Tom Ellis Jones moved to be minister of the Welsh Baptist church in Soar, Llwynhendy, in 1929, and soon after settling there he gained an University of Wales Master of Arts degree for a thesis tracing doctrinal trends in Wales, with special reference to Fullerism. In 1936 he delivered a lecture to the Welsh Baptist Historical Society based on his research and this was published in the ‘Transactions of the Welsh Baptist Historical Society’ (Trafodion Cymdeithas Hanes Bedyddwyr Cymru) 1936. In 1929 he was elected tutor in Holy Scripture in his old theological and University College, becoming Principal of the Baptist College from 1959 to 1967. During his term as Principal, the Baptist College celebrated the centenary of its foundation in Llangollen in 1862.
Tom Ellis Jones contributed extensively to the literature of his denomination. He served for many years as editor of the Welsh Baptist weekly, Seren Cymru, and assisted the aged Revd E. Cefni Jones when he was editing the Welsh Baptist hymnbook, Llawlyfr Moliant Newydd, which was published in 1956. Five of his own hymns and a vesper were included in the hymn book. Essays from his pen appeared in The Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (1959) and in several numbers of Seren Gomer and Trafodion Cymdeithas Hanes Bedyddwyr Cymru. In the 1960s he chaired a commission on the Ministry set up by the Baptist Union of Wales and was largely responsible for the report it published, Adroddiad Comisiwn y Weinidogaeth. To help young believers he wrote two short books - Credo Cristion (‘The Christian's Belief’) and Paham? (‘Why?’), Y Portread, a volume of meditations on the Sermon on the Mount, and Sgroliau'r Môr Marw, a study of the documents discovered in caves surrounding the Dead Sea.
Tom Ellis Jones was an able communicator and his services as a preacher were in demand throughout Wales. His contributions to Welsh religious life were recognised in several areas. He served as President of the Welsh Baptist Association of Caernarfon (1954-55) and President of the Baptist Union of Wales (1965-66); following a term as President of the North Wales Free Church Federal Council he was elected the first President of the National body when that was formed.
He died in Bangor on Sunday, 16 November 1975.
D. Hugh Matthews
Published date: 2010