[Footnotes are changed from symbols to numbers and are endnotes.]
We have every reason to believe that the Welsh Baptists had their associations, and that Dyfrig, Illtyd, and Dynawt, were the leading men among them, long before Austin's attempt to convert them to Popery, in that association which was held on the borders of England, about the year 600.
The first association after the reformation, as far as we can find, was held at Abergavenny, on the 14th and 15th days of the sixth month, in the year 1653; when the ministers and messengers of five of the old and apostolical Baptist order, met and calmly and deliberately considered the best means to be adopted for the furtherance of the gospel of Christ. They represented the churches of Olchon, Llantrisaint, Llanwenarth, Swansea, and Carmarthen.1 They unanimously agreed that the church of Olchon should ordain more elders and deacons, and assist the church of Llanwenarth to support their minister. The names of the delegates are not recorded. It is only stated, that twenty-four of them signed the minutes; and J. Thomas, the Welsh historian, has given us only the names of seven of them - namely: Howel Vaughan, Walter Prosser, Thomas Parry, Howel Watkins, Charles Garson, and Stephen Brace.
The next association was held at Aberavon, within the bounds of the church of Swansea, in the year 1654; wherein it was resolved, that the church of Carmarthen being destitute of a pastor, should be, supplied by other ministers in regular rotation; and that John Miles, David Davis, Walter Prosser, and William Prichard, should prepare writings to be presented to the next association, on the duty of pastors, deacons, and members of churches; which also they did. John Miles was appointed to visit the churches of Olchon and Llanwenarth, as often as he could during the year, to assist them, and to endeavor to ascertain whether there were any among them that were likely to be useful in the work of the ministry, and to form his
judgment of the gifts and qualifications of such as had commenced preaching.
The next association was held at Llantrisaint, in the same year; when the subject of laying on of hands on the baptized, first came under their consideration. The above named ministers, and William Thomas also, were appointed to write on the subject against the next association, to be held at the Hay, within the hounds of the Olchon church.
We have not seen the account of that association, but soon afterwards Messrs. Ruler and Hopkins, who were great advocates for it, were sent down from Glaziers' Hall church, London, to Wales, and laid their hands on some of the children of Gomer, for the first time since the introduction of Christianity into the Isle of Britain. By degrees, it became a universal practice. Some yearsafterwards, the question was agitated again in the churches of Maesyberllan and Ebenezer, and finally settled by the association that it should not be a bar of communion.
The associations were held afterwards in the following places:Year. Places. Ministers appointed to preach. 1650 Swansea. 1651 Carmarthen. 1653 Fenni. 1654 Aberafon. 1654 Llantrisaint. 1655 Gelli. 1656 Brecon. 1689 London.2 1690 Do. [the same] 1691 London. 1692 Do. 1693 Bristol. 1694 Do. 1695 Do. 1696 Do. 1697 Do. 1698 Taunton. 1699 Do. 1700 Llanwenarth. 1701 Do. 1702 Swansea 1703 Llanwenarth - Richard Williams. 1704 Swansea Philip James. 1705 Llanwenarth - Abel Morgan. 1706 Swansea - Morgan Grifths. 1707 Llanwenarth - Nathan Davies or Caleb Evans. 1708 Rhydwilim - John Jenkins or Samuel Jones. 1709 Maesyberllan - Minutes lost. 1710 Do. [the same]
1711 Hengoed - Minutes lost. 1712 Llanwenarth Do. 1713 Rhydwilim - Nathan Davies. 1714 Swansea 1715 Blaenau 1716 Llanwenarth - John Jenkins or Nathan Davies. 1717 Blaenau - Morgan Griffiths or John Harris. 1718 Llanelli 1719 Rhydwilim - John Jenkins or John Harris. 1720 Maesyberllan - John Harris or Enoch Francis. 1721 Coomb - Enoch Francis or W. Meredith. 1722 Hengoed - David James or Nathan Davies. 1723 Llanwenarth - Nathan Davies or Samuel Jones, 1724 Blaenau - Samuel Jones or W. Meredith. 1725 Llanelli - Caleb Evans or William Philips. 1726 Cilfowyr - N. Davies or Morgan Griffiths. 1727 Swansea - Morgan Jones or Enoch Francis. 1728 Rhydwilim - Enoch Francis or John Philips. 1729 Llanglophan - John Jenkins or Caleb Evans. 1730 Hengoed 1731 Llanwenarth - Griffith Jones or John Jenkins. 1732 Blaenau - John Jenkins or Miles Harris. 1733 Penyfay - Enoch Francis or Roger David. 1734 Penygarn - Enoch Francis, Matthew 24:45. Bern'd Foskett, Bristol, 1 Timothy 4:7 1735 Llanelli - Roger David, 1 Timothy 4:16. 1736 Rhydwilim - Miles Harris, Romans 10:15. Hugh Evans, Ephesians 3:8. 1737 Newcastle - Morgan Griffiths, Acts 26:28. 1738 Hengoed - Thomas Mathias, Jeremiah 3:15. 1739 Llanwenarth - Griffith Jones, 1 Corinthians 4:1, 2. Hugh Evans, Philippians 4:8. 1740 Cilfowyr - Morgan Harris, Job 33:23. Hugh Evans, 2 Kings, 2:14. 1741 Blaenau - David Owen, 1 Corinthians 16:10. Bern'd Foskett, Bristol, 1 Thessalonians 1:5. 1742 Llanglophan - Griffith Davies or Hugh Evans. 1743 Cilfowyr - Miles Harris, Jeremiah 15:19. Evan Jenkins, 2 Timothy 2:19. 1744 Penygarn - D.Thomas, Cilfowyr, 1 Chronicles 29:1. Hugh Evans, Isaiah 62:6,7. 1745 Pentref - Thomas Edwards, 2 Timothy 2:15. Evan Jenkins, Hebrews 12:15. 1746 Swansea - Griffith Jones, 2 Chronicles 15:7.
Evan Jenkins, Jude 1:21. 1747 Brechfa - Evan Thomas, John 21:17. Evan Jenkins, 1 Thessalonians 2:12. 1748 Garth - Griffith Jones, 1 Corinthians 2:2. Hugh Evans, 2 Corinthians 5:20. 1749 Llanelli - G. Thomas, Newcastle, 2 Corinthians 5:11. D. Thomas, Cilfowyr, Matthew 22:4. Griffith Jones, 2 Corinthians 13:2. 1750 Moleston - Evan Jenkins, Matthew 16.11. John Thomas, 2 Timothy 4:5. 1751 Hengoed. - Griffith Davis and Evan Jenkins. 1752 Aberduar - Edmund Watkins, Mark 16:15. Caleb Harris, Colossians 4:3, 4. 1753 Maesdorglwyd - D. Thomas, Cilfowyr, 1 Timothy 4:16. Griffith Davies, Ephesians 3:8. 1754 Rhydwilim - Caleb Harris, 2 Timothy 2:25. Miles Harris, 1 Corinthians 15:34. 1755 Bethesda - Richard Jones, 2 Timothy 4:2. Hugh Evans, 2 Timothy 2:1. 1756 Llandyssil - Miles Harris, Revelation 14:6, 7. Griffith Davis, Acts 5:42. 1757 Llanwenarth - T. Thomas, Aberduar, 1 Corinthians 9:16. Hugh Evans. 1758 Llanglophan - David Owen, Colossians 4:17. Hugh Evans, 1 Corinthians 1:23,24. 1759 Blaenau - Evan Thomas, Luke 12:42. Hugh Evans, Acts 4:24. 1760 Cilfowyr - Edmund Watkins, Luke 14:23. Benjamin Francis, Titus 2:14. 1761 Penygarn - D. Thomas, Newcastle, Matthew 21:42. Hugh Evans, Romans 1:16. 1762 Pentref - John Williams, Colossians 1:28. Benjamin Francis, 1 Peter 2:2. 1763 Swansea - D. Thomas, Rhydwilim, Psalm 51:13. Hugh Evans, Ephesians 4:12, 13. Caleb Evans, D. D., Philippians 2:1. 1764 Maesyberllan - James Lewis, 2 Timothy 2:15. Hugh Evans, Hosea 14:5. 1765 Dolau - George Rees, 1 Peter, 5:2. Benjamin Francis, Micah 2:7. 1766 Llanelli - T. Thomas, Aberduar, Isaiah 27:13. Hugh Evans, Zechariah 14:20. 1767 Moleston - Griffith Davies, Colossians 1:28.
Caleb Evans, D. D., Colossians 3:11. 1768 Hengoed - D. Thomas, Newcastle, 2 Corinthians 4:5. Sam. Stennett, D. D., Matthew 28:20. 1769 Aberduar - D.Thomas, Rhydwilim, 2 Corinthians 5:14. Benjamin Francis, Revelation 3:19. 1770 Capelyffin - John Williams, Acts 6:22-23. Hugh Evans, Malachi 2:15. 1771 Penyfay - William Williams, 2 Corinthians 5:11. Benjamin Francis, Psalm 126:6. 1772 Rhydwilim - Griffith Davies, 2 Corinthians 5:20. William Williams, Hebrews 12:2. 1773 Bethesda - John Williams, Matthew 22:4. Hugh Evans, Zechariah 1:5. 1774 Ebenezer - Edmund Watkins, Acts 20:26, 27. Benjamin Francis, 1 Corinthians 15:58. 1775 Brynbyga - William Williams, Hosea 7:9. Hugh Evans, Hebrews 12:22, 23. Thomas Hiller, Luke 8:35. 1776 Panteg - John Thomas, Deuteronomy 33:3. Benjamin Francis, Philippians 1:27. Joshua Thomas, Psalm 42:5. 1777 Caerleon - George Rees, 1 Corinthians 5:18. Hugh Evans, Luke 12:43. Benjamin Francis, 1 Corinthians 2:2. 1778 Salem - Thomas Philips, Acts 15:16. Benjamin Francis, Luke 10:2. 1779 Glyn - John Williams, John 1:1, 3. S. Medley, Liverp'l, Zechariah 9:16, 17. Stephen Davies, Matthew 16:24. George Rees, Acts 11:21. 1780 Llanwenarth - Zecharias Thomas, Gal. 6:14. Caleb Evans, D. D., 1 Timothy 1:15. Benjamin Francis, 1 Thessalonians 2:13. David Evans, Ephesians 1:23. 1781 Llanglophan - William Williams, Hebrews 3:7, 8. John Thomas, Jeremiah 3:23. Benjamin Francis, Matthew 25:21. 1782 Blaenau - George Rees, Zechariah 3:4. Benjamin Francis, Zechariah 14:3. 1783 Cilfowyr - Morgan Rees, 1 Peter 2:4. Miles Edwards, Psalm 23:5. T. Thomas, Peckham, Romans 5:11. 1784 Penygarn - David Evans, Graig, Zechariah 9:9. Caleb Evans, D. D., Psalm 119:129. John Richard, Graig, Luke 2:10.
H. Davies, Llanglophan, John 1:14. Benjamin Morgan, Zechariah 4:8. 1785 Graig - Zechariah Thomas, Song of Solomon 2:9. David Jones, 1 Timothy 1:10. T. Thomas, Peckham, John 8:32. 1786 Pentref - Miles Edwards, Psalm 36:7. H. Davies, Llanglophan, Jeremiah 15:19. Caleb Evans, D. D., 1 John 4:10. Josh. Thomas, same text in Welsh. George Rees, 2 Corinthians 5:4. 1787 Heol y Prior - David Jones, Malachi 1:11. T. Thomas, Peckham, 1 John 2:3. Job Davis, Frome, 2 Corinthians 4:7. T. Thomas, Aberduar, Isaiah 53:10. 1788 Llanerchymedd - Morgan Rees, Habakkuk 3:9. D. Powell, Matthew 17:26. Gabriel Rees, Luke 24:26. Benjamin Philips, Ecclesiastes 3:3. David Evans, Dolau, Revelation 1:20. B. Davies, Hwlffordd, John 3:19. H. Davies, Llanglophan, Ephesians 3:8. David Evans, Cilfowyr, Psalm 149:2. T. Thomas, Aberduar, Isaiah 14:32. 1789 Maesyberllan - William Williams, Nehemiah 8:2. Caleb Evans, D. D., Acts 15:9. George Rees, 1 Timothy 6:6. Benjamin Francis, Romans 6:15. 1790 Dolau - Edmund Watkins, Luke 14:22, 23. Benjamin Francis, Philippians 3:16. John Evans, Roe, 2 Corinthians 4:7. David Jones, Isaiah 40:7. Joshua Thomas, Joshua 21:45.
1 From the history of the above churches, we find that each of them had several branches; and that every minister was both a pastor and a missionary, within the bounds of his own church. The distance from Llanwenarth to Carmarthen is about one hundred miles, and nearly as much from Olchon to Swansea.
2 This year the association published their Confession of Faith, which was adopted by the Philadelphia Baptist Association in 1742.
[From J. Davis, History of the Welsh Baptists, 1835; reprint, 1976, pp. 187-192. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
More on Welsh Baptists
Baptist History Homepage