Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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EVANS , JOHN ( 1840 - 1897 ), Wesleyan minister ;

b. [28] Sept. 1840 at Tŷ Du , Eglwys-bach, Denbs. He was educated at the local National school and then worked on his father's farm until he entered the ministry. He began to preach at the age of 17, and within a few months every chapel to which he went was full to overflowing — often with more people outside than in. During the earliest part of his career there were several ludicrous incidents when people, refusing to believe that one of such youthful appearance was the preacher , sternly rebuked him for trying to push his way through the crowd into the chapel. His handsome appearance, the incomparable charm of his voice, his lively imagination, his dramatic manner, his sincerity, and his fervour, gave him an unbelievable influence over his congregations. There is a mass of evidence to show that they sometimes so completely lost control of themselves under the spell of his oratory that he was forced to sit down until the wave of emotion had passed. In the course of his life he converted thousands. He entered the ministry in 1860 and laboured at Amlwch ( 1860 ), Mold ( 1863 ), Liverpool ( 1866 ), Bethesda ( Tregarth circuit) ( 1869 ), Liverpool ( Chester Street ) ( 1872 ), Liverpool ( Shaw Street ) ( 1875 ), London ( 1878 ), Bangor ( 1886 ), Oswestry ( Llanrhaeadr Mochnant circuit) ( 1889 ). He was minister at the English chapel , Liverpool Road , London ( 1890 ), and started a mission at Pontypridd ( 1893 ). He d. in Liverpool when on a preaching tour, 23 Oct. 1897 .

He m. (1) Charlotte , daughter of John Pritchard , Norwood Grove , Liverpool , and (2) Clara Kate Richardson of Ealing . He went to the U.S.A. on preaching tours in 1873 and 1887 , was elected a member of the Legal Hundred of his denomination ( 1884 ) and chairman of the South Wales province ( 1895 ), and delivered the ‘Provincial Lecture’ in 1886 . His principal lectures dealt with: the Four Denominations ; Bishop Morgan ; Thomas Aubrey ; and the Power of Custom . He edited Y Winllan , 1878-9 , and, in connection with the Pontypridd mission , brought out a monthly, Y Fwyell , 1894-7 . He published three volumes of sermons, Pwlpud Cymraeg City Road , and a biography, John Wesley, ei Fywyd a'i Lafur . His recollections were published in Y Fwyell , and the story of his first tour in the U.S.A. in Yr Eurgrawn .

Sources:

  • Cofiant y Parch. John Evans, Eglwysbach (yn cynnwys ei ‘adgofion‘) , 1903 by Thomas Hughes and J. P. Roberts , 1903 ;
  • Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd , Dolgellau Coffa, Dec. 1897 ;
  • Y Fwyell cyhoeddiad misol yn nglyn a chenhadaeth deheudir Cymru / The Battle-axe , 1894-1897 .

Author:

Rev. Edward Tegla Davies, D.Litt., (1880-1967), Bangor

Published date: 1959