He was ordained as the minister of Moreia , Tonypandy on 14 Oct. 1901 . He saw a recently founded church develop into a thriving cause, designing for itself a new place of worship in 1906 . He also saw the Rhondda valley roused by the Revival of 1904-05 and the growth of the Labour Movement . Like William John , the secretary of Moreia , he was one of the few who tried to avoid the estrangement and separation that occurred between these two forces: for his own reaction to the situation see the articles O fwg Morgannwg by O.K. ' that can be safely attributed to him in the period Oct 1907 — Mar. 1908 in Y Piwritan Newydd (the magazine of the Baptists of south-west Wales ). He was temporarily released from his pastorate in 1915 to serve with the Y.M.C.A. in France but within a year he accepted an invitation to become the minister of Castle Street church , London . He was installed there on 26 Oct. 1916 with David Lloyd George (see above) presiding at the service. The next years were in many senses a memorable period in the history of the church, e.g. renovating the chapel building in 1924 , sponsoring churches in distress in the Rhondda valley from 1928 onward, establishing churches in suburbs like Dagenham in 1928 . A feature of his ministry lay in welcoming and succouring the host of young people who thronged to London in the years of the depression and, in his own words, ‘ being a friend to young Welsh people away from home ’, thereby swelling the ranks of the church, by 1931 , to a membership of over 1000. He was also prominent in London — Welsh circles, e.g. he was the president of the Carmarthenshire Society 1954-56 . He was elevated to become the president of the Welsh section of the Baptist Union of Wales in 1952-53 and the subject of his address in Llandudno was ‘ Yr Uchel Alwedigaeth ’. Ill-health caused him to retire in 1934 and again in 1938 after having returned to the pastorate in 1937 .
He died on 10 July 1963 at his home at 122 Rivermead Court , Hurlingham , and he was cremated on 13 July at Golders Green . Memorial services were held at Moreia , Tonypandy and at Castle Street on 18 July and at Ramoth , Cwmfelinmynach on 21 July 1963 . He m. 18 Feb. 1936 , Gertrude Thomas (née Crocker ) of Epsom . She died on 9 Dec. 1942 .
Benjamin George Owens, M.A., Aberystwyth
Published date: 2001