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Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru

(History of the Welsh Independent Churches)

By Thomas Rees and John Thomas; published in 1871+.

 

These 8 chapel histories were extracted by Gareth Morgan from the CD published by Archive CD Books (Feb 2008)  - no translations

The main project page is on /big/wal/Indchapels.html#Glamorgan

Proof read by Yvonne John (March 2008)

 


BRYN SEION, DOWLAIS

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(Vol 2, p 278)

Yn mhen llai na dwy flynedd wedi urddo Mr. Thomas Jones yn Bethania, cyfododd anghydfod rhyngddo a'r eglwys yn herwydd ryw gwynion a ddygid yn ei erbyn. Canlyniad yr ymryson fu i Mr. Jones, a rhyw nifer o'r rhai a'i pleidient, fyned.allan o Bethania; ac am ryw ysbaid buont yn cyfarlod mewn ystafell yn y lle, a chyn hir cymerasant hen gapel Bethel, lle yr arferid addoli cyn codi Bethania. Nid rhyw lawer o lewyrch fu ar Mr. Jones yn Bethel, ac yn y flwyddyn 1829, ymadawodd ac aeth at y Bedyddwyr, gyda'r rhai y mae etto. Daeth i gryn gyhoeddusrwydd wedi uno a'r Bedyddwyr. Dewiswyd ef yn athraw yr athrofa yn HwIffordd; ac yn y ddadl fythgofus yn Rhymni ar Fedydd, efe oedd yr arwr a ddygwyd allan gan y Bedyddwyr yn erbyn Mr. John Jones, Llangollen. Egwan iawn oedd yr achos yn Bethel yn parhau, ac ychydig o ffafr a roddid iddo gan y gweinidogion cylchynol, oblegid nad oedd yr amgylchiadau dan ba rai y cychwynwyd ef yn gwbl foddhaol. Cymerwyd gofal yr eglwys wedi ymadawiad Mr. Thomas Jones gan Mr. M. Jones, Bethesda, dros ychydig; ac yn y flwyddyn 1830, rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. John Morgan, myfyriwr o'r Neuaddlwyd, ac urddwyd ef Tachwedd 24ain a'r 25ain. Ar yr achlysur pregethwyd ar natur eglwys gan Mr. D. Lewis, Aber; holwyd y gofyniadau gan Mr. R. Howells, Baran; dyrchafwyd yr urdd-weddi gan Mr. M. Jones, Bethesda; pregethwyd ar ddyledswydd y gweinidog gan Mr. G. Griffiths, Ebenezer, ac ar ddyledswydd yr eglwys gan Mr. T. B. Evans, Ynysgau*. Siriolodd yr achos i fesur wedi sefydliad Mr. Morgan yma, ond cyn pen pedwar mis daeth rhybudd oddiwrth gyfreithiwr yn. Aberhonddu at yr eglwys yn galw arni dalu 27p. iddo yn ddioed neu golli y capel. Ymddengys ei fod wedi rhoddi benthyg yr arian i Mr. W. Price, yr hwn a adeiladodd y capel, ac yr oedd heb eu cael yn ol. Daeth Mr, Morgan a'r achos i'r cyfarfod chwarterol, a chafodd genad i fyned trwy sir Frycheiniog i gasglu, a chasglodd y swm gofynol a thalwyd y cyfreithiwr yn llawn, fel yr oedd Bethel yn rhydd.+   O gylch yr amser yma torodd cangen allan oddiwrth y Bedyddwyr yn Nghaersalem, a chan nad oedd

*Dysgedydd, 1831. Tu dal. 86.   + Llythyr Mr. J. Morgan.

gweinidogion yr enwad hwnw yn eu cefnogi, yr oeddynt yn ymwasgu at yr ychydig Annibynwyr oedd yn Bethel, er eu bod yn cynal eu gwasanaeth yn hollol ar wahan, etto yr oedd rhyw ogwyddiad ynddynt o'r ddau tu i ymuno a'u gilydd. Cymerwyd tir at adeiladu capel newydd yn y fan lle y saif Brynseion yn awr. Yr oedd Mr. Morgan erbyn hyn wedi gadael y lle, ac wedi ymsefydlu yn weinidog yn Lleyn, sir Gaernarfon. Y gangen a drodd allan o Gaersalem oedd a'r llaw flaenaf yn adeiladiad Brynseion; ond wedi ei gael yn barod unodd yr eglwys fechan yn Bethel a hwythau a'u gilydd, a ffurfiwyd hwy yn eglwys Annibynol gan Mr. T. B. Evans, Ynysgau; yr hwn a arferai ddyweyd ar ol hyny, "mai efe fu yn priodi yr ieir a'r chwiaid yn Dowlais a'u gilydd" Aeth amryw o'r Bedyddwyr mwyaf selog yn ol i Gaersalem wedi i bethau ddechreu oeri; ond arosodd y rhan fwyaf o honynt yn Brynseion, yn aelodau didramgwydd hyd eu diwedd. Bu gofal Brynseion dros dymor ar ol hyn ar Mr. Josuah Thomas, Adulam, Merthyr; ond o'r diwedd rhoddasant alwad i Mr. Daniel Roberts, yr hwn oedd eisioes yn byw yn y lle, ac yn dibynu ar ei fasnach am ei gynaliaeth, ac wedi pregethu llawer iddynt er sefydliad Mr. John Morgan yn y lle. Aelod a phregethwr perthynol i Zoar oedd Mr. D. Roberts, er ei fod yn byw yn Dowlais. Urddwyd ef Mai 23ain a'r 24ain, 1836. Ar yr achlysur pregethwyd ar natur eglwys gan Mr. P. Griffiths, Llanrwst; derbyniwyd cyffes ffydd yr urddedig gan Mr. J. Ridge, Cendl; dyrchafwyd yr urdd-weddi gan Mr. L. Powell, Caerdydd; pregethawyd ar ddyledswydd y gweinidog gan Mr. T. Davies, Abertawy, ac ar ddyledswydd yr eglwys gan Mr. D. Griffiths, Castellnedd. * Nid oedd yr achos ond bychan pan y cymerodd Mr. Roberts ei ofal; 45 oedd rhif yr aelodau, ac nid oedd ond un gwrandawr ar yr oriel y Sabboth cyntaf y pregethodd, a llafuriodd yn ddyfal cyn gweled nemawr o lwyddiant. Yr oedd yr amgylchiadau o dan ba rai y cychwynodd yr achos, a'i hanes flaenorol yn mhell o fod yn ffafriol i'w lwyddiant; ond yr oedd y cyfeillgarwch mawr oedd rhwng Mr. Roberts a Mr. Hughes, Bethania, yn help mawr i iachau pob drwgdeimlad a allasai fod wedi bod rhwng, y ddwy eglwys gynt; ond er y cwbl gwyr pawb fod anfantais fawr gan eglwys fechan i weithio ei ffordd mewn lle y mae eglwys fawr eisioes wedi cyrhaedd dylanwad eang. Cynyddodd yr achos yma er hyny yn raddol, fel yr aeth yr hen gapel yn rhy gyfyng, ac yn y flwyddyn 1844, adeiladwyd capel newydd hardd, gwerth mil o bunau, yr hwn a gynlluniwyd gan Mr. Owens, Zoar; ac o hyny allan daeth yr achos rhagddo gan ennill tir yn barhaus. Ychydig a dderbyniai Mr. Roberts oddiwrth y weinidogaeth yn yr holl flynyddau cyntaf--llai na deg-swllt-ar-hugain y mis--ond dibynai ar ei fasnach am gynhaliaeth iddo ei hun a'i deulu. Gweithiodd Mr. Roberts a'i bobl yn egniol i dalu eu dyled. Yr oedd dau gant o bunau o ddyled ar yr hen Brynseion pan godwyd y newydd yn 1844, ac yn 1862, aed drachefn i ddau cant o bunau i'w ad-drefnu; ond talwyd y ddyled agos yn llwyr cyn diwedd oes Mr. Roberts, a hyny gan y bobl eu hunain, oddigerth rhyw ddeugain punt a gasglwyd gan Mr. Roberts yn Bristol. Mwynhaodd yr eglwys heddwch mawr trwy holl dymor gweinidogaeth Mr. Roberts, ac os nad oedd yn tynu llawer o sylw y cyhoedd oddiallan, yr oeddynt yn dangnefeddus yn eu plith eu hunain. Bu farw Mr. Roberts Ionawr 9fed, 1868, yn 68 oed. Wedi ei farwolaeth cymerwyd gofal yr eglwys dros ychydig gan Mr. Jenkin Jones, yr hwn

* Diwygiwr 1836. Tu dal. 403.

 oedd newydd roddi ei weinidogaeth i fyny gyda'r Saeson yn Nghapel Ivor, ond ymadawodd ef yn fuan i Loegr. Cyn diwedd y flwyddyn 1869, derbyniodd Mr. John Henry Jones, Pwllheli, alwad unfrydol gan yr eglwys, a dechreuodd ei weinidogaeth yma yn Chwefror, 1870, ac y mae yn parhau yn weinidog yma; ond drwg genym ddeall fod sefyllfa ei iechyd wedi ei analluogi er's misoedd i gyflawni ei ddyledswyddau. Nid ydym yn cael fod unrhyw ddigwyddiad anghyffredin wedi cymeryd lle yn hanes yr eglwys yn y blynyddoedd diweddaf; ac er fod yma lawer o ddynion da wedi bod o bryd i bryd, etto nid ydym yn cael am neb wedi ymgodi gymaint uwchlaw pawb arall fel ag i deilyngu crybwylliad arbenig. Ni chawsom enw neb a gyfodwyd i bregethu yn yr eglwys hon ond William Roberts, mab Mr. D. Roberts, y gweinidog, yr hwn sydd yn awr yn Athraw Clasurol yn athrofa Aberhonddu.

COFNODIAD BYWGRAPHYDDOL (Not extracted fully)

DANIEL ROBERTS. Ganwyd ef yn mhlwyf Llansamlet, garllaw Abertawy, Mai 14eg, 1800. ..............................

Translation by Eleri Rowlands (May 2009)

Within less than two years after the ordination of Mr. Thomas Jones in Bethania, a disagreement arose between him and the church about some complaints against him. The result of the contention was that Mr. Jones, and a number of those who voted for him, left Bethania; and for a while they met in a room in the place, and before long they used the old Bethel chapel, where they used to worship before Bethania was built.  Mr Jones was not  successful in Bethel, and in the year 1829, he left and moved to the Baptists,  where he still ministers.  He came to some publicity after joining the Baptists.  He was chosen as a professor in Haverfordwest college; and during the long remembered debate in  Rymni on Baptism, he was the hero who was brought out by the Baptists against Mr. John Jones, Llangollen. The cause in Bethel continued to be very weak, and the area ministers gave it little favour, because the circumstances under which it started were not completely satisfactory. For a while, Mr. M. Jones, Bethesda undertook the care of the church after Mr Thomas Jones left, and in 1830, a call was sent out to Mr. John Morgan,  a student from Neuaddlwyd, and he was ordained on November 24th and 25th. On that occasion Mr. D. Lewis, Aber preached on the nature of the church; the questions were asked by Mr. R. Howells, Baran; the ordination prayer was given by Mr. M. Jones, Bethesda; Mr. G. Griffiths, Ebenezer, preached on the duty of the minister and Mr. T. B. Evans, Ynysgau* preached on the duty of the church. The cause cheered up a little after the ordination of Mr. Morgan, but within four months a warning came from a solicitor in Brecon calling on the church to pay him 27 immediately or they would lose the chapel. It appears that he had lent money to Mr. W. Price, who built the chapel, and the money had not been returned to him.  Mr. Morgan brought the case to the quarterly meeting, and he was allowed to take it through to Breconshire to collect, and he collected the required sum and fully paid the solicitor, so that Bethel was free.+   Around this time a branch of the Baptists in Caersalem broke away, and since the ministers

*Dysgedydd, 1831. page. 86.   + Mr. J. Morgan's letter.

of that denomination did not support them, they approached the few Independents that were in Bethel, even though they held their service completely independently, yet they were inclined to want the two factions to join together. They took some land with the idea of building a new chapel on the spot where Brynseion now stands. Mr. Morgan had by now left the place, and had settled as a minister in Lleyn, Caernarfonshire. It was the branch that was turned out of Caersalem that had the upper hand in the building of  Brynseion; but once it was ready the little church joined in Bethel and they were formed into an Independent church by Mr. T. B. Evans, Ynysgau; who used to say after that, "that he used to marry the chickens and the ducks in Dowlais".  Several of the more zealous Baptists returned to Caersalem once things started cooling; but most of them stayed in Brynseion, as inoffensive members until they died. Mr. Josuah Thomas, Adulam, Merthyr had the care of  Brynseion for a term after this but at last they sent out a call to Mr. Daniel Roberts, who already lived in the place, and he depended on his trade for his living, and had often preached to them since the establishment of  Mr. John Morgan in the place. Mr. D. Roberts was a member and a preacher connected to Zoar, even though he lived in Dowlais. He was ordained on May 23rd and 24th, 1836. On that occasion Mr. P. Griffiths, Llanrwst, preached on the nature of church; the confession of faith of the ordained was accepted by Mr. J. Ridge, Cendl; the ordination prayer was given by Mr. L. Powell, Cardiff; Mr. T. Davies Swansea, preached on the duty of the minister, and Mr. D. Griffiths, Neath, preached on the duty of the church. * The cause was small when Mr Roberts took over;  there were 45 members, and there was only one listener on the gallery when he preached on that first Sunday, and he laboured diligently before seeing much success.  The circumstances under which the cause started, and its former history is far from favourable to success; but the friendship between Mr. Roberts and Mr. Hughes, Bethania, was a great help towards healing the bad feelings that could have existed formerly between the two churches; but despite everything everyone knows that a small church is under a great disadvantage trying to work in the place where a former large church has become so influential. Despite this the cause here grew gradually, so that the chapel became too small, and in the year 1844, a fine new chapel was built, which was worth one thousand pounds, which was designed by Mr. Owens, Zoar; and from then on the cause grew continually winning ground.  Mr. Roberts earned little from the ministry in those first years - less than thirty shillings a month - but he depended on his trade for his and his family's living.  Mr. Roberts and his people worked energetically in order to pay the debt.  There was two hundred pounds debt on the old Brynseion chapel when the new one was built in 1844, and in 1862, and it became two hundred pounds to re-organize; but the debt was almost completely paid before the end of Mr. Roberts' days, and that was paid by the people themselves, apart from some forty pounds collected by Mr. Roberts in Bristol. The church enjoyed great peace throughout Mr. Roberts' ministry, and even though he didn't attract much publicity outside the church, there was great peace amongst them.  Mr. Roberts died on January 9th, 1868, at 68 years old. After his death the church was under the care of  Mr. Jenkin Jones, for a while.

* Diwygiwr 1836. page. 403.

Mr Jones had recently given up his ministry with the English in Capel Ivor, but he left quite soon for England. Before the end of the year 1869, Mr. John Henry Jones, Pwllheli, accepted an unanimous call from the church, and he started his ministry here in February, 1870, and he continues to be the minister here; but we are sad to hear that the state of his health has affected his ability to complete his duties for some months. We understand that no unusual event has taken place in the church in these last years; and even though there have been many good men here from time to time, yet we understand that no one has risen above anyone else to warrant a special mention. We have not been given any names of men who have been raised to preach in this church except William Roberts, the son of Mr. D. Roberts, the minister, who is now a Classics professor in Brecon college.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES (Not extracted fully)

DANIEL ROBERTS. He was born in the parish of Llansamlet, near Swansea, May 14th, 1800. ..............................

 


BETHANIA, DOWLAIS

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(Vol 2, p 274)

Yr oedd rhai aelodau Annibynol yn preswylio yn Dowlais er yn foreu, y rhai a elent i lawr i Ferthyr, a chyn hyny i Gwmyglo i addoli. Yr oedd Mr. Richard Rees, un o'r gweinidogion, am yr hwn y crybwyllasom yn nglyn ag Ynysgau, yn byw yn Gwernllwynuchaf, ac yr oedd teulu y Gwernllwynisaf, fel y gwelsom, yn flaenllaw gyda'r achos yn Ynysgau; ond ni wnaed un cynyg i sefydlu achos yma yn nyddiau y genhedlaeth hono. Tua'r flwyddyn 1820, yr oedd yma gryn nifer o aelodau, rhai yn perthyn i Zoar a rhai yn perthyn i Bethesda. Cynalient gyfarfodydd gweddio o d i d, a deuai ambell i bregethwr yn achlysurol atynt. Yn y flwyddyn 1822, yr oedd yma gapel, yr hwn a elwid Bethel, yn segur, a chafwyd ei wasanaeth i gynal moddion yn rheolaidd bob nos Sabboth. Yr oedd capel Bethel wedi ei godi gan un William Price, yr hwn a fuasai yn weinidog gyda'r Bedyddwyr yn y Capel Isaf, Merthyr.; a gwnaeth gynyg i gychwyn achos i'r Bedyddwyr ynddo, ond bu yn aflwyddianus. Byddai yn ei osod ar ardreth, a bu y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd a'r Annibynwyr yn addoli ynddo ar wahanol amserau; a chymerwyd ef yn yr adeg yma gan yr aelodau Annibynol oedd yn y lle. Ffurfiwyd yma eglwys gan Mr. Methusalem Jones, Bethesda, a bu ei gofal arno dros ryw gymaint; ond oblegid rhyw anghydwelediad rhoddodd hi i fyny, a chymerwyd ei gofal gan Mr. S. Evans, Zoar. Ni buwyd yn hir ar ol hyn cyn edrych allan am dir i adeiladu capel i fod yn eiddo i'r eglwys, ac nid aros yn nghapel ardrethol Bethel. Cafwyd tir ac adeiladwyd capel arno, yr hwn a alwyd Bethania, ac wedi ei gael yn barod symudodd yr eglwys iddo. Yn fuan wedi cael capel newydd lluosogodd yr eglwys a'r gynnulleidfa, a rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. Thomas Jones, myfyriwr o athrofa y Drefnewydd, yr hwn a urddwyd yma Mawrth 23ain, 1826. Ar yr achlysur pregethwyd ar natur eglwys gan Mr. T. B. Evans, Ynysgau; holwyd y gofyniadau gan Mr. S. Evans, Zoar dyrchafwyd urdd-weddi gan Mr. W. Lewis, Tredwstan; pregethwyd i'r gweinidog gan Mr. M. Jones, Bethesda, ac i'r eglwys gan Mr. D. Lewis, Aber. Llai na dwy flynedd y bu Mr. Jones yma cyn i ryw anghydfod i godi rhynddo ef a'r eglwys, a'r diwedd fu iddo ef a nifer o'r aelodau a lynent wrtho i ymadael a myned i Bethel i gychwyn achos arall, yr hwn a ddaw etto dan ein sylw. Yn yr amgylchiad yma cymerodd Mr. S. Evans, Zoar, ofal yr eglwys, a than ei ofal ef, a'r pregethwyr a'i cynorthwyent, y bu hyd ddydd ei farwolaeth.

Wedi marwolaeth Mr. Evans rhoddodd yr eglwys yma alwad i Mr. John Hughes, Maendy, yr hwn a ddechreuodd ei weinidogaeth yn Rhagfyr 1833. Bu Mr. Hughes yn dra llwyddianus yma, cynyddodd yr eglwys a'r gynnulleidfa i'r fath raddau fel erbyn 1838, y barnwyd yn angenrheidiol codi y capel eang a helaeth presenol, yr hwn a gostiodd 1000p. Agorwyd ef yn 1839. Yn rnhen deng mlynedd wedi yr ychwanegiad mawr a gafwyd at yr eglwysi pan yr ymwelodd y geri marwol a'r wlad, aeth Bethania yn rhy gyfyng er canged ydoedd; a phenderfynwyd codi capel newydd, yr hyn a wnaed yn 1850, a galwyd ef Gwernllwyn; ac aeth mwy na 250 o aelodau allan yn heddychol i ddechreu yr achos yno. Nid effeithiodd ymadawiad cynifer ond ychydig ar Bethania, oblegid llanwyd yn fuan leoedd y rhai a ymadawsant. Yn 1855, codwyd ysgoldy perthynol i Bethania yn Mhwll-y-chwiaid, lle y cynhelir Ysgol Sabbothol a phregethu achlysurol. Yn 1860, gwnaed adgyweiriadau ar y capel, a rhoddwyd pulpud newydd eang ynddo. Costiodd y cwbl yn agos i dri chant a haner o bunau. Yn 1864, teimlodd Mr. Hughes fod ei iechyd yn pallu, a phenderfynodd roddi i fyny ofal yr eglwys dros yr hon y bu yn gwylio yn ofalus am fwy na deng-mlynedd-ar-hugain; ac i'r hon y derbyniodd ddwy fil o aelodau. Gwnaed tysteb iddo ar roddiad ei weinidogaeth i fyny gan eglwys Bethania. a chyfeillion iddo y tu allan iddi. Wedi ymadawiad Mr. Hughes, bu yr eglwys am bedair blynedd heb sefydlu ar weinidog, ac yn yr ysbaid hwnw mwynhaodd ddoniau cynifer a chant a phedwar-ar-ddeg-a-deugain o wahanol bregethwyr, heb gyfrif y rhai a ymwelent a'r lle yn achlysurol ar nosweithiau o'r wythnos. Yn yr ysbaid yma derbyniwyd dros 300 o aelodau, a thalwyd 220p. o ddyled y capel. Yn 1867, rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. John Evans, myfyriwr o athrofa Aberhonddu. Yr un flwyddyn hefyd y paentiwyd y capel ac yr adeiladwyd ysgoldy eang wrth ei ochr er cynal Ysgol Sabbothol a moddion wythnosol, ac aeth yr holl draul yn bedwar cant o bunau. Urddwyd Mr. Evans Medi 19eg, 1867. Ar yr achlysur pregethwyd ar natur eglwys gan Proff. Roberts, Aberhonddu; holwyd y gofyniadau gan Proff. Morris, Aberhonddu; dyrchafwyd yr urdd-weddi gan Mr. W. Williams, Hirwaun; pregethwyd i'r gweinidog gan Mr. W. Jones, Elim, Tredegar, ac i'r eglwys gan Mr. D. Jones, B.A., Merthyr. Gweinyddwyd hefyd yn nghyfarfodydd yr urddiad gan Meistri D. Thomas, Abercanaid J. Thomas (Ieuan Morganwg), Caerfyrddin; D. Thomas, Ystradfellte; R. Evans, a D. Price, Aberdar; J. Rogers, Pantteg, a D. A. Jones, Celn-coed-y-cymer. Mae yr achos yn parhau i fyned rhagddo. Ychwanegwyd at yr eglwys yn y tair blynedd diweddaf, a chyfrif y rhai a ddaeth trwy lythyrau, ddau cant a deugain o aelodau; ac yn yr un adeg y mae yn agos i 850p. wedi eu talu at dreuliau y lle. Bwriada yr eglwys yn awr osod maen hardd i fyny er coffadwriaeth am ei diweddar weinidog, Mr. Hughes.

Mae eglwys Bethania wedi bod bob amser yn nodedig am ei heddychlonrwydd a'i brawdgarwch; ac y mae yn dda genym ddeall fod y rhinweddau hyn yn parhau ynddi. Bu ynddi o bryd i bryd lawer o gymeriadau nodedig am eu gweithgarwch a'u gofal am achos yr Arglwydd; ond y mae yr hen d hwnw oll wedi myned, ond y mae dynion o gyffelyb feddwl yn aros, y rhai a wir ofalant am achos yr Arglwydd.

Codwyd y personau canlynol i bregethu yn yr eglwys hon :-

Bu amryw eraill a aeth i'r weinidogaeth yn aelodau yn Bethania; rhai o'r rhai a hunasant, ac y mae rhai yn aros, ond daw eu hanes dan ein sylw yn yr eglwysi lle y dechreuasant bregethu.

COFNODIAD BYWGRAPHYDDOL (Not extracted fully)

JOHN HUGHES. Ganwyd ef yn nghymydogaeth Capel Iwan, Chwefror 8fed, 1800. .........................

Translation by Eleri Rowlands (May 2009)

Some Independent members had been living in Dowlais since early on, the ones who went down to Merthyr, and before that to  Cwmyglo to worship.  Mr. Richard Rees, one of the ministers, whom we mentioned in connection with Ynysgau,  lived in  Gwernllwynuchaf, and the family of Gwernllwynisaf, as we saw, were prominent in the cause at Ynysgau; but no attempt was made to establish a cause here in the days of that generation. About 1820, there were quite a number of members, some belonging to Zoar and some belonging to Bethesda. They held prayer meetings from house to house, and an occasional preacher would visit them.  In the year  1822, there was a chapel here, called Bethel, which was idle, and it was procured to hold services regularly every Sunday evening.  Bethel chapel had been built by one William Price, who was a minister with the Baptists in Capel Isaf, Merthyr; and he attempted to to start a cause for the Baptists there, but he was unsuccessful.  He put it up for rent, and the Calvinist Methodists and the Independents worshipped there at different times; and the Independents who were in the area took possession of it at this time.  A church was formed here by Mr. Methusalem Jones, Bethesda, and he accepted the care of it for some time; but because of some difference of opinion he gave up the church and Mr. S. Evans, Zoar took over the care. It was not long after this that they started looking for land to build a chapel belonging to the church, and not to stay in the rented chapel of  Bethel.  They obtained land and a chapel was built on it, which was named Bethania, and when it was ready, the church moved into it.  Soon after obtaining its new chapel the church and the congregation multiplied, and a call was sent to Mr. Thomas Jones, a student from Newtown college, who was ordained here on March 23rd, 1826. On that occasion Mr. T. B. Evans, Ynysgau preached on the nature of the church; the questions were asked by Mr. S. Evans, Zoar, the ordination prayer was given by Mr. W. Lewis, Tredwstan; Mr. M. Jones, Bethesda preached to the minister, and Mr. D. Lewis, Aber to the church.  Mr. Jones was here less than two years before some disagreement was raised between him and the church, and in the end he and and several members who stood by him left and went to Bethel to form another cause, which will yet come to our notice.  In these circumstances Mr. S. Evans, Zoar, took the care of the church, and under his care and the care of the preachers that assisted him, he stayed until his death.

After the death of  Mr. Evans this church gave a call to Mr. John Hughes, Maendy, who started his ministry in December 1833. Mr. Hughes was quite successful here, the church and the congregation increased to such an extent that by 1838, it was considered essential to raise the present extensive chapel, which cost 1000. It was opened in 1839.  Within ten years after the great addition to the churches when cholera visited the country,  Bethania became too small despite its size; and it was decided to build a new chapel, which was done in 1850, and it was called Gwernllwyn; and more than 250 members went out peacefully to start a cause there. The leaving of so many had a minimal effect on Bethania, because the their places were very soon filled.  In 1855,  a schoolroom was built in connection with Bethania in Pwll-y-chwiaid, where a Sunday school and occasional preaching was held.  In 1860, repairs were made to the chapel, and it was given a new extensive pulpit. The whole lot cost close to three hundred and fifty pounds. In 1864, Mr. Hughes felt that his health was failing, and he decided to give up the church he had been caring for, for over thirty years; and the church in  which he had accepted over two thousand members.  On giving up the ministry he received a testimonial from Bethania church and his friends outside the church. After Mr. Hughes left, the church was, for four years without an established minister, and during that time they enjoyed the gifts of as many as a hundred and fifty four different preachers, without counting the ones who visited the place occasionally on weeknights.  During this time more than 300 members, and 220 of the chapel debt was paid.  In 1867, a call was sent out to Mr. John Evans, a student from Brecon college.  The same year the chapel was painted and a large schoolroom was built alongside in order to hold the Sunday school and weekly meetings, and the whole cost was four hundred pounds.  Mr. Evans was ordained on September 19th, 1867. On that occasion Proff. Roberts, Brecon preached on the nature of the church; the questions were asked by Proff. Morris, Brecon; the ordination prayer was given by Mr. W. Williams, Hirwaun; Mr. W. Jones, Elim, Tredegar  preached to the minister, and Mr. D. Jones, B.A., Merthyr to the church. In the ordination services  Messrs D. Thomas, Abercanaid, J. Thomas (Ieuan Morganwg), Carmarthen; D. Thomas, Ystradfellte; R. Evans, and D. Price, Aberdare; J. Rogers, Pantteg, and D. A. Jones, Cefn-coed-y-cymer took part.  The cause continues to be successful. During the last three years, the church, counting those who joined by letter, was increased, to the tune of two hundred and forty members; and at the same time close to 850 has been paid towards the wear and tear of the place. The church now intends to place a fine stone as a memorial to their late minister, Mr. Hughes.

Bethania chapel has always been noted for its peacefulness and its brotherly love; and we are pleased to understand that these attributes continue there. There have been from time to time many characters who were notable for their hard work and their care for the cause of the Lord; but that old generation have all gone, but, still, there are men of similar minds, who truly care for the Lord's cause.

The following persons were raised to preach in this church :-

Several others who went to the ministry are members in Bethania; some of those have died, and some have stayed, but their history will come to our notice under the churches where they started preaching.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES (Not extracted fully)

JOHN HUGHES. He was born in the Capel Iwan district, February 8th, 1800. .........................

 


ADULAM, MERTHYR TYDFIL

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(Vol 2, p 291)

Dechreuwyd yr achos hwn tua'r flwyddyn 1829, mewn canlyniad i ymadawiad Mr. David Williams, a'r rhai a lynasant wrtho, oddiwrth y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd, oblegid rhyw ymryson a gymerasai le rhyngddo a hwynt. Wedi troi allan cymerodd Mr. David Williams ystafell yn y Bush Inn, ac yno y buont yn cyfarfod nes y cymerwyd tir ac yr adeiladwyd Adulam. Yr oedd teimlad gweinidogion Zoar a Bethesda yn dra gwrthwynebol i David Williams a'i bobl, ac felly hefyd y teimlai llawer o weinidogion y tu allan i Ferthyr, ond yr oedd amryw yn ei ffafrio ac yn myned ato i bregethu, ac yn ei wahodd yntau i'w pulpudau hwythau, ac o'r diwedd yn nghymanfa Tretwr, cydnabyddwyd ef a'r bobl dan ei ofal yn eglwys reolaidd. Yr oedd y capel dan faich o ddyled, ac ychydig o ymdrech a wnaed i'w thalu cyn diwedd oes Mr. David Williams. Nid rhyw lawer o gynydd oedd ar yr achos. Yr oedd y ffaith mai hen Fethodistiaid oeddynt yn gwneyd nad oedd fawr awydd ar yr Annihynwyr a ddeuai i'r lle ymwasgu atynt, yn enwedig gan fod yn y Ile hen eglwysi Annibynol yn barod. Ni bu Mr. D. Williams byw yn hir wedi iddo uno a'r Annibynwyr, canys yr ydym yn cael iddo farw Mehefin 12fed, 1832.

Wedi dibynu dros ychydig or gynorthwy gweinidogion cymydogaethol, rhoddodd yr eglwys alwad i Mr. Josuah Thomas, myfyriwr yn athrofa y Drefnewydd; ac urddwyd ef Ebrill 12fed, 1833. Ar yr achlysur pregethwyd ar natur eglwys gan Mr. D. Lewis, Abergavenny; holwyd y gofyniadau arferol i'r gweinidog gan Mr. T. B. Evans, Ynysgau; gweddiwyd yr urdd-weddi gan Mr. W. Lewis, Tredwstan; pregethwyd i'r gweinidog gan Mr. W. Jones, Penybont, ac i'r eglwys gan Mr. H. Jones, Tredegar.* Llafuriodd Mr. Thomas yma yn ffyddlon am ddeng mlynedd, a thalwyd ychydig o'r ddyled oedd ar y capel; ac aelododd amryw o Annibynwyr a ddeuant o leoedd eraill, en hunain yn y lle. Yn y flwyddyn 1843, derbyniodd Mr. Thomas alwad o Bethlehem, Llangadog, a symudodd yno. Cyn diwedd y flwyddyn hono, rhoddodd yr eglwys alwad i Mr. Thomas Jones, yr hwn dair blynedd cyn hyny a urddasid yn weinitlog i'r eglwysi bychain yn Rhiw, Nantglyn, a Liansanan, yn sir Ddinbych; a chynaliwyd cyfarfodydd ei sefydliad yma Rhagfyr 27ain a'r 28ain, 1843. Bu Mr. Jones yma am yn agos i dair blynedd, hyd nes y symudodd i Aberaman, ac yno y bu farw. Wedi ei ymadawiad ef rhoddodd yr eglwys alwad i Mr. Levi Lawrence, Llantrisant, yr hwn a fu yma dros lawer o flynyddoedd, hyd nes y symudodd i Casnewydd yn 1862. Yn 1857, adeiladwyd y capel presenol. yn mesur 46 troedfedd wrth 35, a chostiodd 1200p., ac er fod ymdrech mawr wedi ei wneyd i dalu am dano y mae 700p. yn aros. Ar ol hyny rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. Abraham Mathews, a bu yn gweinidogaethu yma mewn cysylltiad a'r Llwydcoed hyd wanwyn y flwyddyn 1865, pryd yr ymfudodd i Patagonia. Cyn diwedd y flwyddyn hono, rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. Fredrick Evans, myfyriwr o athrofa Caerfyrddin; ac urddwyd ef Chwefror 22ain, 1866, a bu yma yn barchus hyd nes yr ymfudodd i Blossburg a Morris Run, Pennsylfania, America, yn y flwyddyn 1869. Yn gynar yn y flwyddyn ganlynol rhoddodd yr eglwys alwad i Mr. Daniel T. Williams, aelod a phregethwr perthynol i Zoar; ac urddwyd ef Gorphenaf 18fed a'r 19eg, 1870. Ar yr achlysur pregethwyd ar natur eglwys

* Yr Efengylydd, 1833. Tu  dal. 187.   

gan Mr. D. Jones, B.A., Merthyr; holwyd y gweinidog gan Mr. J. Morgan, Cwmbach; dyrchafwyd yr urdd-weddi gan Mr. P. Howell, Merthyr; pregethwyd i'r gweinidog gan Mr. W. Edwards, Aberdar, ac i'r eglwys gan Mr. W. Williams, Hirwaun *. Mae Mr. Williams yn parhau i lafurio yma. Yr anfantais fwyaf a deimlir ydyw y ddyled drom sydd yn aros yn faich mawr ar ysgwyddau gweiniaid. Dan y dwfr i raddau y mae yr achos wedi bod yn Adulam trwy y blynyddoedd. Cychwynodd dan amgylchiadau anfanteisiol i ennill dylanwad -- yr oedd y capel pan y cyfodwyd ef, ac am flynyddau wedi hyny, mewn lle nad oedd mynedfa gyfleus ato--mae y mynych symudiadau sydd wedi bod yn y weinidogaeth wedi milwrio yn erbyn llwyddiant yr achos, ac nid bob amser y maent wedi bod yn hapus yn eu dewisiad - ac y mae baich y ddyled yn fwy na dim arall wedi, ac yn bod, yn fawr yn erbyn y lle. Mae yma gapel da, ac mewn man mor gyfleus erbyn hyn ag un yn y lle, a'r fynedfa ato o heol newydd, agored. Bernir gan lawer mai troi y capel at wasanaeth y Saeson fyddai y peth goreu yma, ac i'r Cymry sydd yma nas gallant fwynhau gweinidogaeth Seisnig fyned i un o'r capeli Cymreig sydd yn ddigon cyfleus iddynt. Beth bynag, y mae yn eglur y dylai fod darpariaeth helaethach yn Merthyr ar gyfer cynydd cyflym yr iaith Saesonig; a darpariaeth ar gyfer dosbarth o bobl nad oes yno hyd yma and darpariaeth anmherffaith ar eu cyfer.

Codwyd y personau canlynol i bregethu yn yr eglwys hon : -

*Tyst Cymreig, Gorphenaf 29ain. 1870.

COFNODIAD BYWGRAPHYDDOL (Not extracted fully)

David Williams. Ganwyd ef yn mhlwyf Llanwrtyd yn nechreu y flwyddyn 1768. ............................

Translation by Eleri Rowlands (May 2009)

This cause started about the year 1829, when Mr. David Williams and his supporters left the Calvinist Methodists, as a result of some disagreement that took place between him and them.  After being cast out Mr. David Williams took a room in the Bush Inn, and that is where they met until land was procured and Adulam was built.  The ministers of  Zoar and Bethesda were opposed to David Williams and his people, and many of the ministers outside Merthyr felt the same, but several favoured him and went to them to preach, and invited him to their pulpits, and eventually in Tretwr Assembly, he and the people under his care were recognized as a regular church. The chapel was under a burden of debt, and little effort was made to repay it before Mr. David Williams'death. The cause did not increase much. The fact that they were former Methodists meant that many of the Independents who came to the place were not too keen to approach them, especially as there were already old Independent churches in the place. Mr. D. Williams did not live long after joining the Independents, as we see that he died on June 12th, 1832.

Depending for a while on the help of  neighbouring ministers, the church gave a call to Mr. Josuah Thomas, a student from Newtown college; and he was ordained on April 12th, 1833.  On that occasion Mr. D. Lewis, Abergavenny preached on the nature of the church; the usual questions were asked of the minister by Mr. T. B. Evans, Ynysgau; the ordination prayer was given by Mr. W. Lewis, Tredwstan;  Mr. W. Jones, Bridgend preached to the minister, and Mr. H. Jones, Tredegar  preached to the church.*  Mr. Thomas laboured here faithfully for ten years, and a little of the chapel debt  was repaid; and several Independents who came from other places became members in the church. In 1843, Mr. Thomas accepted a call from Bethlehem, Llangadog, and he moved there.  Before the end of that year, the church sent out a call to Mr. Thomas Jones, who three years before that had been ordained as minister of the little churches in Rhiw, Nantglyn, and Llansanan, in Denbighshire; and his induction meetings were held here on December 27th and 28th, 1843. Mr. Jones was here for close on three years, until he moved to Aberaman, and that is where he died. After he left, the church gave a call to Mr. Levi Lawrence, Llantrisant, who stayed here for many years, until he moved to Newport in 1862.  In 1857, the present chapel was built measuring  46 feet by 35, which cost 1200, and even though a great effort was made to pay for it there is still a debt of 700. After that a call was sent to Mr. Abraham Mathews, and he ministered here in connection with Llwydcoed until the spring of 1865, when he emigrated to Patagonia.  Before the end of that year, a call was given to Mr. Fredrick Evans, a student from Carmarthen college; and he was ordained on February 22th, 1866, and he stayed here well respected until he emigrated to Blossburg and Morris Run, Pennsylvania, America, in 1869.  Early in the next year the church sent out a call to Mr. Daniel T. Williams, a member and preacher belonging to Zoar; and he was ordained on July 18th and 19th, 1870. On that occasion Mr. D. Jones, B.A., Merthyr  preached on the nature of the church;

* Yr Efengylydd, 1833. page. 187.   

The questions were asked by Mr. J. Morgan, Cwmbach; the ordination prayer was given by Mr. P. Howell, Merthyr;  Mr. W. Edwards, Aberdare preached to the minister, and Mr. W. Williams, Hirwaun preached to the church *.  Mr. Williams continues to labour here.  Unfortunately, there is still the burden of the  heavy debt on the people's shoulders. The cause in Adulam has to some degree been in deep water for years. It started to gain influence under unfortunate circumstances --- from the time of its building and for many years after, the chapel was in a place which was difficult to gain access easily - the many changes in the ministry has mititated against the success of the cause, and they have not always been happy with their choice - and the burden of the debt has, more than anything been against the place. Here we have a good chapel, which is in as convenient a place as any by now, and the entrance is from a new, open road. Many judged that the best course of action would be to change the chapel to an English medium chapel, and for the Welsh that are here who cannot enjoy the ministry through the medium of English to go to one of the Welsh chapels that was most convenient for them.  Anyway, it is clear that there should be greater preparation in Merthyr for the fast increase of the English language; and a preparation for a class of people for whom up till now have been given only imperfect preparation.

The following persons were raised to preach in this church : -

*Tyst Cymreig,  July 29th. 1870.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES (Not extracted fully)

David Williams. He was born in the parish of Llanwrtyd at the beginning of the year 1768. ............................

 


PENYDARRAN

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(Vol 2, p 293)

Dechreuwyd yr achos yma yn y flwyddyn 1837, gan Mr. Josuah Thomas, Adulam, a rhai aelodau perthynol i'r eglwys yno oedd yn byw yn Dowlais. Cadwai Mr. Thomas ysgol ddyddiol mewn ty sydd yn awr yn dafarndy wrth gongl uchaf y fynwent, ac yn y ty hwnw y pregethai. Wrth weled fod yr achos yn myned rhagddo, cymerodd Mr. Thomas a'r cyfeillion dir at adeiladu capel, a gosodwyd y gareg sylfaen i lawr Awst laf, 1839, ac ar yr achlysur traddodwyd araeth gan Mr. R. Jones, Sirhowy, a phregethodd Mr. J. Hughes, Dowlais. Mesurai y capel 42 troedfedd wrth 36 troedfedd, ac aeth y draul i'w godi yn fwy na 700p. Galwyd y capel yn Horeb, ac agorwyd ef y flwyddyn ganlynol. Llai nag ugain oedd nifer yr aelodau pan aethant i'r capel newydd, ac yn mysg eraill, coffeir am y rhai a ganlyn:- John Williams, neu Sion William, fel ei gelwid yn gyffredin, ac yr oedd ef a'i wraig, Mari, yn nodedig o ffyddlon - arno ef yr oedd gofal yr arian, ond arferai ddyweyd mai "Mari oedd y bancer;" William Evans, Llanddewi, oedd frawd ffyddlon, ac yn gynghorwr melus yn y cyfeillachau; John Morgan oedd yn un nodedig o afaelgar mewn gweddi, yr oedd ef wedi ei dderbyn yn aelod gan Mr. Peter Jenkins yn Gwynfe; Thomas Jenkins hefyd a gyfrifid yn ddyn da gan y rhai a'i hadwaenai. Bu y rhai hyn, ac amryw eraill, yn help mawr ar gychwyniad yr achos. Llafuriodd Mr. Thomas yma gyda diwydrwydd mawr a graddau o lwyddiant hyd y flwyddyn 1843, pryd y symudodd i Bethlehem, Llangadog, sir Gaerfyrddin. Hyd yn hyn yr oedd yr eglwys hon mewn cysylltiad gweinidogaethol ag Adulam; ond wedi ymadawiad Mr. Thomas, penderfynodd gael gweinidog iddi ei hun, a rhoddodd alwad i Mr. Evan Morgans, yr hwn oedd yn bregethwr cynorthwyol yn eglwys Glandwr, gerllaw Abertawy, ac urddwyd ef Mawrth 26ain a'r 27ain, 1844. Ar yr achlysur pregethwyd ar natur eglwys gan Mr. J. Davies, Mynyddbach; holwyd y gweinidog gan Mr. D. Davies, Taihirion; dyrchafwyd yr urdd-weddi gan Mr. J. Jones, Rhydri; pregethwyd i'r gweinidog gan Mr. T. Davies, Abertawy, ac i'r eglwys gan Mr. L. Powell, Caerdydd. Bu Evan Morgans yma am bum' mlynedd yn dderbyniol a pharchus; ond yn Mehefin 1849, bu farw o'r geri marwol, a chladdwyd ef a'i wraig ag un plentyn iddynt yr un diwrnod !

Yn nechreu y flwyddyn ganlynol, rhoddodd yr eglwys alwad i Mr. John Meredith Bowen, Penywaun, a chynaliwyd cyfarfodydd ei sefydliad yma Hydref 8fed a'r 9fed, 1850. Gweinyddwyd ar yr achlysur gan Meistri H. Daniel, Pontypool; J. Thomas, Glynnedd; E. Hughes, Penmain; W. Williams, Tredegar; J. Evans, Maendy; W. Williams, Hirwaun; J. Hughes, Dowlais; E. Rowlands, Pontypool; T. Rees, Cendl; D. Roberts, Dowlais; T. Jeffreys, Penycae; J. Thomas, Aberaman; W. Edwards, Aberdar; J. Thomas, Rhymni; J. Jones, Rhydri, a W. Roberts, Tabor. Rhifedi yr aelodau pan ddechreuodd Mr. Bowen ei weinidogaeth oedd 128, ac yr oedd baich lled drwm o ddyled ar y capel, ond cynyddodd yr eglwys a'r gynnulleidfa yn gyflym, fel erbyn 1853 y barnwyd yn angenrheidiol helaethu y capel i'w faintioli presenol. Mesura 56 troedfedd wrth 42 troedfedd. Yn mhen tair blynedd, sef yn 1856, adeiladwyd ysgoldy eang a chyfleus yn nglyn a'r capel, ac aeth yr holl draul rhwng y capel a'r ysgoldy yn 1500p., ac nid oes yn aros heb ei dalu ond rhyw 400p. Mae yr achos yma wedi myned trwy gyfnewidiadau lawer mewn amser byr. Parodd safiad gwaith Penydarran i lawer adael y lle. Nid oes ond dau frawd ac wyth chwaer yma yn awr ag oedd yma pan ddechreuodd Mr. Bowen ei weinidogaeth ychydig gydag un-mlynedd-ar-hugain yn ol; ond y mae yr achos wedi dal ei dir, a'r eglwys yn awr yn rhifo uwchlaw 250 o aelodau.

Codwyd y personau canlynol i bregethu yn yr eglwys hon:-

Heblaw y rhai a grybwyllwyd bu yma eraill y rhai a deilyngant gofnodiad parchus. Rees Lloyd oedd ddyn bywiog, llygadgraff, un o'r rhai goreu i drin materion eglwysig. Thomas Price, un genedigol o Lanymddyfri, oedd ddyn da a heddychol, a theimlid colled ar ei ol. Diaconiaid presenol yr eglwys ydyw Thomas Jones, William Griffiths, Thomas Davies, a John Jones; ac y maent yn gwir ofalu am yr achos yn y Ile.*

* Llythyr Mr. J.M. Bowen.

  

COFNODIAD BYWGRAPHYDDOL

EVAN MORGANS. Un genedigol o ardal Pentyrch ydoedd. Derbyniwyd ef yn aelod yn Taihirion; ond nid ydym yn sicr a ddechreuodd bregethu yno. Symudodd i gymydogaeth Abertawy, ac aeth yn aelod i Glandwr, ac yr oedd yn bregethwr cynorthwyol perthynol i'r eglwys hono pan dderbyniodd alwad o Horeb, Penydarran. Nid oedd wedi cael ond ychydig o fanteision addysg, ond yr oedd ganddo ddawn nodedig mewn gweddi, ac yr oedd weithiau yn pregethu yn dra effeithiol, ond ei fod yn ddiffygiol mewn chwaeth, ac yn lled gyfyng ei wybodaeth. Bu yn ymladd yn galed ag amgylchiadau y byd, a chyn ei urddo ac wedi ei urddo yr oedd yn dilyn ei alwedigaeth fel dilledydd er ei gynhaliaeth ei hen a'i deulu. Bu farw, fel y crybwyllasom, o'r geri marwol yn mis Mehefin, 1849, a bu ef a'i wraig ac un o'i blant farw yr un dydd; a gadawyd nifer o blant ganddynt ar ol heb dad na mam, ond bu "Tad yr amddifaid" yn dirion o honynt, fel y deallwn na fu arnynt eisiau dim daioni.

Translation by Gareth Hicks (May 2009)

The cause here was begun in 1837 by Mr Joseph Thomas, Adulam, and some church members who lived in Dowlais. Mr Thomas kept a day school in a house that is now a tavern by the highest corner of the graveyard, and in that house he preached. Seeing that the cause was going forward, Mr Thomas and his friends took some land to build a chapel, and the foundation stone was laid down on 1st Augusr 1839, and on the occasion a speech was delivered by Mr R Jones, Sirhowy, and Mr J Hughes, Dowlais, preached. The chapel measured 42ft by 36ft, and the cost of building it was more than 700. They called the chapel Horeb, and it opened in the following year. The number of members was less than 20 when they went to the new chapel, and amongst others, the following are remembered;- John Williams, or Sion William, as he was usually called, and he and his wife Mari, were notably faithful - he was responsible for the money, but it was usually said that "Mari was the banker"; William Evans, Llanddewi, was a faithful brother, and a sweet counsellor in the fellowship; John Morgan was one who was notably tenacious in his praying, he'd been admitted as a member by Mr Peter Jenkins in Gwynfe; Thomas Jenkins too was reckoned a good man by those who knew him. These, and some others, were a big help when the cause was started. Mr Thomas laboured here with great diligence with a degree of success until 1843, when he moved to Bethlehem, Llangadog, Carmarthenshire. Until now this church had been in a joint ministry with Adulam, but after Mr Thomas left they decided to have their own minister, and gave a call to Mr Evan Morgans, who was an assistant preacher in Glandwr, near Swansea, and he was ordained on March 26/27th 1844. At the ceremony, Mr J Davies, Mynyddbach, preached on the nature of a church; queations were asked  by Mr D Davies, Taihirion; the ordination prayer given by Mr J Jones, Rudrey; Mr T Davies, Swansea, prayed to the minister; and Mr L Powell, Cardiff, to the church. Evan Morgans was here acceptably and respectably for 5 years; but in June 1849 he died of cholera, and he and his wife and a child of their's were all buried the same day.

At the start of the following year the church gave a call to Mr John Meredith Bowen, Penywaun, and held held a meeting to install him here on 8/9th October, 1850. Officiating on the occasion were Messrs H. Daniel, Pontypool; J. Thomas, Glyn Neath; E. Hughes, Penmain; W. Williams, Tredegar; J. Evans, Maendy; W. Williams, Hirwaun; J. Hughes, Dowlais; E. Rowlands, Pontypool; T. Rees, Cendl; D. Roberts, Dowlais; T. Jeffreys, Penycae; J. Thomas, Aberaman; W. Edwards, Aberdare; J. Thomas, Rhymni; J. Jones, Rhydri, a W. Roberts, Tabor. The number of members when Mr Bowen began his ministry was 128, and there was a fairly heavy debt burden on the chapel, but the church and congregation grew quickly, so that by 1853 it was adjudged necessary to enlarge the chapel to its present size. It measures 56ft by 42ft. At the end of 3 years, that is in 1856, they built a large and convenient schoolroom next to the chapel, and the whole cost between the chapel and schoolroom was 1500, and only some 400 remains outstanding. This cause has gone through many changes in a short time. The stoppage of Penydarran works continued to cause many to leave the place. There are only 2 brothers and 8 sisters here now that were here when Mr Bowen began his ministry just 21 years ago; but the cause has held its ground, and the church now numbers more than 250 members.

The following were raised to preach in this church;-

Apart from those mentioned there are others who deserve to be respectfully remembered. Rees Lloyd was an active observant man, one of the best to handle church affairs. Thomas Price, a native of Landovery, was a good and peaceable man, and his loss was felt. The current deacons of the church are Thomas Jones, William Griffiths, Thomas Davies, and John Jones; and they are very caring of the cause in the place. *

 * Letter, Mr. J.M. Bowen.

Biographical Notes **

EVAN MORGANS. A native of Pentyrch.......member at Taihirion .......moved to Swansea area, member at Glandwr .... called as minister at Horeb, Penydarran ..... died from cholera in 1849 as already mentioned above ... a number of orphan children left behind..........

 

** Not fully translated


TROEDYRHIW, MERTHYR

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(Vol 2, p 286)

O gylch y flwyddyn 1820, cafodd nifer o bersonau yn yr ardal yma ar eu meddwl i gychwyn Ysgol Sabbothol, a chynhelid hi o d i d, Yn mhen dwy flynedd daeth Robert Davies a'i wraig i fyw i Felin, Troedyrhiw. Yr oedd ef yn aelod gyda'r Methodistiaid yn Mhont-Morlais, a'i wraig yn aelod yn Bethesda, ac agorasant hwy eu drws i'r ysgol. Yr oedd y Methodistiaid a'r Annibynwyr yn cydgynal yr ysgol, a deuai pregethwyr perthynol i'r ddau enwad yn achlysurol i ymweled a hwy. Cynhelid yr ysgol am 9 yn y boreu, ac oedfa gan y Methodistirid am 2, ac oedfa gan yr Annibynwyr am 6. Daeth un W. Morgan, o ardal Pentre-ty-gwyn i'r ardal i gynal ysgol ddyddiol, a bu ef o lawer o help gyda'r Ysgol Sabbothol, ac wedi i Robert Davies a'i deulu symud o'r Felin, agorodd yr ysgolfeistr ei d i'r ysgol, a disgynodd gofal yr achos erbyn hyn yn hollol i ddwylaw yr Annibynwyr. Deuai Mr. M. Jones, Bethesda, yma mor aml ag y gallai i bregethu, a phan na allai ef ddyfod, deuai y pregethwyr cynorthwyol oedd yn perthyn i eglwys Bethesda. Meddyliwyd am adeiladu capel, a chafwyd darn o dir gan Syr John Guest, Dowlais, yn mis Gorphenaf, 1833. Adeiladwyd capel, yr hwn a enwyd yn Saron, yn mesur 32 troedfedd wrth 28 troedfedd, gydag oriel iddo, a chostiodd 409p. 5s. 11c. Agorwyd ef Chwefror 10fed, 1835, a gweinyddwyd ar yr achlysur gan Meistri T. Rees, Craigyfargoed; J. Hughes, Dowlais; J. Davies, Llantrisant; J. Thomas, Adulam, ac eraill. Hyd yn hyn ystyrid hwy yn aelodau yn Bethesda, ond wedi cael capel newydd corpholwyd hwy yn eglwys Annibynol ynddo, a disgynodd gofal a chyfrifoldeb yr eglwys ar yr ychydig aelodau oedd yma. Nid oeddynt ond 29 o rifedi, ac yr oedd baich y ddyled yn aros; ond cawsant y gweinidogion a'r eglwysi cymydogaethol yn hynod garedig. Wedi marw Mr. M. Jones, a'u cysylltiad hwy a Bethesda eisioes wedi tori, penderfynasant gael gweinidog iddynt eu hunain, a rhoddasant alwad i Mr. David Thomas, aelod o Hermon, gerllaw Llandilo; ond a fuasai yn yr ysgol am ychydig yn Rhydybont; ac urddwyd ef Tachwedd 19eg, 1840. Cymerwyd rhan yn y gwasanaeth gan Meistri W. Jones, Penybont; D. Jones, Aber; J. Stephens, Brychgoed; E. Davies, Libanus; L. Powell, Caerdydd; D. Davies, Llansantffraid; D. Williams, Bethlehem; T. James, Hermon; W. Griffiths, Llanharan; J. Hughes,Dowlais, a T. Rees, Craigyfargoed. Ni chafodd Mr. Thomas ond tymor byr i lafurio yma, ond bu yn nodedig o lwyddianus, a cherid ef gan bawb yn yr eglwys a'r gynnulleidfa. Gwaelodd ei iechyd, a bu farw Hydref 6ed, 1843. Ni bu yr eglwys yn hir heb weinidog wedi marw Mr. Thomas, canys yn gynar yn y flwyddyn 1844, rhoddodd alwad i Mr. William Morgan, yr hwn a urddasid ychydig cyn hyny yn Nghwmogwy, a dechreuodd ei weinidogaeth yma yn mis Ebrill, ac y mae yn parhau i lafurio yma etto. Cynyddodd yr eglwys a'r gynnulleidfa, fel y gwelwyd angen helaethu yr addoldy, ond gwrthodid tir iddynt i hyny gan Syr John Guest; o'r diwedd wedi iddo

 omedd yn hollol, deallwyd mai Mr. Wyndham Lewis oedd y gwir berchenog, ac addawodd ef dir yn ewyllysgar gyda darn helaeth at fynwent. Adeiladwyd addoldy cyfleus yn mesur 46 troedfedd wrth 40 troedfedd, ac aeth y draul yn 700p. Agorwyd ef Ebrill 4ydd a'r 5ed, 1852; a gweinyddwyd ar yr achlysur gan Meistri H. Oliver, B.A., Pontypridd; J. Hughes, Dowlais; J. Thomas, Aberaman; T. Jeffreys, Penycae; D. Jones, Bethesda; J. Evans, Cymer; T. Rees, Cendl; I. Thomas, Towyn; J. Thomas, Graig, Rhymni; J. Evans, Maendy; W. Williams, Hirwaun; W. Griffiths, Llanharan; L. Powell, Caerdydd, ac eraill.* Mae yr achos yma wedi dal ei ffordd trwy y blynyddau, ac ychwanegu cryfder; a thrwy lafur Mr. Morgan, ac aelodau o'r eglwys hon, y cychwynwyd yr eglwys lewyrchus sydd yn awr yn Abercanaid.

Codwyd y personau canlynol i bregethu yn yr eglwys hon :-

*Ysgrif Mr. W. Morgan, Diwygiwr, 1853. Tu dal. 73.

COFNODIAD BYWGRAPHYDDOL (Not extracted fully)

David Thomas. Ganwyd ef Chwefror 26ain, 1814, yn Troedyrhiw, yn mhlwyf Llandilo, sir Gaerfyrddin. .................

Translation by Gareth Hicks (May 2009)

 Around the year 1820, a number of people in the area had the idea of starting a Sunday school, and holding it from house to house. At the end of 2 years Robert Davies and his wife came to live at Felin, Troedyrhiw. He was a member with the Methodists at Pont-Morlais, and his wife a member at Bethesda, and they opened their doors to the school. The Methodists and Independents jointly ran the school, and preachers connected to either denomination came on occasion to join with them. The school began at 9 in the morning, with a service by the Methodists at 2pm, and a service by the Independents at 6pm. One W Morgan, from the Pentre-ty-gwyn area, came to the district to hold a day school, and he was a great help with the Sunday school, and after Robert Davies and his family moved from Felin, the schoolmaster opened his house to the school, and the care of the cause by now had fallen entirely to the hands of the Independents. Mr M Jones, Bethesda, came here as often as he could to preach, and when he couldn't come then the assistant preachers connected to Bethesda did. They thought of building a chapel, and obtained a piece of land from Sir John Guest, Dowlais, in July 1833. They built the chapel, which they named Saron, it measured 32ft by 28ft, with a gallery, and cost 409.5s.11. It opened on February 10th 1835, and officiating on the occasion were Messrs T. Rees, Craigyfargoed; J. Hughes, Dowlais; J. Davies, Llantrisant; J. Thomas, Adulam, and others. Until now they regarded themselves as members of Bethesda, but having got a new chapel they formed an Independent church in it, and the responsibility and care of the church devolved to the few members here. They only numbered 29, and there was the burden of the outstanding debt; but the ministers and neighbouring churches were extraordinarily good to them. After Mr Jones died, and the link between them and Bethesda was already cut, they decided to get their own minister, and gave a call to Mr David Thomas, a member at Hermon, near Llandilo; he was at the school at Rhydybont for a while; and he was ordained on November 19th 1840. Taking part in the ceremony were Messrs W. Jones, Penybont; D. Jones, Aber; J. Stephens, Brychgoed; E. Davies, Libanus; L. Powell, Cardiff; D. Davies, Llansantffraid; D. Williams, Bethlehem; T. James, Hermon; W. Griffiths, Llanharan; J. Hughes, Dowlais, and T. Rees, Craigyfargoed.Mr Thomas only had a short time to labour here, but he was remarkable and successful, and loved by everyone in the church and congregation. His health declined and he died on 6th Oct 1843.  The church wasn't long without a minister after Mr Thomas died, for early in 1844, they called Mr William Morgan, who had been ordained shortly before that at Cwmogwy, and he began his ministry here in that April, and he labours here still. The church and congregation grew , and the need arose for a bigger building, but they were denied land for it by Sir John Guest, in the end after he'd completely forbidden it, they came to realise  that Mr Wyndham Lewis was the true owner of the land, and he pledged land in his will with enough land for a graveyard. They built a convenient temple, measuring 46ft by 40ft, and the cost was 700. It opened on April 4/5th 1852; and officiating on the occasion were Messrs H. Oliver, B.A., Pontypridd; J. Hughes, Dowlais; J. Thomas, Aberaman; T. Jeffreys, Penycae; D. Jones, Bethesda; J. Evans, Cymer; T. Rees, Cendl; I. Thomas, Towyn; J. Thomas, Graig, Rhymni; J. Evans, Maendy; W. Williams, Hirwaun; W. Griffiths, Llanharan; L. Powell, Cardiff, and others *.  The cause here has kept its way over the years, and grown stronger; and through the work of Mr Morgan, and the members of the church, started the flourishing church which is now in Abercanaid.

The following were raised to preach in this church; **

Biographical Notes

DAVID THOMAS. Born February 26th 1814 in Troedyrhiw, Llandilo parish, Carmarthenshire ............

*Written by Mr. W. Morgan, Diwygiwr, 1853, p73.

**Not fully translated


SEION, ABERCANAID

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(Vol 2, p 289)

Dechreuwyd cynal moddion cyhoeddus yn Abercanaid yn y flwyddyn 1859. Cedwid Ysgol Sabbothol yn y lle gan aelodau o Bethesda, Zoar, Adulam, ac Ynysgau, Merthyr; ond yn benaf gan aelodau Saron, Troedyrhiw. Byddai yr Ysgol yn cael ei chynal o d I d hyd nes y rhentwyd t o dan y siop 287, yn ymyl y gamlas. O hyny allan dyma lle cynhelid pob moddion cyhoeddus, megis cyfarfodydd gweddi, a phregethu yn achlysurol. Byddai Mr. Morgans, Troedyrhiw, a Mr. Gwesyn Jones, Bethesda, yn rhoddi ambell i bregeth yn awr ac yn y man. Yn y flwyddyn 1860, penderfynwyd adeiladu capel, ac ymgymerwyd a'r gwaith yn galonog ac o ddifrif. Cafwyd cynllun gan Mr. Jonathan Reynolds, Merthyr, ac adeiladwyd y capel gan Mr. Thomas Williams, Pentyrch. Costiodd 572p. Ffurfiwyd yma eglwys yr hon a rifai tua 43. Y diaconiaid oeddynt Ebenezer Davies, Pentrebach, a William Davies, o'r un lle. Yr oedd y ddau hyn yn ddiaconiaid yn barod yn Troedyrhiw, ac wedi bod yn gwasanaethu y swydd am flynyddau lawer yno. Mae William Davies wedi myned adref oddiwrth ei waith at ei wobr - wedi newid y cledd am y palmwydd  - dyn hynaws a charedig ydoedd. Ond y mae Ebenezer Davies yn fyw ac yn llawn bywyd gydag achos ei Feistr etto. Yr oedd amryw eraill o ddynion da iawn yn dechreu yr achos yma - Dafydd William, William Roderick, John Lewis, William James, Jacob Davies, Thomas Davies, Thomas L. Thomas, a Thomas Lewis; mae y tri blaenaf wedi myned er's amryw flynyddau i "gymanfa a chynnulleidfa y rhai cyntaf-anedig," ond mae y lleill yn ffyddlon a gweithgar gyda'r achos yn y lle. Agorwyd y capel newydd Medi 19eg a'r 20fed, 1860. Cymerodd y gweinidogion canlynol ran yn y gwasanaeth agoriadol, Meistri J. Davies, Aberaman; M. Ellis, Mynyddislwyn; T. Rees, Cendl; W. Griffiths, Llanharan; R. Morgan, Llechryd; J. Morgan, Cwmbach; J. Thomas, Tresimwn; D. Williams, Glynnedd; J. Davies, Taihirion; M. Morgan, Bethesda-y-fro; J. Evans, Maendy; R. Gwesyn Jones, Bethesda, Merthyr; B. Owens, Zoar, Merthyr; E. Jones, Ynysgau, Merthyr, a W. Morgans, Troedyrhiw. Cymerodd Mr. Morgans, Troedyrhiw, ofal yr eglwys; ond oblegid rhyw anghydwelediad rhoddodd hi i fyny, wedi bod yn gofalu am dani am tua blwyddyn. Bu yr eglwys am tua blwyddyn wedi hyny heb neb yn neillduol yn gofalu am dani. Yr oedd erbyn hyn yn rhifo tua 80. Yn y flwyddyn 1863, rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. David Thomas, Hermon, Ystradfellte, ac ar y 10fed o Fai, yn yr un flwyddyn, dechreuodd Mr. Thomas ar ei weinidogaeth yn Abercanaid.

Yn y flwyddyn 1864, oblegid fod y capel cyntaf yn llawn, a'r lle yn cynyddu, daeth yr eglwys i'r penderfyniad i helaethu a chyfnewid yr hen gapel. Y cynllunydd oedd Mr. T. Thomas, Glandwr. Costiodd yr helaethiad a chodi festri yn ymyl y capel 500p. Gorphenaf 9fed. a'r 10fed, 1865, agorwyd y capel newydd. Cymerwyd rhan yn y gwasanaeth gan Meistri D. Henry, Penygroes; R. Jones, Llanidloes; R. Gwesyn Jones, D. Price, W. Edwards, Aberdar; R. Morgan, Glynnedd; W. Williams, Hirwaun; T. Thomas, Glandwr, a T. Rees, D.D., Abertawy. Mae yn awr yn gapel hardd a chyfleus. Yn y flwyddyn 1870, ymadawodd Mr. D. Thomas i Gwernllwyn, Dowlais. Mae gwedd lewyrchus ar yr achos, ac y mae yr eglwys wedi rhoddi galwad i Mr. George Williams, Amlwch, Mon, a bydd yn dechreu ar ei weinidogaeth Mawrth 10fed, 1872.

Codwyd yma un pregethwr, sef John Thomas. Bu am dair blynedd yn athrofa y Bala, ond y mae yn awr yn athrofa Yale yn America.

Translation by Gareth Hicks (May 2009)

They began to hold public services in Abercanaid in 1859. A Sunday school was maintained in the place by members of Bethesda, Zoar, Adulam, and Ynysgau, Merthyr;  but mainly by members of Saron, Troedyrhiw. The school was held from house to house, until they rented a house under Shop 287, by the side of the canal. From then on this was the place they held all types of public events, such as prayer meetings, and occasional preaching. Mr Morgans, Troedyrhiw, and Mr Gwesyn Jones, Bethesda, gave some sermons now and then. In 1860, they decided to build a chapel, and took to the work earnestly and with heart. They had a design from Mr Jonathan Reynolds, Merthyr, and the chapel was built by Mr Thomas Williams, Pentyrch. It cost 572. They formed a church here with about 43 members. The deacons were Ebenezer Davies, Pentrebach, and William Davies, from the place. These 2 were already deacons in Troedyrhiw, and had served in the office for many years. Mr William Davies has gone home for from his work for his prize [died] - having changed the sword for the palms - an affable and kindly man. But Ebenezer Davies is alive and full of life for his Master's cause still. There were here some other very good men at the start of the cause - Dafydd William, William Roderick, John Lewis, William James, Jacob Davies, Thomas Davies, Thomas L. Thomas, and Thomas Lewis; the first 3 have been gone for many years to " the gathering and congregation of the first-born", but the others are faithful and active with the cause in the place. The new chapel opened on Sept 19/20th 1860. The following ministers took part in the opening ceremony, Messrs J. Davies, Aberaman; M. Ellis, Mynyddislwyn; T. Rees, Cendl; W. Griffiths, Llanharan; R. Morgan, Llechryd; J. Morgan, Cwmbach; J. Thomas, Tresimwn; D. Williams, Glynnedd; J. Davies, Taihirion; M. Morgan, Bethesda-y-fro; J. Evans, Maendy; R. Gwesyn Jones, Bethesda, Merthyr; B. Owens, Zoar, Merthyr; E. Jones, Ynysgau, Merthyr, and W. Morgans, Troedyrhiw. Mr Morgans, Troedyrhiw, took care of the church;  but circumstances forced him to give it up, after looking after it for almost a year. The church was for about a year after that without any particular minister looking after it. There were by now about 80 members. In 1863, they gave a call to Mr David Thomas, Hermon, Ystradfellte, and on the 10th of May that year Mr Thomas began his ministry in Abercanaid.

In 1864, as the original chapel was full, and the place was growing, the church came to the decision to enlarge and convert the old chapel. The designer was Mr T Thomas, Glandwr. The cost of the expansion and raising a vestry beside the chapel was 500. The new chapel opened on 9/10th July, 1865. Taking part in the ceremony were Messrs D. Henry, Penygroes; R. Jones, Llanidloes; R. Gwesyn Jones, D. Price, W. Edwards, Aberdar; R. Morgan, Glynnedd; W. Williams, Hirwaun; T. Thomas, Glandwr, and T. Rees, D.D., Swansea. It is now a lovely convenient chapel. In 1870, Mr D Thomas left for Gwernllwyn, Dowlais. There is a flourishing face to the cause, and the church has given a call to Mr George Williams, Amlwch, Mon, and he will begin his ministry on 10th March 1872.

One preacher was raised here, namely John Thomas. He was 3 years at Bala College, but is now at Yale University, America.

 


BETHESDA, MERTHYR TYDFIL

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(Vol 2, p 269)

Dechreuwyd yr achos hwn, fel y crybwyllasom yn hanes Zoar, yn y flwyddyn 1807, mewn canlyniad i'r terfysg a gyfodwyd yn yr eglwys yno gan nifer o bersonau ar ddychweliad y gweinidog, Mr. Daniel Lewis, adref o Lundain wedi bod yn casglu yno. Tybiai rhai o honynt fod y treuliau cysylltiedig a'r casglu yn ormod, er nad oedd gan yr un o honynt ddim dirnadaeth pa faint a ddylasai y costau fod. Barnodd yr eglwys fod y treuliau yn deg a rhesymol, a chydolygai y gweinidogion cylchynol a phenderfyniad mwyafrif yr eglwys, a gofynid am ymostyngiad y rhai a awgryment fod unrhyw anhegwch wedi ei wneyd; ond yn hytrach nag ymostwng troisant allan i gychwyn achos arall yn y lle. Yn mysg y personau a ymadawsant a Zoar yr oedd Lewis Foster a'i wraig; John Salathiel a'i wraig; David Nicholas a'i wraig; David Jenkyn a'i wraig, (tad a mam Dr. Jenkyn); William Llwyd a'i wraig. Yr oedd rhai o'r personau hyn yn mysg cychwynwyr yr achos yn Zoar, ac yr oedd Lewis Foster a William Llwyd yn meddu cymhwysderau arbenig at gychwyn a dwyn yn mlaen achos newydd. Canmolir Lewis Foster ar gyfrif ei weithgarwch crefyddol, a'i ddoniau mewn gweddi; ac yr oedd gan William Llwyd allu nodedig i drin dynion a chael dylanwad drostynt. Cymerasant ystafell at gychwyn achos, heb fod yn mhell o'r fan lle y saif capel Salem yn awr. Galwyd y lle yn Philadelphia, a thrwyddedwyd ef at gynal gwasanaeth crefyddol gan David Nicholas, Mawrth 3ydd, 1808. Buont yn addoli yno am yn agos i flwyddyn, a chynyddodd yr achos i'r fath raddau fel yr aeth y lle yn rhy gyfyng, a bu raid chwilio am ystafell helaethach. Cafwyd llofft perthynol i efail gof, rhwng Zoar ac afon Morlais, a galwyd y lle hwnw Beth-haran, a thrwyddedwyd ef gan David Nicholas yn llys Llandaf Chwefror 6ed, 1809.* Pan oedd yr eglwys ar symud i Beth-haran, rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. Methuselah Jones, yr hwn oedd yn weinidog yn Llangynwyd, a dechreuodd ei weinidogaeth yma cyn diwedd y flwyddyn 1808. Nid oedd rhifedi yr aelodau ond pedwar-ugain-a-deg, ac i gyd yn dlodion; ond adfywiodd yr achos yn fawr wedi sefydliad Mr. Jones yn y lle. Meddyliwyd am gael capel newydd, a chafwyd darn o dir ar brydles gan Mr. W. Morgan, Grawen, am 5p. y flwyddyn o ardreth. Adeiladwyd y capel yn nechreu y flwyddyn 1811, a thrwyddedwyd ef yn llys Llandaf Gorphenaf 23ain, 1811, gan Mr. M. Jones, y gweinidog. Bu gweinidogaeth Mr. Jones yn dra llwyddianus yn y capel newydd. Dywedir iddo yn ystod ei weinidogaeth dderbyn tua thair mil o aelodau, a bu yn foddion i blanu eglwysi newyddion yn Dowlais, Cefncoedycymer, a Throedyrhiw. Erbyn y flwyddyn

* Cofnodion llys Llandaf.

1829, yr oedd capel Bethesda wedi myned yn rhy fychan, ac adeiladwyd y capel helaeth presenol, yr hwn a gostiodd 1002p. Bu Mr. Jones farw Ionawr 15fed, 1839, yn 71 oed.

Yn y flwyddyn 1840, rhoddodd yr eglwys alwad i Mr. Daniel Jones, yr hwn dair blynedd cyn hyny oedd wedi ei urddo yn weinidog yn Carmel, Tresimwn. Dechreuodd Mr. Jones ei weinidogaeth yma dan amgylchiadau ffafriol iawn, pan yr oedd lluaws yn dyfod i'r lle o siroedd Aberteifi a Phenfro; ac yr oedd ei fod yntau yn adnabyddus yn y siroedd hyny yn peri iddynt gyfeirio ato i Bethesda. Yr ail flwyddyn wedi ei symudiad yma bu dan yr angenrheidrwydd poenus o oddef tori ymaith ei fraich ddeheu, ac yn yr adeg hono dangosodd yr eglwys garedigrwydd neillduol iddo, a thynerwch mawr tuag ato. Yr oedd Bethesda bob amser yn nodedig am gynnulleidfa luosog, ac yr oedd llawer o wres a theimlad yn yr eglwys, ac weithiau torai allan yn orfoledd cyhoeddus. Sychwyd llawer ar ireidd-dra ysbryd yr eglwys yn nhymer gweinidogaeth Mr. Jones. Nid oedd nodwedd ei bregethau y mwyaf manteisiol i feithriniad teimlad crefyddol dwfn. Gwisgent ryw wedd ddyledswyddol fynychaf, ac yr oedd yn aml fwy o dn moesoldeb nac efengyl ynddynt. Yn ychwanegol at hyny, dygodd gyfarfodydd adroddiadol a chystadleuol i gysylltiad a'r Ysgol Sabbothol a'r eglwys, ac yr oedd yn un o'r rhai cyntaf yn y wlad i ddwyn y pethau hyn i'r capeli; ac er yn ddiau iddynt wneyd llawer i greu ysbryd ymchwilgar mewn lluaws o bobl ieuaingc, etto nid ymddengys ddarfod iddynt fod o nemawr help i feithriniad crefydd ysbrydol yn yr eglwys. Cynyddodd yr eglwys yn fawr mewn rhif yn ystod ei weinidogaeth; ac ar adeg ymweliad y geri marwol a'r dref yn y flwyddyn 1849, ychwanegwyd canoedd at yr eglwys. Bu Mr. Jones yma hyd ddiwedd y flwyddyn 1855, pryd y gadawodd Ymneillduaeth ac y trodd at yr Eglwys Wladol, lle y bu hyd ei farwolaeth.

Wedi bod am dymor heb weinidog, cymerodd Mr. Rhys Gwesyn Jones, Penybont-ar-ogwy, ofal yr eglwys Hydref 3ydd, 1858. Yn yr adeg yma safodd gwaith Penydarran, ar yr hwn yr ymddibynai llawer o'r gynnulleidfa, fel y bu raid iddynt ymadael a'r lle; ac oblegid hyny, yn nghyd a rhyw amgylchiadau eraill, lleihaodd yr eglwys i raddau mawr yn nhymor gweinidogaeth Mr. Gwesyn Jones. Ond bu ef yma hyd wanwyn y flwyddyn 1867, pryd yr ymfudodd i Utica, America.

Yn mhen y flwyddyn rhoddodd yr eglwys alwad i Mr. Job Miles, myfyriwr o athrofa Aberhonddu, ac oblegid fod ganddo flwyddyn cyn gorphen ei dymor yn yr athrofa, penderfynasant ddisgwyl wrtho. Urddwyd ef Mehefin 2lain a'r 22ain, 1869. Gan mai dyma yr unig urddiad a fu yn Bethesda, rhoddir ei hanes yn llawn yma fel yr ymddangosodd yn y Tyst Cymreig, Gorphenaf 2i1, 1869 : - " Nos Lun a dydd Mawrth 21ain a'r 22ain, cynhaliwyd cyfarfodydd mewn cysylltiad ag urddiad Mr. Job Miles, yn Bethesda, Merthyr. Nos Lun, dechreuwyd gan Mr. Miles Morgan, a phregethwyd gan y Parchn. W. I. Morris, Pontypridd, a W. Edwards, Aberdar. Dydd Mawrth am 10, dechreuwyd gan y Parch. W. C. Davies, Llantrisant, a phregethwyd gan y Parch. W. Roberts, athraw clasurol coleg Aberhonddu, ar natur eglwys; holwyd y gofyniadau gan y Parch. J. Morris, athraw duwinyddol y coleg, ac atebwyd hwy gan yr urddedig yn eglur, cryno, a boddhaol; gofynwyd yr arwydd o du y gweinidog, ac o du yr eglwys gan y Parch. W. Edwards, Aberdar; offrymwyd yr urdd-weddi gan y Parch. W. Williams, Hirwaun; yna pregethwyd i'r gweinidog gan

y Parch. H. Oliver, B.A., Casnewydd, ac i'r eglwys gan y Parch. J. Davies, Taihirion. Am 2 o'r gloch, dechreuwyd gan y Parch. J. Thomas, Salem, Aberdar, a phregethwyd gan y Parchn. J. Morris, Aberhonddu yn Seisnig, ac R. Morgan, Glynnedd. Yn yr hwyr, dechreuwyd gan y Parch. R. Griffith, Cefn, a phregethodd y Parchn. L. Probert, Bodringallt, ac H. Oliver, B.A., Casnewydd." Mae Mr. Miles yn parhau i lafurio yma, a'r achos yn myned rhagddo yn gysurus; ac er i'r eglwys fod yn lluosocach ar adegau yn flaenorol, ni bu erioed gymaint o waith sylweddol yn cael ei wneyd. Mae teimlad cryf yn awr oblegid ailadeiladu y capel; ac ni bydd y baich ond ysgafn i eglwys unol a gweithgar fel Bethesda.

Cyfodwyd y personau canlynol i bregethu yn Bethesda: -

Bu yma lawer eraill yn aelodau o bryd i bryd, ond ar ol myned oddiyma y dechreuasant bregethu; a daeth yma rai pregethwyr o eglwysi eraill. Mae dau o'r cyfryw yma yn awr, sef Howell Davies, yr hwn a ddechreuodd bregethu yn Ffynonddrain, gerllaw Caerfyrddin, ac Elias Maurice, yr hwn a ddechreuodd bregethu yn Nhrefgarn, Penfro.

COFNODION BYWGRAPHYDDOL (Not extracted fully)

METHUSALEM JONES. Ganwyd ef yn mhlwyf Llandyfriog, sir Aberteifi, yn mis Awst, 1769. ..........................

DANIEL JONES.  Dygwyd ef i fyny yn nghymydogaeth Castellnewydd-Emlyn. .................................

 

Translation by Gareth Hicks (May 2009)

This cause began in 1807, as noted in the history of Zoar, in the aftermath of the upheaval caused there by a number of people on the return home of the minister, Mr Daniel Lewis, from London where he'd been collecting. Some of them thought that the associated costs of collecting were too much, although not one of them had an idea how much those costs should be. The church decided that the costs were fair and reasonable, and the circulating ministers went along with the decision of the majority of the church, and asked for the submission of those who suggested that any unfairness had been done; but rather than submitting they chose instead to start another cause in the place. Among those who chose to leave Zoar were Lewis Foster and his wife;  John Salathiel and his wife; David Nicholas and his wife; David Jenkyn and his wife, (the father and mother of Dr. Jenkyn); William Llwyd and his wife. Some of these people were among the founders of the cause at Zoar, and Lewis Foster and William Llwyd were especially qualified to start and take forward the new cause. Lewis Foster was praised for the extent of his religious work, and his gift for prayer; and William Llwyd had a notable ability to handle men and influence them. They took a room to begin a cause, not far from the spot that Salem chapel stands now. They called the place Philadelphia, and it was licenced by David Nicholas to hold religious services, on March 3rd 1808. They worshipped there for almost a year, and the cause grew to the point that the place became too small, and they needed to look for a larger place. They obtained a loft connected to a blacksmith's forge, between Zoar and the Morlais river, and called that place Beth-haran, and it was licenced by David Nicholas at the Llandaff court on February 6th 1809. *  When the church was about to move to Beth-haran, they gave a call to Mr Methuselah Jones, who was the minister at Llangynwyd, and he began his ministry here before the end of 1808. The number of members was only 90, and all were paupers; but the cause revived greatly after Mr Jones settled in the place. They thought of having a new chapel, and obtained a piece of land on a lease from Mr W Morgan, Grawen, for 5 pa rent. They built the chapel at the start of 1811, and Mr M Jones, the minister, licenced it at Llandaff court on July 23rd 1811. Mr Jones's ministry was very successful in the new chapel. It is said that during the period of his ministry he admitted almost 3000 members, and he was instrumental in bringing forward new churches in Dowlais, Cefncoedycymer and Trosedyrhiw. By 1829, Bethesda chapel had become too small, and they built the present large chapel, which cost 1002. Mr Jones died  on January 15th 1839, aged 71.

In 1840, the church gave a call to Mr Daniel Jones, who had 3 years before that had been ordained as the minister at Carmel, Tresimwn. He began his ministry here under very favourable circumstances, when multitudes were coming to the place from the counties of Cardiganshire and Pembrokeshire; and that he was known in those counties led them to Bethesda. The second year after he moved here he was under the painful necessity of having his right arm amputated, and through that time the church showed especial kindness to him, and great tenderness. Bethesda has always been noted for large congregations, and there was much warmth and feeling in the church, which sometimes broke out in public rejoicing. There was a lessening of the warmth of  spirit in the church during the ministry of Mr Jones. The nature of his preaching was not the most advantageous to cultivate  deep religious sentiment. He frequently adopted an officious face, and there was often a theme of morality  rather than an evangelic one. As well as that he brought competitive recitation meetings to the Sunday school and church, and was one of the first in the country to bring these sort of things into the chapels; and although he doubtless did much to create an inquisitive spirit within the bulk of the youngsters, yet it seems it was not of much help in cultivating a religious spirit in the church. The numbers of the church grew greatly during the time of his ministry; and during the time of the visitation of cholera to the town in 1849 hundreds flocked to the church. Mr Jones was here until the end of 1855, when he departed the Nonconformists and turned to the Established Church, where he remained until he died.

Having been for a while without a minister, Mr Rhys Gwesyn Jones, Penybont-ar-ogwy (Bridgend) took on care of the church on 3 October 1858. At this time the Penydarren works stopped, which many of the congregation were reliant on, so that they had to leave the place; and because of that, together with other circumstances, the church shrank to a great degree during the ministry of Mr Gwesyn Jones. But he was here until the spring of 1867, when he left for Utica, America.

At the end of the year the church gave a call to Mr Job Miles, a student at Brecon College, and because he had a year to complete his term at the College, they decided to wait for him. He was ordained on June 21/22nd 1869. As this was the only ordination to have taken place in Bethesda, we'll give a full account here as shown in the Tyst Cymraig of July 2nd 1869 ;   

" Monday night and Tuesday, 21 & 22nd, a meeting was held in connection  with the ordination of Mr Job Miles, in Bethesda, Merthyr. Monday night, started by Mr Miles Morgan, and preaching by the Revs W I Morris, Pontypridd, and W Edwards, Aberdare.  Tuesday at 10, started by the Rev W C Davies, Llantrisant, preaching by the Rev W Roberts, classics teacher at Brecon College, on the nature of a church; questions asked by the Rev J Morris, theology teacher at the college, and responded to by the ordinant, clearly, concisely and pleasingly; a token was requested from the minister's house, and from the church's house, by the Rev W Edwards, Aberdare; the ordination prayer given by the Rev W Williams, Hirwaun; the prayer for the minister by the Rev H Oliver, B.A, Newport, and to the church by the Rev J Davies, Taihirion. At 2pm, started by the Rev J Thomas, Salem, Aberdare, and preaching by the Revs J Morris, Brecon, in English, and R Morgan, Glyn Neath. In the evening, started by the Rev R Griffith, Cefn, and preaching by the Revs L Probert, Bodringallt, and H Oliver, B.A, Newport. "

Mr Miles continues to labour here, and the cause goes forward comfortably; and although the church has been full on occasion in the past, not much substantial work has been done. There is now strong feeling for rebuilding the chapel; and the burden would be a light one for a church as unified and industrious as Bethesda.

The following persons were raised to preach in Bethesda;-

There were here many other members from time to time, that when they left here began to preach; and some preachers from other churches came here. There are two such here now, namely Howell Davies, who began to preach in Ffynondrain, near Carmarthen, and Elias Maurice, who began to preach in Trefgarn, Pembroke.

Biographical Notes (Not fully extracted)

METHUSALEM JONES. Born in Llandyfriog parish, Cardiganshire, in August 1769..................

DANIEL JONES.  He was raised in the neighbourhood of Newcastle Emlyn ............

 

 * Records of Llandaf court.

 


ZOAR, MERTHYR TYDFIL

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(Vol 2, p 259)

 Yn deng mlynedd olaf o'r ganrif ddiweddaf daeth Merthyr Tydfil yn gyrchfan i luaws mawr o ddynion. o bob cwr yn y Dywysogaeth. Parodd agoriad y gweithfeydd glo a mwn, ar raddfa eang, ac adeiladiad y ffwrneisiau a'r melinau mawrion yma, i lawer o drigolion rhanau amaethyddol y wlad ddylifo yma. Tua Merthyr y cyfeiriai pob gwr pan yr elai yn gyfyng arno am gynhaliaeth iddo ei hun ac i'w deulu yn ei wlad; a phan yr anesmwythai rhyw fachgen ar dawelwch aelwyd ei rieni, ac yr awyddai am daflu yr iau oddiar ei war a chael mwy, o ryddid i fyw yn ol helynt y byd hwn, tua Merthyr yr hwyliai ei gamrau. Os cyrhaeddai unrhyw ddyn i Ferthyr teimlai ei fod yn ddyogel pwy bynag a ymlidiai ar ei ol; ac yr oedd cynifer o'r fath gymeriadau wedi cael lle yn ddinas noddfa, fel yr ofer-dybiai  llawer mai hwnt-hwy yn unig a'i cyfaneddent. Ond yn mysg

y lluaws a ymsefydlasant yn y lle yn y blynyddoedd hyny, sefydlodd llawer o rai rhagorol y ddaear. Dynion a gadwasant eu cymeriad yn bur, a'u crefydd yn loyw yn nghanol holl brofedigaethau y lle; a dynion oedd eu syniadau mor efengylaidd a'u teimladau mor wresog, fel nas gallasent fwynhau yr ymborth a osodid ger eu bron os na byddai yn gynes yn gystal ag yn iachus. Yn mysg y rhai hyny yr oedd Lewis Foster, a Chatherine ei wraig, a Gabriel ei brawd, a John Salathiel, o'r Groeswen; David Nicholas Thomas, a Letice ei wraig, o'r Brychgoed; Jenkin Andrew, a'i wraig, o Benmain, a Thomas Rees, o'r Mynyddbach. Daethant yma yn y flwyddyn 1794, neu yn fuan wedi hyny.* Yr oedd achos yn yr Ynysgau, fel y gwelsom, yn mhell cyn hyn; ond yr oedd y weinidogaeth yno wedi myned i roddi sain anhynod, heblaw fod ffurfioldeb a marweidd-dra yn nodweddu yr holl wasanaeth; yr hyn nis gallasai hen grefyddwyr tanllyd Mynyddbach a'r Groeswen :ddygymod a hwy. Ymofynasant yn ddioed am le i gyfarfod ynddo i addoli Duw, a chymerasant ystafell y tu cefn i'r Crown Inn, yr hon a elwid yn Long room y Crown, a thelid am dani chwe' phunt y flwyddyn o ardreth. Nid oeddynt ond naw mewn nifer, ond cefnogid hwy yn eu gwaith gan weinidogion goreu yr enwad. Yn enwedig gan Meistri E. Jones, Pontypool; J. Bowen, Castellnedd, ac H. Powell, Casnewydd, y rhai yn fynych a ymwelai a hwynt. Nid ydym wedi gallu cael allan ddyddiad cywir sefydliad yr achos, na phwy a fu yno yn corpholi yr eglwys. Chwefror 2i1, 1798, y cofrestrwyd ystafell y Crown a hyny gan Mr. Howell Powell.+ Ond y mae yn eglur fod yma achos rai blynyddau cyn hyny. Yn y flwyddyn 1796, daeth yr hybarch D. Williams, Troedrhiwdalar yn awr, yma yn fachgen ieuangc i weithio ei gelfyddyd, a daeth a'i lythyr at yr eglwys fechan gynes oedd yn y Long room; a choffeir gan Mr. Williams hyd y dydd hwn yr oedfaon hwylus a'r cyfeillachau melus a fwynhawyd ganddynt yn yr ystafell hono. Pan yr oedd yr eglwys yn yngynull yma y derbyniwyd Maria Jenkyn, (mam Dr. Jenkyn,) yn aelod, a chyn hir derbyniwyd Dafydd Jenkyn, ei gwr, yr hwn a wasanaethodd fel blaenor y gn i'r gynnulleidfa am flynyddoodd. Cyn diwedd y flwyddyn 1797, rhoddodd yr eglwys ieuangc alwad i Mr. Howell Powell, Casnewydd, yr hwn a symudodd yma yn ngwanwyn y flwyddyn ganlynol. Bu cymanfa fawr yma yn mis Mehefin ar ol dyfodiad Mr. Powell i'r lle, yr hon a gynaliwyd yn yr awyr agored, ar y tir oedd wedi ei neillduo at adeiladu capel newydd. Adfywiodd yr eglwys a lluosogodd y gwrandawyr yn fawr ar ol sefydliad Mr. Powell yn y lle, a phenderfynwyd adeiladu capel i fod yn eiddo yr eglwys, yn lle yr ystafell ardrethol yr oeddynt yn cyfarfod ynddi. Sicrhawyd darn helaeth o dir yn y fan lle y saif y capel presenol, a dechreuwyd adeiladu yn y flwyddyn 1798, oblegid yr oedd y muriau wedi eu codi i uchder gwaelod ffenestri y llawr pan gadwyd y gymanfa yn Mehefn y flwyddyn hono. Helbul mawr a fu gyda chodi y capel, oblegid yr anhawsder i gael arian. Yr oeddynt wedi cymeryd yr holl dir o'r Heol fawr hyd at yr afon, yn gystal a'r tir sydd o dan y capel presenol am yr ardreth flynyddol o ddeuddeg gini; ond oblegid eu bod yn methu talu y swm hwnw, cymerodd un Henry Thomas, neu "Harri'r Blawd," fel y gelwid ef yn gyffredin, y brydles oddiarnynt, a rhoddodd iddynt y darn oedd dan y capel, ac ychydig heblaw hyny, am yr ardreth o dair punt a saith swllt. Ond yr oedd codi y capel yn faich rhy drwm iddynt drachefn.

* Hanes eglwys Zoar gan Mr. R. Griffiths, Cefn.       + Cofnodion llys Llandaf.

Nid oedd ganddynt arian eu hunain, ac yr oeddynt yn rhy dlodion i gael arian ar log gan neb; ac nid oedd dim i wneyd ond gadael i'r gwaith sefyll. Aeth Mr. Powell oddicartref i gasglu, ond oblegid nad oedd mor llwyddianus i hyny ag y disgwyliai rhai, aeth yn ddiflasdod rhyngddo a'r eglwys, a rhoddodd ei gofal i fyny, a chyfyngodd ei lafur i eglwys y Maendy, i'r hon yn flaenorol y rhoddai ran o'i lafur. Pan ymadawodd Mr. Powell, yr oedd y capel ar ei haner, ac felly y parhaodd dros amser o eisiau arian i'w gwblhau. Trwy ddylanwad Mr. Ebenezer Jones, Pontypool, llwyddwyd i gael arian gan Mr. Walters, Mynyddislwyn, a gorphenwyd y capel erbyn diwedd 1803, a thua yr un amser rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. Daniel Lewis, Cwmmawr, - Crwys yn awr. Trwyddedwyd capel Zoar gan Mr. D. Lewis, y gweinidog, yn llys Llandaf Medi 10fed, 1804. Ymroddodd Mr. Lewis a'i holl egni i dalu dyled y capel, a dengys rhestr y tanysgrifiadau iddo deithio yn mhell er gosod yr achos ger bron yr eglwysi, ac na bu ei apeliadau yn ofer. Aeth i Lundain, a manau eraill yn Lloegr, i gasglu; ond wedi ei ddychweliad adref aeth rhai o'r aelodau i gwyno nad oedd wedi casglu digon, a bod ei dreuliau yn ormod. Yr ydym eisioes wedi cyfeirio at hyn yn ein cofnodiad bywgraphyddol o Mr. Lewis yn nglyn a hanes Llanfaple, Cyf. I., tu dal. 116. Parodd hyn derfysg mawr yn yr eglwys. Cyhuddid Mr. Lewis o ysbeilio yr eglwys, er iddo roddi cyfrif cyflawn a manwl o'r holl dderbynion a'r treulion. Galwodd yr eglwys a Mr. Lewis am gynorthwy gweinidogion cymydogaethol, y rhai a ddatganasant fod y cyfrifon yn hollol deg, a barnwyd yn unfrydol fod yn rhaid i'r terfysgwyr ymostwng neu gael eu diarddel. Gwrthodasant blygu, ond ymadawsant i ddechreu achos arall, ar lofft hen efail heb fod yn mhell iawn oddiwrth Zoar; ac yno y cychwynodd yr eglwys luosog sydd yn awr yn Bethesda. Cymerodd hyn le tua'r flwyddyn 1807. Bu Mr. Lewis yma dros ysbaid ar ol hyn, ond yr oedd y dymestl wedi ei ysigo, fel y symudodd oddiyma i Lanfaple, yn sir Fynwy, yn nechreu y flwyddyn 1810. Yr un flwyddyn ag yr ymadawodd Mr. Lewis, rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. Samuel Evans, ac urddwyd ef yn weinidog yn y lle. Bu dyfodiad Mr. Evans i'r lle yn ddechreuad cyfnod newydd ar yr achos yn Zoar. Yr oedd cymhwysder neillduol ynddo i fod yn weinidog mewn lle yr oedd cynifer o ddyeithriaid a dyfodiaid, oblegid y medr neillduol oedd ganddo i Iywodraethu, a pheri i bawb deimlo oddiwrth ei awdurdod, er nad oedd mewn un modd yn chwerw a gormesol. Teimlwyd ei ddylanwad fel pregethwr, a dylanwad ei gymeriad fel dyn, a chynyddodd yr achos yn fuan dan ei ofal. Talwyd y ddyled oedd ar y capel, a daeth eisiau ei helaethu, yr hyn a wnaed cyn hir. Erbyn y flwyddyn 1825, yr oedd hwnw hefyd wedi myned yn rhy gyfyng, a phendeifynwyd adeiladu capel newydd, a chodwyd un gwerth 600p., yr hyn yn y dyddiau hyny a ystyrid yn swm mawr. Llanwyd y capel cyn hir, ac yr oedd yr eglwys yn cynyddu yn raddol; ond yn 1829, cafwyd diwygiad grymus pryd yr ychwanegwyd llawer o bobl i'r Arglwydd. Yn Awst y flwyddyn hono, derbyniwyd ar yr un Sabboth cymundeb bymtheg-a-deugain o aelodau; a choffeir gan rai hyd etto am y cyfarfodydd gwlithog a fwynheid yn y dyddiau hyny. Effeithiodd y terfysgoedd gwladol a gymerodd le yn mhen rhyw ddwy flynedd ar ol hyny yn fawr ar holl eglwysi y Ile. Aeth llawer o grefyddwyr i ysbryd y cynhyrfiadau afreolus a gwaedlyd hyny, os nad oeddynt yn cymeryd rhan ynddynt; yr hyn o angenrheidrwydd a effeithiodd yn niweidiol i grefydd bur ac ysbrydol. Tua'r flwyddyn 1831, deallwyd fod afiechyd poenus a pheryglus wedi ym-

afael yn Mr. Evans, ac wedi i bob dyfais feddygol fethu, bu farw Mehefin 27ain, 1833, yn 56 oed. Bu yr eglwys am fwy na dwy flynedd ar ol marwolaeth Mr. Evans yn ymddibynu ar weinidogaeth achlysurol, a theimlai fod yn anhawdd cael gwr cymhwys i lenwi Ile y "tywysog a'r gwr mawr oedd wedi syrthio." Cyn diwedd 1835, rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. Benjamin Owens, aelod o Trefdraeth, sir Benfro; ac urddwyd ef Chwefror 10fed a'r 11eg, 1836. Ar yr achlysur pregethwyd ar natur eglwys gan Mr. D. Griffiths, Castellnedd; gofynwyd yr holiadau a dyrchafwyd yr urdd-weddi gan Mr. H. George, Brynberian; pregethwyd ar ddyledswydd y gweinidog ieuangc gan ei ewythr, Mr. T. Griffiths, Hawen, ac ar ddyledswydd yr eglwys gan Mr. H. Jones, Tredegar.* Cynyddodd yr achos yn gyflym wedi dyfodiad Mr. Owens i'r lle, lluosogodd yr eglwys a'r gynnulleidfa, a chyn diwedd y flwyddyn 1840, penderfynwyd adeiladu capel newydd eang a chyfleus. Gan fod Mr. Owens yn gyfarwydd ag adeiladu, tynodd y cynllun ei hun, ac arolygodd ei adeiladaeth; a thynodd maint a gwerth y capel sylw cyffredinol. Mae yn mesur 66 troedfedd wrth 60 troedfedd, ac oriel o'i amgylch, a chostiodd 2300p., yr hyn ddeng-mlynedd-ar-hugain yn ol a gyfrifid yn swm anferth. Gwnaed y gwaith maen gan Meistri Thomas Williams a David Richards, a'r gwaith coed gan Mr. John Gabe, ac nid rhaid canmol yr adeiladaeth wrth neb a'i gwelodd. Os cafwyd trafferth i gael arian ar log i adeiladu y Zoar cyntaf, ni bu dim o hyny gyda'r diweddaf. Agorwyd y capel Mawrth 9fed a'r 10fed, 1842, a phregethwyd ar yr achlysur gan Meistri J. Evans, Maendy; T. Griffiths, Blaenafon; J. Evans, Cymer; W. Griffiths, Llanharan; D. Griffiths, Castellnedd; D. Davies, New Inn, a W. Jones, Penybont; ac yr oedd 1830p. o ddyled yn aros ddiwedd dydd yr agoriad. Llafuriodd Mr. Owens a'r eglwys i dalu y ddyled, ac yr oedd trwy gydymdrech yn dyfod i lawr bob blwyddyn; ac yr oedd yr achos yn fewnol mewn agwedd gysurus. Llanwyd y capel eang a chynnulleidfa astud; ac yn y flwyddyn 1849, pan yr ymwelodd y geri marwol a'r dref, ac y symudodd ddynion wrth y degau i dragywyddoldeb, ychwanegwyd canoedd at yr eglwys. Derbyniwyd 120 ar yr un Sabboth. Ond dychwelodd llawer o honynt i'w hen lwybrau, a chyfarfu ystormydd blin ar ol hyny. Yn y flwyddyn 1850, terfysgwyd yr eglwys ar yr achlysur o ddewisiad diaconiaid; ac oblegid rhyw anghydwelediad yn nglyn a hyny ymadawodd 58 trwy lythyrau i'r Ynysgau ar y Sabboth, Gorphenaf 2i1, 1850. Teimlodd yr eglwys ar y pryd oblegid eu hymadawiad, yn neillduol oblegid fod llawer o honynt yn gantorion rhagorol, ond ni chollodd yr eglwys ei hysbryd na'i gweithgarwch, ac yn fuan llanwyd lle y rhai a ymadawsant. Yn y flwyddyn 1854, codwyd dau ysgoldy gan yr eglwys gwerth oddeutu 300p., un yn y Caedraw, a'r llall ar ben incline Penydarran. Mae y gymydogaeth lle y mae y blaenaf wedi myned yn isel a gwyddelig iawn, ond parheir i gadw Ysgol Sabbothol a moddion eraill yn rheolaidd yn yr olaf. Yn y flwyddyn 1860, taflwyd yr eglwys i brofedigaeth am y mynai llawer o'r aelodau godi dyn i bregethu, yr hwn y barnai y gweinidog a mwyafrif yr eglwys nad oedd hyny yn briodol. Yn yr anghydwelediad yma ymadawodd 74 o'r aelodau i eglwys arall yn y dref. Achosodd yr ymryson yma deimladau blin a gofidus, ac ysigwyd holl natur. Mr. Owens trwy hyn, fel na bu byth yr un dyn wedi hyny. Llesgaodd ei nerth, a bu colli ei anwyl wraig, yr hon a'i calonogai yn ei holl drallodion,

* Diwygiwr, Ebrill, 1836.

yn ormod i'w gyfansoddiad. Gwelodd nas gallasai sefyll yn hwy ger bron arch Duw, ac ar y 19eg o Hydref, 1862, rhoddodd i fyny ofal yr eglwys dros yr hon y bu yn gwylio yn ddyfal am fwy na chwe'-blynedd-ar-hugaiu.

Wedi i'r eglwys fod am dair blynedd heb weinidog, rhoddodd alwad i Mr. David Jones, B,A., Caerdydd, a dechreuodd ei weinidogaeth yma yn mis Gorphenaf, 1865, a chynaliwyd cyfarfodydd ei sefydliad ar yr 21ain a'r 22ain o'r mis, pryd y gweinyddodd Meistri H. Oliver, B.A., Pontypridd; J. Davies, Caerdydd; J. Hughes, Dowlais, (gynt); R. Griffiths, Cefn; W. Williams, Hirwaun ; W. C. Williams, Groeswen; J. Ll. Hughes, Gwernllwyn; J. Davies, Taihirion, a D. Davies, Llanbedr; ac y mae Mr. Jones yn parhau i lafurio yma gyda chymeradwyaeth. Yn y flwyddyn 1867, codwyd ysgoldy eang o flaen y capel er cynal Ysgol Sabbothol, a chyfarfodydd wythnosol. Prynwyd dau d er mwyn cael lle i'w wneyd, a chostiodd 550p., ond y mae ei ddyled yn cael ei thalu yn gyflym.

Mae eglwys Zoar wedi bod bob amser yn ewyllysgar a pharod i gymeryd ei rhan yn deg gyda holl achosion cyhoeddus crefydd. Mewn cyfranu at sefydliadau addysgol, a chymdeithasau crefyddol, neu gynorthwyo eglwysi dan feichiau eu dyledion, nid yw un amser wedi bod yn ol. Er yr ystyrid hi yn Galfinaidd yn ei golygiadau duwinyddol yn y blynyddoedd yr oedd y pyngciau hyny yn cynhyrfu y wlad, etto nid oedd yn bosibl fod eglwys yn mhellach oddiwrth benrhyddid Antinomaidd. Blaenorai mewn gweithredoedd da, ac yr oedd yn fanwl a gofalus yn ngweinyddiad dysgyblaeth. Cadwodd i fyny urddas crefydd, ac yr oedd ei chymeriad cyffredinol yn ddyrchafiad i Annibyniaeth yn ngolwg trigolion y dref. Gwelodd amseroedd blinion yn y lle o herwydd cynhyrfiadau cymdleithasol a gwladyddol, ond ymgadwodd mor ofalus ag unrhyw eglwys o unrhyw enwad rhag cael ei thynu iddynt na'i gwarthruddo drwyddynt; ac yr oedd teimlad trwy yr amgylchoedd o'r dechreuad fod rhyw urddas yn gysylltiedig a'r eglwys yn Zoar.

Codwyd y personau canlynol i bregethu yn yr eglwys hon:-

Bu llawer o bregethwyr eraill yn perthyn i'r eglwys hon o bryd i bryd, y rhai a ddechreuasant bregethu mewn eglwysi eraill; a bu llawer yn aelodau yma a ddechreuasant bregethu mewn eglwysi eraill, ar ol eu hymadawiad oddiyma. Crybwyllasom am yr oll y gwyddom am danynt yn nglyn a'r eglwysi yn y rhai y dechreuasant bregethu.

Coffeir am lawer o wyr rhagorol yn mysg y brodyr, a fu yn yr eglwys hon o bryd i bryd. Yr oedd Lewis Foster yn un o'r diaconiaid cyntaf, os nad y cyntaf a fu yn yr eglwys hon. Yr oedd ef yn un o'r rhai a aethant. allan i ddechreu yr achos sydd yn awr yn Bethesda. Morgan Sion, fel ei gelwid, oedd frawd pwyllog a gofalus, a Harri Llwyd oedd un nodedig am ei dynerwch. Sonir gan lawer hyd heddyw am William Humphrey, yr hwn oedd un o'r rhai mwyaf dylanwadol yn yr eglwys; ac yr oedd pawb yn esmwyth yn rhoddi y flaenoriaeth iddo. Bu Josiah Williams yn ffyddlon fel trysorydd, yn enwedig yn adeg adeiladaeth y capel yn 1841. John Thomas oedd wr cywir, unplyg, a dihoced.

Diaconiaid presenol yr eglwys ydynt, David Davies, Tynewydd; William Jones, Tramroad; Rees Davies, Twyn-yr-odyn; David Williams, Grocer; John Jones, Tydfil's Well; John Sibbering, John Arthur, John Lewis, Cemetery y Cefn; John Jones, Boat Builder; Thomas Williams, Goetre, a John Davies, Peirianydd. Mae enwau rhai o honynt yn adnabyddus i'r enwad oll.

COFNODION BYWGRAPHYDDOL (Not extracted fully)

SAMUEL EVANS. Yr unig hanes am y gweinidog enwog hwn sydd. ar gael yw y cofiant byr iddo a ysgrifenwyd gan Dr. Jenkyn i'r Evangelical Magazine, am Awst, 1834. Dywed y Dr. mai yn mhlwyf Clydog neu Cydach, yn sir Frycheiniog y ganwyd Gan nad oes un plwyf o'r enw hwnw yn sir Frycheiniog, yr ydym yn barnu mai Cwmclydach, yn mhlwyf Llanelli, Brycheiniog, a feddylir. Yn Mehefin, 1777, y ganwyd ef. ..........................................

BENJAMIN OWENS. Ganwyd ef yn Nhrefdraeth, sir Benfro, Awst 28ain, 1810. .................................

Translation by Eleri Rowlands (June 2009)

During the last ten years of the last century Merthyr Tydfil became a resort for multitudes of men from all corners of the Principality. The opening of the coal and mineral mines on a grand scale, and the building of furnaces and a huge mill here, attracted many inhabitants from agricultural areas of the country to pour in here. Every man would aim for Merthyr whenever times became hard for himself and his family in his part of the country; and when some young man became restless in his parents' home, and was eager to throw the yoke from his shoulders and to have more freedom to live on the wild side of life, he would turn to Merthyr. If any man reached Merthyr he felt safe whoever was following him; and so many of that sort of character had found a place in this city of refuge, that many doubted that they were the only ones who lived there. But amongst the multitudes who settled in the place during those years, many good people of the earth settled here. Men who kept their characters pure, and their religion bright amongst all the tribulations of the place; and men whose ideas were so evangelical and their feelings so fervent,  that they could not enjoy the food which was put in front of them if it wasn't warm as well as healthy. Amongst those were Lewis Foster, and Catherine his wife, and Gabriel her brother, and John Salathiel, from Groeswen; David Nicholas Thomas, and Letice his wife, from Brychgoed; Jenkin Andrew, and his wife, from Penmain, and Thomas Rees, from Mynyddbach. They came here in 1794, or soon after.* There was a cause in Ynysgau, as we saw, a long time before this; but the ministry there had started giving an indistinct note, besides that, formality and sluggishness characterized the whole service; which the old fiery religious people of Mynyddbach and Groeswen could not agree with. They asked immediately for a place in which to meet and worship God, and they used a room behind the Crown Inn, which was called the Crown's Long room, and they paid rent at six pounds a year. There were only nine of them, but they were supported in their work by the best ministers of the denomination. Especially by Messrs E. Jones, Pontypool; J. Bowen, Neath, and H. Powell, Newport, who often visited them. We have not managed to find out the exact date of the establishment of the cause, nor who embodied the church. On February 2nd, 1798, the room in the Crown was registered by Mr. Howell Powell.+ But it is clear that there was a cause here some years before that. In the year 1796, the honourable D. Williams, now in Troedrhiwdalar, came here as a young man to work at his art, and he brought his letter to the small church in the Long room; and Mr. Williams remembers to this day the joyful services and the sweet social evenings they enjoyed in that room. As they were meeting here Maria Jenkyn, (the mother of Dr. Jenkyn,) was accepted as a member, and before long Dafydd Jenkyn, her husband was accepted, he served as a singing leader to the congregation for years.  Before the end of 1797, the young church sent out a call to Mr. Howell Powell, Newport, who moved here in the spring of the following year. They held a big assembly, which was held in the open air, the June after Mr. Powell came to the place, on land which had been set aside for building a new chapel. The church revived and the listeners multiplied greatly after the ordination of Mr. Powell in the place, and a decision was made to build a chapel to belong to the church, instead of the rented room in which they were meeting. An extensive piece of land was secured in the place where the present chapel is situated, and building was started in 1798, because we know that the walls had risen to under the ground floor windows by the time the assembly was held in June of that year. There was a great deal of trouble with the building of the chapel, because of the difficulty of obtaining money. They had taken the whole of the land from the main road to the river, as well as the land that is under the present chapel for a rent of twelve guineas a year; but because they were unable to pay that sum, Henry Thomas, or "Harri'r Blawd," (Harry the flour) as he was frequently called, took the lease from them, and gave them the land that was under the chapel, and another piece besides that, for a rent of three pounds and seven shillings. But the raising of the chapel was a burden which was still too heavy for them.

* Hanes eglwys Zoar gan Mr. R. Griffiths, Cefn. (The history of Zoar Church by Mr R. Griffiths, Cefn)

+ Minutes of Llandaf court.

They did not have money of their own, and they were too poor to obtain money on interest from anyone; so there was nothing to do but let the work stand. Mr. Powell went away from home to collect, but because he wasn't as successful as some expected him to be, bad feelings arose between him and the church, and he gave up their care, and he confined his labour to Maendy church, to which he had formerly been giving part of his labour. When Mr. Powell left, the chapel was half built, and that is how it continued for a time, waiting for money to complete it. Through the influence of Mr. Ebenezer Jones, Pontypool, they were successful in obtaining money from Mr. Walters, Mynyddislwyn, and the chapel was finished by the end of 1803, and about the same time a call was sent out to Mr. Daniel Lewis, Cwmmawr, - Crwys now.  Zoar chapel was licensed by Mr. D. Lewis, the minister, in the court of Llandaf on September 10th, 1804. Mr. Lewis dedicated all his energy towards paying the chapel's debt, and the chapel's register of subscriptions shows that he travelled far to place the cause before the churches, and his appeals didn't go in vain. He went to London, and other areas in England, to collect; but after he returned home some of the members complained that he had not collected enough, and that his expenses were too high.  We have previously mentioned this in Mr. Lewis' biographical notes concerning the history of  Llanfaple, Vol. I., page. 116. This caused a great commotion in the church. Mr. Lewis was accused of plundering the church, even though he gave a full and detailed account of all his receipts and expenses. The church and Mr. Lewis called for support from the neighbouring ministers, who stated that the accounts were completely above board, and they judged unanimously that the troublemakers had to withdraw or be expelled. They refused to give in, but they left to start another cause, above an old smithy not far from Zoar; and there a well attended church started which is now Bethesda. This took place about the year 1807.  Mr. Lewis was here for a while after this, but the trouble had bruised him, so that he moved from here to Llanfaple, in Monmouthshire, at the beginning of 1810.  In the same year as Mr. Lewis left a call went out to Mr. Samuel Evans, and he was ordained as a minister in the place.  Mr. Evans' coming to the place was the beginning of a new time for the cause in Zoar.  He had special qualifications to be a minister in a place which had had so many strangers and newcomers, because he had a special ability to govern, and to help people to believe in his authority, even though he wasn't in any way bitter or tyrannical.  His influence as a preacher, and the influence of his character as a man, was felt by all and the cause soon increased under his care. The chapel debt was paid. Then they needed to extend it, which was done before long. By the year 1825, that chapel, too, had become too small, and they decided to build a new chapel, and they raised one worth 600, which was, in those days, considered to be a large sum. The chapel was soon full, and the church increased gradually; but in 1829, a powerful revival started when many people were added to the Lord's people. In August that year, fifty five members were accepted on the same Sunday; and some remember to this day the dewy meetings that were enjoyed those days.  The civil unrest that took place about two years after that had a great effect on all the churches in the place.  Many religious people were carried away by the spirit of those unruly and bloody troubles, even if they didn't take part in them; which, of necessity, harmed pure and spiritual religion. About the year 1831, it was understood that a painful and dangerous disease had taken hold of Mr. Evans, and after every medical device had failed, he died on June 27th, 1833, at 56 years old. For more than two years after the death of Mr. Evans the church depended on occasional ministry, and it was felt that it would be impossible to find a man qualified enough to fill the place of "tywysog a'r gwr mawr oedd wedi syrthio." (the prince and great man who had fallen). Before the end of 1835, a call was given to Mr. Benjamin Owens, a member from Trefdraeth, Pembrokeshire; and he was ordained on February 10th and 11th, 1836.  On the occasion Mr. D. Griffiths, Neath, preached on the nature of the church; the questions were asked and the ordination prayer was given by Mr. H. George, Brynberian; Mr. T. Griffiths, Hawen, his uncle, preached on the duty of the young minister, and Mr. H. Jones, Tredegar preached on the duty of the church.* The cause increased quickly after Mr. Owens arrived in the place, the church and the congregation multiplied, and before the end of the year 1840, it was decided to build a new extensive and convenient chapel. As Mr. Owens was used to building, he designed it himself, and oversaw its building work; and the size and value of the church attracted general attention. It measures 66 feet by 60 feet, with a gallery around it, and it cost 2300, which thirty years ago was considered a huge sum. The stonework was done by Messrs Thomas Williams a David Richards, and the woodwork by Mr. John Gabe, and it was unnecessary to praise the building to anyone who saw it.  If it was difficult to obtain money with interest to build the first Zoar, there was no problem with the latest.  The chapel opened on March 9th and 10th, 1842, and Messrs J. Evans, Maendy; T. Griffiths, Blaenafon; J. Evans, Cymer; W. Griffiths, Llanharan; D. Griffiths, Neath; D. Davies, New Inn, and W. Jones, Bridgend preached on the occasion. There was a debt of 1830 left on the opening day.  Mr. Owens laboured so that the church could pay the debt, and through joint effort it reduced every year; and the cause was in a comfortable state. The huge chapel was full with an attentive congregation; and in 1849, when cholera visited the town, and tens of people were moved to eternity, hundreds were added to the church.  120 were accepted on the same Sunday. But many of them returned to their old ways, and they met difficult storms after that. In 1850, the church was seriously disturbed on the occasion of the choosing of deacons; and as a result of a difference of opinion concerning this 58 left by letter for Ynysgau on Sunday, July 2nd, 1850. At the time, the church, as a result of their leaving, felt their loss sorely, because many of them were excellent singers, but the church lost none of its spirit or activities, and soon the places of those that left were filled.  In 1854, the church built two schoolrooms which were worth 300, one in Caedraw, and the other on top of the Penydarran incline. The community of the former has decreased and is very desolate, but the latter still has a Sunday school and other services regularly.  In 1860, the church was thrown into great trouble as many of the members were determined to raise a man, whom the minister and most of the congregation considered it to be improper, to preach. During this disagreement 74 members left for another church in the town. This contention caused great distress, and Mr. Owens' nature was bruised by this, so that he was never the same man after this. His energy weakened, and he lost his dear wife, who had always lifted his heart whenever all his troubles,

* Diwygiwr, April, 1836.

became too much for his constitution. He realized that he could no longer be a minister, and on 19th of October, 1862 he gave up the care of the church which he had cared for for more than twenty six years.

The church was without a minister for three years, then they gave a call to  Mr. David Jones, B,A., Cardiff, and he started his ministry here in July, 1865, and his ordination services were held on 21st and 22nd of the month, when  Messrs H. Oliver, B.A., Pontypridd; J. Davies, Cardiff; J. Hughes, (previously from) Dowlais; R. Griffiths, Cefn; W. Williams, Hirwaun; W. C. Williams, Groeswen; J. Ll. Hughes, Gwernllwyn; J. Davies, Taihirion, and D. Davies, Llanbedr administered; and Mr. Jones continues to labour here with praise. In 1867, an extensive schoolhouse was built in front of the chapel so that they could hold a Sunday school and weekly meetings.  Two houses were bought in order to find room for the schoolroom, and it cost 550, but the debt is being paid quickly.

Zoar church has always been ready and willing to play its part fairly alongside all public religious causes.  In contributing towards educational institutions, and religious societies, or supporting churches under the burden of debt, it has never been behind.  Even though it has been considered Calvinist in its theological views over the years those subjects excited the country, yet it was not possible for a church to be further from the freedom of Antinomy. It was in the forefront in good works, and it was careful and detailed in the management of discipline.  It upheld the dignity of religion, and in its general character it raised Independence in the sights of the inhabitants of the town. Bad times were seen as a result of social agitations, but they were as careful as any church from any denomination not to be pulled apart nor be disgraced; and it was felt in the environment from the beginning that there was a dignity connected with Zoar church.

The following people were raised to preach in this church:-

Many other preachers belonging to this church from time to time, who started preaching in other churches; and many members here started preaching in other churches, after they left here. We mentioned all we know about them in the history of those churches where they started preaching.

We remember many excellent men amongst the brothers, who were in this church from time to time.  Lewis Foster was one of the first deacons, if not the first in this church.  He was one of the ones who went out to start the   cause which is now in Bethesda.  Morgan Sion, as he was called, who was a careful steady brother, and Harri Llwyd who was notable for his gentleness. Many still mention William Humphrey, who was one of the most influential in the church; everyone was comfortable with giving him the leadership. Josiah Williams was faithful as a treasurer, especially when the chapel was built in 1841. John Thomas was a good, upright and sincere man.

The present deacons of the church are, David Davies, Tynewydd; William Jones, Tramroad; Rees Davies, Twyn-yr-odyn; David Williams, Grocer; John Jones, Tydfil's Well; John Sibbering, John Arthur, John Lewis, Cefn Cemetery; John Jones, Boat Builder; Thomas Williams, Goetre, and John Davies, Engineer. The names of some of these are known to the whole denomination.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES (Not extracted fully)

SAMUEL EVANS. We believe that he was born in Cwmclydach, in the parish of  Llanelli, Breconshire in June, 1777. ..........................................

BENJAMIN OWENS. He was born in Trefdraeth, Pembrokeshire, August 28th, 1810. .................................


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