WILLIAMS, WILLIAM RICHARD (1896 - 1962), minister (Presb.) and Principal of the United Theological College, Aberystwyth

Name: William Richard Williams
Date of birth: 1896
Date of death: 1962
Spouse: Violet Irene Williams (née Evans)
Parent: Catherine Williams
Parent: Richard Williams
Gender: Male
Occupation: minister (Presb.) and Principal of the United Theological College, Aberystwyth
Area of activity: Education; Religion
Author: Gomer Morgan Roberts

Born 4 April 1896 at Pwllheli, Caernarfonshire, son of Richard and Catherine Williams, his mother of the lineage of Siarl Marc of Bryncroes. He was educated at Penlleiniau church day-school and Pwllheli County School. He won a Mrs Clarke Scholarship, enabling him to enter University College, Aberystwyth, where he graduated with first-class honours in Greek and second class in philosophy. His father died in 1912, and he and his mother moved to Aberystwyth, becoming members of Tabernacl church where he began to preach. He served in the army for a period during World War I. He continued his education at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he graduated with a first class in theology. He was ordained in 1921, and served as minister of Bethel, Gowerton, Glamorganshire (1921-22) and Argyle English Church, Swansea (1922-25). He was appointed assistant lecturer at Aberystwyth Theological College (1925-27), and then became Professor of the Philosophy of Religion (1927-28), and of Greek and N.T. exegesis (1928-49). He was principal of the college from 1949 until he died in 1962. In 1928 he married Violet Irene Evans of Swansea, and they had a son. W.R. Williams d. 18 December 1962.

He was a prominent figure in his denomination. He delivered the Davies Lecture in 1939 on ‘The Missionary Spirit in the Early Church’, which was not published. He served as Moderator of the General Assembly (1960), and Moderator of the South Wales Association (1962). He took an interest in the Sunday school and the Foreign and Home Missions, and was president of the Forward Movement for many years. He was one of the leading promoters of the ecumenical movement in Wales; he was the first secretary of the Council of Churches of Wales, and its president when he died. In 1961 he was elected chairman of the British committee of the Presbyterian Alliance. He was a member of the joint-committee which was appointed to prepare a new English translation of the Bible, and in 1961 he was appointed director of the committee which was established to prepare a new Welsh translation of the Bible. He contributed to the periodicals of his denomination and published three volumes of biblical commentary: Arweiniad i Efengyl Ioan (1930), Yr Epistol at yr Hebreaid (1932), and Epistol cyntaf Ioan (1943).


Published date: 2001

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