Born 31 January 1910 at Gilfach, Bargoed, Glamorganshire, the second of five children of the Rev. D.R. John and his wife, Susannah Mary (née Rees), both from Penygroes near Ammanford. The father was minister at Bargoed, Porth (Rhondda), Abercynon and the historic church at Rhydwilym. Walter P. John was educated at Mountain Ash Grammar School and the Baptist College and University College, Cardiff (1928-34), graduating in Arts and Divinity. Whilst in the grammar school he and R.E. Griffith established the first branch of Urdd Gobaith Cymru in south Wales at Abercynon.
He began his ministry at Tabernacl, Pontarddulais in September 1934 and in October 1938 he moved to London to take charge of the Welsh church at Castle Street, where he remained until his death on 15 March 1967. He married Nansi, only child of Morgan A. Jones, minister (B) at Whitland, Carmarthenshire, and grand-daughter of Daniel Jones, his predecessor. Walter P. John achieved prominence early in his career as a cultured preacher, whose services were in great demand in his own and other denominations in England and Wales. He also mastered the art of broadcasting. Liberal in standpoint, he was zealous for mutual understanding and cooperation among the Christian bodies of Wales. A volume of his sermons Rhwydwaith Duw (1969) appeared posthumously and he was joint author with Gwilym T. Hughes of a history of Welsh Baptists in London, Hanes Castle Street a'r Bedyddwyr Cymraeg yn Llundain (1959).
Published date: 2001
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