Monday, May 25, 2009

Minister Behaving Badly: First Catch Your Mormon

A little-known factor in Welsh religious life was the short-lived rise of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There were anti-Mormon riots in Swansea and other places, while a number of men from Wales emigrated to Utah, forming the basis of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Indeed, it was a popular diversion for Welsh travellers to America to go to Salt Lake City and find Welsh polygamists. One episode in the history of Mormonism occurred in the town of Aberaman, towards the latter part of the nineteenth century.

David B. Jones of Rhumney (Bardic name 'Dewi Elfed), newly ordained minister of Gwawr Welsh Baptist Chapel, became a Mormon. Asked to give an account of his behaviour before the Baptist Association, he refused, claiming that that Association had no jurisdiction over him. Unsurpisingly, he was excommunicated in absentia. Howeverm in the meantime, he had altered the trust deeds of the chapel in his favour. Removing the names of a number of people, including Dr. Thomas Price, minister of Calfaria Baptist Chapel, Aberdare. Having altered the chapel deed in order to make the chapel more or less his personal property, the chapel fell into the hands of the Mormons.

The Baptist Association, led by Dr. Thomas Price, were not going to take this lying down. They went to law, and, in 1851, the courts ruled that the chapel was legally the property of the Baptist Association. David Jones declared that he had no intention of vacating the premises.

Dr. Price, together with 2000 supporters and the law officer, marched to the chapel in an attempt to take possession. Seeing their approach, David Jones locked himself inside the Chapel, together with one supporter. The court official declared that he had no authority to break down the door. That being the case, Dr. Price and one of his deacons gained access through a window. After 'a wild and exciting chase around the chapel galleries', the Baptist minister turned Mormon was caught, and forcibly ejected from the Chapel, Dr. Price kicking him out of the front door.

The Chapel was regained for the Welsh Baptists, and although David Jones threatened to bring a charge of assault against Dr. Price, the action was dropped. There are no Mormons at present in Aberaman.



Anonymous William Wilson said...

Dear Gervase very interresting Artcle on Minister behaving badly about the Mormons taken the weslh Baptist chapel.But the Weslh Baptists getting it back.As we all know that Mormon faith is a fasle belive and i have and Aunt who is a Mormon.So also thank you for your emails that you sent me.Cromer Convestion went very well on Monday Bank hoilday and Hugh preached two great sermons on 2 Samuel Chapter 6 and also read Psalm 95 and Psalm 96.So hope that you also had a good time on sunday preaching at London New life Bible Presbyterian church and that the Lord guide you in what he laid on your heart.
So do keep intouch and i will do the same.
Yours in his true grace of our Lord.From William.
I know that i am a Sinner and that Christ is a Saviour.John Newton.

9:15 a.m.  

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