JONES, JOHN MORGAN (1873 - 1946), minister (Congl.) and Principal of Bala-Bangor College, Bangor

Name: John Morgan Jones
Date of birth: 1873
Date of death: 1946
Parent: Mary Jones
Parent: Joseph Jones
Gender: Male
Occupation: minister (Congl.) and Principal of Bala-Bangor College, Bangor
Area of activity: Education; Religion
Author: Robert Tudur Jones

Born 23 October 1873 at Albert Cottage, Cwmaman, Carmarthenshire, the sixth child and second son of Joseph Jones, engineer, and Mary, his wife. After a course of education at the school in the Market Hall, he worked in the office of a local tinworks. He began preaching at New Bethel church, Garnant, under the ministry of the Reverend J. Towyn Jones in 1889 and subsequently became a student at the Gwynfryn Academy, Ammanford. In 1891 he was admitted to Brecon Memorial College and graduated with honours in English at University College Cardiff in 1894. He began his theology course at Brecon in 1895 but moved to Mansfield College, Oxford, in 1896 and graduated B.A. in the theology schools in 1899. Then followed a year's stay at the University of Berlin under the tuition of the church historian Adolf Harnack, the teacher who above all others made the most lasting impression upon him.

He was ordained minister of Tabernacle English Congregational church, Aberdare, in 1900 and played a prominent part in the public life of the town during his stay there. He was a Liberal member of the Town Council from April 1904 until April 1907 and formulated A Scheme and Syllabus of Moral and Biblical Instruction (Aberdare, 1905) for the day-schools of Aberdare. In 1902 he married Lucy Evans of Bridgnorth; two sons and one daughter were born of the marriage. In January 1914 he moved to Bangor to become Professor of Church History and English literature at Bala-Bangor Independent College. With the Principal, Dr Thomas Rees, he took a leading role in publishing the pacifist newspaper Y Deyrnas from October 1916 to November 1919. When Thomas Rees died in 1926 he succeeded him as principal, a post which he held until his own death on 7 March 1946. His remains were buried in Glanadda Cemetery, Bangor.

Throughout his life he was deeply interested in education and was chairman of the north Wales branch of the Workers' Educational Association from 1926 to 1946. In the University of Wales he was Warden of the Guild of Graduates, 1930-33 and Vice-president of the University College of North Wales, 1944-46. In his denomination he was chairman of the North Wales Congregational Union 1933-34 and President of the Union of Welsh Independents, 1939-40.

He expressed his theological liberalism and his interest in public affairs in a host of articles and books. Important articles by him appeared in the Celt, The Christian Commonwealth and Geiriadur Beiblaidd. He contributed chapters to M.E. Sadler's Moral Instruction and Training in Schools, 1905; to Welsh Political and Educational Leaders, on David Rees, Llanelli; and on the Gospel according to St. Matthew to The Story of the Bible, 1938. He edited Yr Efrydydd from April 1928 until September 1931 and the Cofiadur from 1923 to 1946. He also edited Hanes ac Egwyddorion yr Annibynwyr, 1939. His other publications were: Y Tadau Pererin: eu Hanes a'u Neges, Merthyr Tydfil, 1920; Paul of Tarsus: the Apostle and his Message, York, [ 1916 ]; Dysgeidiaeth Iesu Grist first published in 1921 by the Union of Welsh Independents and revised and reprinted at Cardiff, 1937; The New Testament in Modern Education, London, 1922; (with G.A. Edwards) Diwinyddiaeth yng Nghymru (Traethodau'r Deyrnas), 1924; Traethodau'r Diwygiad (Cyfres y Werin, Rhif 14) Wrecsam, 1926; Y Bedwaredd Efengyl (2 Vols.), Abertawe, 1930, 1931; Y Testament Newydd: ei hanes a'i gynnwys, Caerdydd, 1930; Sgwrs: Cymdeithas Addysg y Gweithwyr, Bangor, (1940).


Published date: 2001

Article Copyright:

The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is provided by The National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It is free to use and does not receive grant support. A donation would help us maintain and improve the site so that we can continue to acknowledge Welsh men and women who have made notable contributions to life in Wales and beyond.

Find out more on our sponsorship page.