THE EARLY HISTORY OF SARON CHAPEL

Hanes Eglwysi Annibynol Cymru gan Thomas Rees Abertawe Published 1875
Translated by Mike Jones with a certain number of corrections by my wife!

About the year 1820 a number of people in this area decided to start a Sunday School and it was held from house to house. Within two years Robert Davies and his wife came to live in the Mill, Troedyrhiw. He was a member of the Methodists in Pontmorlais and his wife was a member in Bethesda and they opened their doors to the school. The Methodists and Independents ran the school jointly and participating preachers from both denominations came occasionally to visit them. The School was held at 9oclock in the morning, the Methodist Service was at 2pm and the Independent Service at 6pm. W. Morgan who came from Pentre Ty Gwyn came to Troedyrhiw to run the day school and he was a tremendous help in running the Sunday School and when Roberts Davies and his family moved from the Mill, the schoolmaster opened his house to the Sunday School, and from this date the Sunday School was run completely by the Independents. Mr M Jones Bethesda came here as often as he could to preach and when he could not come, lay preachers who belonged to Bethesda chapel came to help. It was decided to build a chapel and a small piece of land was given by Sir John Guest, Dowlais in July 1833. The Chapel was built and it was named Saron and it measured 32ft by 28ft with a gallery. The total cost was £409-5-11d. It was opened on February 10th 1835 and Ministers who took part were Messrs T Rees Craigyrfargoed, J Hughes Dowlais, J. Davies, Llantrisant, J.Thomas, Adulam and others. Up to now they had been considered as Members of Bethesda but having had a new chapel, they were incorporated as an Independent Church and the responsibility and care for the chapel rested with the few Members in Troedyrhiw. They were only 29 in number and the burden of the debt was a problem but they found that the Ministers of the neighbouring churches were very helpful. After the death of Mr M Jones and with their link to Bethesda already broken, they decided to have their own Minister and they invited Mr David Thomas of Hermon near Llandeilo to become their Minister. He had been for a while in the School at Rhydybont. He was inducted on November 19th 1840. Taking part in the Service were Messrs W. Jones, Penybont, D Jones, Aber, J Stephens, Brychgoed: E Davies Libanus: L Powell Cardiff: D Davies Llansantffraid: D Williams, Bethlehem: T. James,Hermon: W Griffiths, Llanharan: J Hughes, Dowlais and T Rees Craigyrfargoed. Mr Thomas had only a very short term in which to labour in Troedyrhiw but he was notable. He was successful and loved by everyone in the Church and Congregation. His health deteriorated and he died on October 6th 1843. The Church was not long without a Minister. Early in 1844 Mr William Morgan received an invitation. He had been ordained shortly before in Ogwr Vale and he started his Ministry in April 1844 and his labours continue to this day. The Church and the Congregation grew and more land was needed to expand but Sir John Guest was unwilling to provide any more. It was then found that Mr Wyndham Lewis was the actual owner and he was willing to give them the land and also a large area for a cemetery. They built a Chapel measuring 46ft by 42ft at a cost of £700. It was opened on the 4th and 5th April 1852. Ministers taking part were Messrs H Oliver BA, Pontypridd: J Hughes Dowlais: J Thomas Aberaman: T Jeffreys, Penycae: D Jones Bethesda: J Evans Cymer: T Rees, Cendl: I Thomas Towyn: J Thomas Graig Rhymney: J Evans Maendy: W Williams Hirwaun: W Griffiths Llanharan: L Powell, Cardiff: and others. The Cause has held its path throughout the years and grown stronger; through the labour of Mr Morgan and Members of this Church, they formed an offshoot Church In Abercanaid. The following people preached in Abercanaid:-
Rees Morgan One time pupil in Brecon College and now in Bethlehem, St Clears.
Llewellyn Llewellyn who went to the Methodists and is now in Abercarn

Daniel Jones, Educated in Brecon and ordained in the English Church in Hirwaun. He went to Mountain Ash to keep a shop and had a hand in the beginning of the English Church there. His circumstances failed and he retreated to the Established Church. He went to Lampeter to be educated to go into the State Church but he died there.

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