 2001
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