Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PHILLIPS , THOMAS ( 1868 - 1936 ), Baptist minister ;

b. 5 Jan. 1868 at Lan , in the parish of Llan-y-cefn, Pembs. , the son of Levi and Phoebe Phillips . A member of the historic Baptist church of Rhydwilym , he became first of all a pupil-teacher at Whitland , but in 1886 entered Llangollen Baptist College as a candidate for the ministry. Two years later he won a scholarship at University College , Bangor . There he became a student of Henry Jones 's (q.v.) , and graduated with honours in philosophy in the University of London in 1890 . He was successively minister at Kettering and Norwich , until he took charge of the Baptist Institutional church at Bloomsbury , in London , in 1905 . Here his social work attracted wide attention, and he proved to be a preacher of outstanding gifts. The acme of his preaching career was his sermon to the Baptist World Congress at Philadelphia in 1911 . He became principal of the Baptist College , Cardiff , in 1928 , and remained there until his death on 21 April 1936 . In 1916 he was made president of the Baptist Union , and in 1928 , the McMaster University ( Toronto ) bestowed on him the degree of doctor of divinity .

He m. (1) 1892 , Martha John of Whitland (d. 1932 ), by whom he had seven children, and (2) 1934 , Anne Mary Saunders .


  • Anon., Thomas Phillips, 1868-1936 (London, 1937) (Kingsgate Press, n.d., a brochure by his daughter, Margaret Phillips , published in 1937 );
  • E. Ll. Williams , Thomas Phillips, 1868-1936 (Swansea, 1946) (Undeb Bedyddwyr Ieuanc Cymru, n.d.);
  • private information; personal knowledge.


Emeritus Professor David Williams, D.Litt., (1900-78), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959