Tag Archives: Wales



Evans, Christmas

They named him “Christmas”

Perhaps the greatest Baptist preacher that Great Britain ever produced was the Welsh preacher Christmas Evans. Born on Christmas Day 1766 into an impoverished home, he lost his father when only nine years old, and spent the next few years with a disreputable uncle. When he was 15 he still couldn’t read but when he was 18 he was converted and joined the Presbyterians. He was six feet tall and His very presence spoke of leadership and they urged him to preach. The development of his untrained mind is an amazing story. He learned to read his Welsh Bible in one month. He read every book in the scant local libraries. “He became skilled in Hebrew, Greek and English.” With a desire to expose the Anabaptists, he studied the New Testament carefully and came to the conclusion that there were no verses that taught infant sprinkling and at least forty for baptism on profession of faith. In 1788 Christmas was immersed in the River Duar by the Rev. Timothy Thomas. He began a pastoral ministry until he was called to the Isle of Anglesea in 1791. There were two chapels and 8 preaching stations. Spiritual deadness prevailed when he began his 35 year ministry. In a short time the Isle was revived, and by 1826 the preaching stations multiplied to scores, and 28 preachers flooded the Isle with the message of grace.  He traveled to Velin Voel for an associational meeting in 1794. After two ministers had addressed the assembly in the heat of the open air, Christmas Evans was asked to speak. He spoke for 3 hours on the Demoniac of Gadara. This became his landmark sermon. He lost an eye early in life but the one eye it was said was like a brilliant star, it shined like Venus. On his death bed, he waved his hand as if with Elijah in the chariot of fire, and cried the words of an old Welsh hymn: “Wheel about, coachman, drive on!”

Dr. Greg J. Dixon From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 295-97.

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Baptist multiplication

The Baptists of England, besides the physical persecution, had undergone vicious verbal

attacks misrepresenting their profession of faith. Therefore they found it necessary to set forth

a confession of faith to publicly declare their belief’s before all.

The first was put forth in the name of seven congregations in 1643. By the year 1689 the seven churches represented had expanded to “upwards of one hundred baptized congregations in England and Wales (denying Arminianism) being met together in London, from the third of the seventh month to the eleventh of the same, 1689, to consider some things that might be for the glory of God, and the good of these congregations.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 284-85.

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Morgan, Abel


Welch Baptists influence America


1711 – WELSH BAPTISTS CAME TO AMERICA TO ESCAPE PERSECUTION WERE PERSECUTED BY PLYMOUTH COLONY – On February 14, 1711, Abel Morgan arrived in America and began his ministry on Dec. 16, 1722. Morgan was one of the Welsh Baptist preachers known for their powerful declaration of truth. Preaching was preeminent among them and doubtless laid the foundation for the Welsh revival. There is much evidence that Baptist principles were known in Wales at a very early period. The Welsh Baptists also influenced the Baptist effort in our nation. In 1663 an immigrant church, led by Pastor John Miles, which was organized in Wales in 1649, came to this country in a body and settled on a land grant near the Rhode Island frontier. However Pastor Miles and his flock having fled persecution in Europe was to meet it again at the hands of the Plymouth Court. But later Abel Morgan felt led of God to leave Wales for America and on Aug. 23 the church at Blaenaugwent held a special service of honor which had served them for 15 years, and with broken hearts said their farewells. The Morgans went to Bristol and on Sept. 28 they sailed to America but the winds were contrary and the ship had to turn into a haven and was detained for 3 weeks. Then because of high winds they were driven to Cork and were delayed an additional 5 weeks due to the illness of many passengers.  On Nov. 14 they were able to sail again when on Dec. 14 Morgan’s son died, and 3 days later the Lord took his wife and both had to be buried at sea. When he arrived he began his ministry in Pennepeck near Philadelphia, and labored there for 11 years until his death on Dec. 16, 1722.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 61.


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342 – Dec. 08 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Saw the sham of French Revolution


1760 – Morgan John Rhees, was born in Glamonshire, Wales. He was provided the best educational opportunities of his time, and then at age twenty-two entered the Bristol Baptist College – England and studied under the famed Caleb Evans. During those days he became an advocate for political freedom and especially became enamored with the French Revolution. After graduation he returned to his homeland and became pastor of the Baptist church in Monmouth. Though he was being used in evangelism his interest in the political scene led him to France in an itinerant ministry. He soon saw through the sham of the political leaders in France and returned to Wales. However, to escape being prosecuted on pretext of being friendly with the French, he sailed for America in Feb. 1794, and was well received by Dr. William Rogers, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, and provost of the U of Philadelphia. He preached extensively through the South and West with great success, and was compared to Whitfield. He then married the daughter of Col. Benjamin Loxley, an officer of the Revolutionary War. In time, Rhees united with Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Dec. of Independence in purchasing a large tract of land in Pennsylvania, which in honor of Rhee’s homeland was named Cambria. A large group from Wales settled there and Rhees served them as Pastor of the Baptist church in Beulah, Penn. At the age of forty-four he took on a sudden attack of pleurisy that led to his demise on Sept. 17, 1804. Those who were there said that his home going was more of a translation than a death.  [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 670-72. William B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1865), p. 345.]  Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon


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107– April 17 – This Day in Baptist History Past


A Special Invitation to Pastor



He preached from prison


 We read a great deal about Pastor Thomas Ewins in the Broadmead Records (the minutes)  of the “Baptized Congregation” in Broadmead, Bristol, England. Here is an excerpt from the history page:


Late in 1651, a certain Mrs. Hathway, wife of a Bristol brewer, went to Wales to hear the, by now, famous preacher and was convinced that this eminent man would be suitable to be the Pastor in Bristol.


At first, he did not want to come, but by a special invitation extended to him by the Mayor and Aldermen plus the Steward of Bristol in pursuance of an Act of Parliament, he settled in the church appointed as a lecturer and teacher.


In June of 1661, Mr. Ewins was summoned before the Mayor and charged to preach no more. He was arrested on the 12th of August 1661 and imprisoned in his own home. For his continued disobedience of the Law, as it then stood, he was in and out of the prison situated at Newgate Hill (now the site occupied by The Galleries where the linking footbridge leads to the new Castle Park). He was often seen preaching from a high-up window in the prison to the passers-by below. Eventually, he, and several other dissenting ministers were baptised in the River Frome at Baptist Mills in 1667.


Mr Ewins died on April 26, 1670 , aged 53 years.


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: Broadmeadbaptist.org.uk/history.




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