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Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru

(History of the Welsh Independent Churches)

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

This chapel history wasextracted by Gareth Hicks from the CD published by Archive CD Books (Feb 2008)

Proof reading and translation by Eleri Rowlands (March 2008)


Penygroes

(Vol 3, p 69-71)

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"Dechreuwyd pregethu gan yr Annibynwyr yn yr ardal yma mewn lle a elwir Cilcam, yn mhlwyf Eglwyswen. Yr oedd David Evans, Dyffrynmawr, yn aelod o'r eglwys yn Llechryd, ac yn pregethu yn achlysurol, a'i wraig yn aelod gyda'r Methodistiaid Calfinaidd yn Capel-newydd; ond ni wnaed cynyg ar sefydlu achos yn y lle hyd y flwyddyn 1765, pryd yr ymgymerodd Mr. J. Griffiths, Glandwr, a nifer o'r aelodau hyny. Buwyd dros rai blynyddoedd yn addoli yn Cilcam cyn adeiladu y capel, ac nis gwyddom pa flwyddyn y gwnaed hyny, na phwy oedd y personau mwyaf blaenllaw gyda'r gorchwyl. Mewn ysgrif o eiddo Mr. J. Evans, Hebron, yr hon sydd yn awr ger ein bron, dywedir, nad oedd nifer yr aelodau yma ond ychydig ar y dechreu, a thros rai blynyddoedd ni weinyddid yr ordinhad o swper yr Arglwydd iddynt ond unwaith bob tri mis, ac y disgwylid hwy i fod y ddau gymundeb arall yn Nglandwr. Bu y gofal yn hollol ar Mr. Griffiths, Glandwr, hyd y flwyddyn 1798, pryd yr urddwyd Mr. William Evan yn gynorthwywr iddo, a glynodd yr eglwys hon wrth Mr. William Evan pan yr aeth yn ymraniad yn Nglandwr, ac efe fu ei hunig weinidog hyd y flwyddyn 1818, pryd y rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. John Evans, aelod o'r eglwys, ond a fuasai yn fyfyriwr yn athrofa Caerfyrddin, i fod yn weinidog yma. Urddwyd Mr. Evans, Gorphenaf 23ain, 1818, ac ar yr achlysur gweinyddwyd gan Meistri J. Meyler, Rhosycaerau, D. Davies, Pantteg; D. Peter, Caerfyrddin; M. Jones, Trelech; a W. Evan yr hen weinidog. Yn mhen tri mis wedi urddo Mr. Evans, bu farw Mr. W. Evan, ac felly daeth gofal Hebron arno hefyd. Ymroddodd Mr. Evans yn egniol i gyflawni ei weinidogaeth, ond aeth rhai blynyddau heibio cyn y gwelodd nemawr o lwyddiant. Rhoddwn y dyfyniad canlynol o'i gofiant, yr hwn y mae yn sicr genym a ddarllenir gyda dyddordeb :-

"Wedi i mi lafurio am amryw flynyddau yn Mhenygroes, nid oeddwn yn gweled fawr o arwyddion llwyddiant. Yr oedd y gynnulleidfa yn lluosog iawn o ddynion ieuaingc. Meddyliais y gallaswn wneyd daioni trwy wneyd pregeth bwrpasol iddynt. Cyfansoddais y bregeth oreu y medrwn. Cyfodais yn foreu iawn y Sabboth canlynol i barotoi ar gyfer gwaith y dydd, ac yr oeddwn yn meddwl fod genyf bregeth dda iawn, a fy mod inau mewn yspryd priodol iawn i'w thraddodi, ac y gwnaethwn waith mawr y dydd hwnw. Pan ddaeth amser yr addoliad, aethum yn llawen tua'r addoldy. Dechreuais yn y drefn arferol; ond wedi profi afrwyddineb mawr mewn gweddi, dywedais ynof fy hun, "Os oedd y weddi yn afrwydd y mae genyf bregeth dda." Yna cymerais fy nhestyn, dechreuais bregethu, ond yn hynod o afrwydd, caled, a sych, ac yn dra anfoddhaol i mi fy hun. Cefais y cyfarfod mwyaf caled a gefais braidd erioed; ac wrth fyned, ac wedi myned adref, yr oeddwn mewn gofid parhaus oblegyd y fath gyfarfod. Yr oeddwn yn ystyried fod cyfleustra i wneyd daioni wedi ei golli, ac mai peth ofer fyddai i mi gynyg gwneyd pregeth i'r ieuengctyd drachefn. Yr wythnos ganlynol yr oeddwn yn teimlo yn anesmwyth iawn. Y nos Wener ganlynol aethym i'r gyfeillach yn isel iawn fy meddwl. Daeth dau yn mlaen yn y gyfeillach hono. Gofynais iddynt pa faint o amser oedd er pan yr oeddynt wedi meddwl am grefydd. Attebasant "Eu bod wedi meddwl dyfod at grefydd er's tro, ond mai pregeth y Sabboth diweddaf a ddarfu eu dwyn i benderfyniad yn awr." Yr oeddwn wedi synu, ac yn methu a dweyd yr un gair gan fy mod wedi cael y fath siomedigaeth, oherwydd fy mod yn credu fod llafur y Sabboth hwnw wedi myned yn gwbl ofer. Ond mewn canlyniad i'r cyfarfod hwnw derbyniwyd lluaws yn Mhenygroes am amryw flynyddau, ac ar eu derbyniad tystient mai y bregeth hono oedd wedi effeithio arnynt."

Y fath engraifft eglur nad yw llafur gonest a chydwybodol yn myned

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heibio yn ofer. Erbyn y flwyddyn 1828 yr oedd yr achos wedi myned rhagddo fel y bu raid ailadeiladu a helaethu y capel. Symudodd Mr. Evans i ardal Hebron i fyw, yr hyn a fu yn radd o golled i'r achos ond parhaodd i gyrchu yma yn rheolaidd i gyflawni ei weinidogaeth hyd ddiwedd y flwyddyn 1843 pan y rhoddodd ofal yr eglwys i fyny, ac y dewiswyd ei fab Mr. Simon Evans, yr hwn a fuasai yn efrydydd yn athrofa Caerfyrddin, i fod yn olynydd iddo. Urddwyd Mr. S. Evans, Ionawr, 24ain, 1844. Ar yr achlysur pregethwyd ar natur eglwys gan Mr. J. Griffiths, Tyddewi; holwyd y gofyniadau arferol gan Mr. H. Davies, Narberth; dyrchafwyd yr urdd-weddi gan Mr. J. Evans, Hebron, tad yr urddedig; pregethwyd ar ddyledswydd y gweinidog gan Mr. D. Davies, Pantteg, ac ar ddyledswydd yr eglwys gan Mr. Joseph Evans, Capel Sion. Parhaodd Mr. Evans i ofalu yn ffyddlon am yr eglwys am ddeuddeng mlynedd, hyd nes ar ol marwolaeth ei dad y symudodd i gymeryd gofal yr eglwysi yn Hebron a Nebo. Yn y flwyddyn 1854, cododd yr eglwys dy i'w gweinidog, ar dir Mr. Caleb Evans, Tygwyn, yr hyn sydd yn ychwanegiad gwerthfawr at gyfleusterau gweinidog mewn lle fel hyn. Cyn diwedd y flwyddyn 1856 rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. David Jones, myfyriwr o athrofa Caerfyrddin, ac urddwyd ef Chwefror 4ydd, 1857. Ar yr achlysur pregethwyd ar natur eglwys gan Mr. D. Davies, Pantteg; holwyd y gofyniadau gan Mr. J. Davies, Glandwr; dyrchafwyd yr urdd-weddi gan Mr. S. Evans, Hebron; pregethwyd i'r gweinidog gan Mr. S. Griffiths, Horeb; ac i'r eglwys gan Mr. H Jones, Caerfyrddin. Bu Mr. Jones yma hyd Hydref 3ydd, 1868, pryd y darfu ei gysylltiad 'r weinidogaeth yma. Yn Hydref 1869 cydnabyddwyd Mr. John R. Williams, yr hwn a urddasid yn Bettwsgwerfilgoch, yn weinidog yr eglwys yma, a bu yma hyd Chwefror,1872, ac y mae yr eglwys er hyny heb sefydlu ar weinidog. Cyfodwyd y personau canlynol i bregethu yn yr eglwys hon :-

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Translation by Eleri Rowlands (March 2008)

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"The Independents started preaching in this area in a place called Cilcam, in the parish of Eglwyswen. David Evans, Dyffrynmawr, was a member of the church in Llechryd, and preached occasionally. His wife was a member of the Calvinist Methodists in Capel-newydd; but no approach was made to establish a cause in this place until the year 1765, when Mr J. Griffiths, Glandwr, undertook to start one along with several other people. Before building the chapel, worship took place in Cilcam. We do not know when exactly that happened, nor who were the most prominent persons to do so. In an essay in the possession of Mr J. Evans, Hebron, which is now in front of us, it says, that the number of members was few at the beginning, and over some years the ordinance of the Lord's supper was served once every three months only, and they were expected to be in Glandwr for the other two. Mr Griffiths, Glandwr, had the complete responsibility for the care, until the year 1798, when Mr William Evan was ordained as an assistant to him, and this chapel held on to Mr William Evan when the split came about in Glandwr, and he was their only minister until the year 1818, when a call was given to Mr John Evans, a member of the church, but who was to be a student in Carmarthen college, to be a minister here. Mr Evans was ordained on July 23rd, 1818, and on this occasion Mr J. Meyler, Rhosycaerau, Mr D. Davies, Pantteg; Mr D. Peter, Carmarthen; Mr M. Jones, Trelech; and Mr W. Evan the former minister preached. Three months after the ordination of Mr Evans, Mr W. Evan died, and so the care of Hebron was put on his shoulders too. Mr Evans devoted himself energetically to fulfill his ministry, but some years went by before he saw much success. We offer this quotation from his biography, which I'm sure will be read with interest:-

"After I had laboured for some years in Penygroes, I had not seen many signs of success. The congregations were very full of young men. I thought I could do some good by preaching a purposeful sermon to them. I wrote the sermon as well as I could. I got up very early on the following Sunday to prepare for the work of the day, and thought that I had a really good sermon, and that I was in appropriate spirit to preach it, and that I would do some great work that day. When the time came for the worship, I went joyfully towards the place of worship. I started in the usual way; but when I experienced a difficulty with the prayer, I told myself "If I had a difficulty with the prayer, I do have a good sermon."Then I took my text, and started preaching, but with great difficulty, it was dry and very dissatifying for me. I had the most difficult meeting that I had ever had; and as I left and went home I was in a constant state of worry because of the meeting. I felt as if I had lost the opportunity to do some good, and that it was useless for me to preach directly to the young people again. The following week I felt very uncomfortable. The next Friday evening I went to the fellowship feeling very low. Two came forward in that meeting. I asked them how long it had been since they had thought of religion. They answered "That they had been thinking of coming to religion for a while, but that it was the sermon last Sunday that helped them to come to a decision."I was surprised, and was unable to utter a word as I had had such a shock, as I thought the sermon that night had been completely useless. But as a result of that meeting very many in Penygroes were accepted as members for many years, and on the occasion of their acceptance they testified that it was that sermon that had affected them."

It was such a clear example that honest, conscientious labour is

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never wasteful. By the year 1828 the cause had increased so much that we had to build and extend the chapel. Mr Evans moved to the Hebron area to live, which was a terrible loss to the cause but he continued to strive here regularly to fulfill his ministry until the end of 1843 when he gave up the care of the chapel and his son Mr Simon Evans, who was a student in Carmarthen college was chosen as his successor. Mr S. Evans was ordained on January 24th, 1844. On that occasion Mr J. Griffiths, St David's, preached on the nature of the church; Mr H. Davies, Narberth asked the usual questions; Mr J. Evans, Hebron, the father of the ordained prayed the main prayer; Mr D. Davies, Pantteg, preached about the responsibilities of the minister, and Mr Joseph Evans, Capel Sion, preached on the responsibiliteies of the church. Mr Evans continued to faithfully care for the chapel for twelve years, until after the death of his father he moved to take the care of Hebron and Nebo. In the year 1854, the chapel built a house for the minister on land owned by Mr Caleb Evans, Tygwyn, which is a valuable addition to the convenience of the minister in a place like this. Before the end of the year 1856 a call was sent to Mr David Jones, a student from Carmarthen college, and he was ordained on Febrary 4th, 1857. On that occasion Mr D. Davies, Pantteg, preached on the nature of the church; Mr J. Davies, Glandwr asked the usual questons; Mr S. Evans, Hebron, prayed the main prayer; Mr S. Griffiths, Horeb preached to the minister; and Mr H. Jones, Carmarthen to the chapel. Mr Jones was here until October 3rd, 1868, when he finished the connection with this ministry. In October 1869 Mr John R. Williams, who was ordained in Bettwsgwerfylgoch, was recognised as minister of this church, and he was here until February, 1872, and since then the chapel has not inducted a minister. The following persons were raised to preach in this chapel:-

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[Gareth Hicks: 6 March 2008]

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