Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JONES , JOHN MORGAN ( 1873 - 1946 ), minister (Congl.) and Principal of Bala-Bangor College, Bangor ;

b. 23 October 1873 at Albert Cottage , Cwmaman, Carms. , the sixth child and second son of Joseph Jones , engineer , and Mary , his wife. After a course of education at the school in the Market Hall , he worked in the office of a local tinworks . He began preaching at New Bethel church , Garnant , under the ministry of the Revd. J. Towyn Jones in 1889 and subsequently became a student at the Gwynfryn Academy , Ammanford . In 1891 he was admitted to Brecon Memorial College and graduated with honours in English at Univ. College Cardiff in 1894 . He began his theology course at Brecon in 1895 but moved to Mansfield College , Oxford , in 1896 and graduated B.A. in the theology schools in 1899 . Then followed a year's stay at the University of Berlin under the tuition of the church historian Adolf Harnack , the teacher who above all others made the most lasting impression upon him.

He was ordained minister of Tabernacle English Congregational church , Aberdare , in 1900 and played a prominent part in the public life of the town during his stay there. He was a Liberal member of the Town Council from April 1904 until April 1907 and formulated A Scheme and Syllabus of Moral and Biblical Instruction ( Aberdare , 1905 ) for the day-schools of Aberdare . In 1902 he married Lucy Evans of Bridgnorth ; two sons and one daughter were born of the marriage. In January 1914 he moved to Bangor to become Professor of Church History and English literature at Bala-Bangor Independent College . With the Principal , Dr Thomas Rees ( DWB , 830-1) , he took a leading role in publishing the pacifist newspaper Y Deyrnas from October 1916 to November 1919 . When Thomas Rees died in 1926 he succeeded him as principal , a post which he held until his own death on 7 March 1946 . His remains were buried in Glanadda Cemetery , Bangor .

Throughout his life he was deeply interested in education and was chairman of the north Wales branch of the Workers’ Educational Association from 1926 to 1946 . In the University of Wales he was Warden of the Guild of Graduates , 1930-33 and Vice-president of the University College of North Wales , 1944-46 . In his denomination he was chairman of the North Wales Congregational Union 1933-34 and President of the Union of Welsh Independents , 1939-40 .

He expressed his theological liberalism and his interest in public affairs in a host of articles and books. Important articles by him appeared in the Celt , The Christian Commonwealth and Geiriadur Beiblaidd . He contributed chapters to M.E. Sadler 's Moral Instruction and Training in Schools , 1905 ; to Welsh Political and Educational Leaders , on David Rees , Llanelli ; and on the Gospel according to St. Matthew to The Story of the Bible , 1938 . He edited Yr Efrydydd from April 1928 until Sept. 1931 and the Cofiadur from 1923 to 1946 . He also edited Hanes ac Egwyddorion yr Annibynwyr , 1939 . His other publications were: Y Tadau Pererin: eu Hanes a'u Neges , Merthyr Tydfil , 1920 ; Paul of Tarsus: the Apostle and his Message , York , [ 1916 ]; Dysgeidiaeth Iesu Grist first published in 1921 by the Union of Welsh Independents and revised and reprinted at Cardiff , 1937 ; The New Testament in Modern Education , London , 1922 ; (with G.A. Edwards ) Diwinyddiaeth yng Nghymru ( Traethodau'r Deyrnas ), 1924 ; Traethodau'r Diwygiad ( Cyfres y Werin , Rhif 14) Wrecsam , 1926 ; Y Bedwaredd Efengyl (2 Vols.), Abertawe , 1930 , 1931 ; Y Testament Newydd: ei hanes a'i gynnwys , Caerdydd , 1930 ; Sgwrs: Cymdeithas Addysg y Gweithwyr , Bangor , ( 1940 ).

Sources:

  • D. J. Williams , Hanes Coleg Bala-Bangor , unpublished , (unpublished);
  • J. E. Lloyd in The Congregational Year Book , 1947 , 464;
  • Y Dysgedydd , 1946 , 107-111;
  • Y Drysorfa , 1947 , 59-63;
  • Y Tyst , 1946, Mar. 12, 21, 28, Apr. 11;
  • Minutes of Aberdare Town Council;
  • information from Mr. John Jenkyn Morgan, Glanaman ; Mr. C. E Thomas, Bangor ; Mrs. E. W. Knight Jones and Rev. R. G. Owen, Bangor .

Author:

Rev. Principal Robert Tudur Jones, D.Phil., (1921-98), Bangor

Published date: 2001