Evans, John, 'Eglwys-bach'
1840-1897; e.m. 1861

Welsh WM minister, born at Eglwys-bach, Denbighshire on 28 September 1840, He was invariably referred to as John Evans, Eglwysbach, or even 'Yr Eglwysbach' after his birthplace, and sometimes called 'the Welsh Spurgeon' because of his stature as a preacher. He began to preach at 17 and to draw great crowds while still working on his father's farm. He went to minister in Anglesey in 1860, though not stationed there by Conference until 1861. Ordained in 1865, he served in nine Welsh circuits (including Liverpool and London) and made American preaching tours in 1873 and 1887. After three years in the English work in London, he returned to Pontypridd in 1893 to found a Glamorgan Mission and became Chairman of the South Wales District in 1895. He edited Y Winllan, 1878-79 and published his own monthly Y Fwyell, 1894-97. Strikingly handsome and with a voice of great purity and charm, he appealed not only through his dramatic powers, but also through his profound sincerity. He published three volumes of sermons and a biography of John Wesley in Welsh. He died suddenly at Liverpool on 23 October 1897. A chapel at Pontypridd was named in his memory.

  • Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd, 1897 (a memorial volume)
  • J.P. Roberts & T. Hughes, Cofiant y Parch, John Evans Eglwysbach (Bangor, 1903), including an unfinished autobiography
  • Glyn Tegai Hughes, in Lionel Madden (ed.), Methodism in Wales (2003), pp.94-6
  • Dictionary of Welsh Biography
  • Oxford DNB

Entry written by: GTH
Category: Person
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