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Grand Organ Recitals.

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Herthyr Board of Guardians.

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Old Aberdare. I I

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Old Aberdare. I Local History of the Baptist Denomination. (Continued.) Last year Calfaria Welsh Baptist Church, Aberdare, held Centenary Celebration Meetings, and the Rev. J. Griffiths. minister of the church, issued a book entitled Canralwvdd- iant Eglwys Calf aria, 1812—1912." In this work we learn that the his- tory of the Baptists in this district goes back to the last 10 years in the 18th century and the first 10 years in the 19th century. In 1790 David Oliver, of the Rhondda Valley, was in the habit of coming to Aberdare to preach. He was a shoemaker by occupation, and had served his ap- prenticeship in Aberdare. One Shon Richard and others used to ac- company him to Aberdare. and Oliver preached in a stable at the back of the present Carmel (English V Baptist) Chapel, then called "Pen- pound." It was in this stable that most of the services were held. though, a few were arranged in pri- vate houses. In 1791 four persons were baptised in Aberdare, viz., Hywel Morgan, Jane Jones. Mary Edwards and Hywel Morris. These became members of the 1: srrad (Rhondda) Baptist Church. In 1807 the cause flourished and a Sunday School was started in Aber-* dare by a number of young men from Seion, Merthyr. The meeting place was the Long Room of the Farmers' Arms, which was near the old mill in the centre of the town. The local Baptists afterwards met in a room above the old market., and the Rev. Rees Jones, Seion, Merthyr. and others used to come over tc preach here; and later the Rev. Maurice Jones, Ebenezer. Merthyr. In 1809 the cause was removed from the market room. In 1811 a piece of ground was leased from Mr. Griffith Davies, Ynyslwyd (father of Mr. D. P. Davies, J.P.), and Penpound (Carmel) was built, and was opened in 1812. For some- years there was no other house property higher than High Street, except Penpound Chapel, and the chapel house that stands in the back ground. In 1813 Mr. W m. Lewis was ordained minis- ter of Penpound. In 1815 the iron works stopped in consequence of the failure of the owner, and almost all the members of Penpound had to leave the district to seek work else- where. The minister also left and took up a church (Carmel) at Ponty- pridd, and he used to return to Aberdare occasionally to preach to the few remaining members here. Things grew better in 1819, and the membership once more increased. The Rev. William Williams, Paran, became minister in 1823, and Rev. Wm. Lewis in 1826. In 1829 the chapel was enlarged. It was in 1845 that the Rev. Wm. Lewis resigned. The Call to Dr. Price, At the end of the same year a call was given to Mr. Thomas Price. He was ordained minister of Pen- pound on Jan. 1st, 1846. The min- isters who took part in the ordin- ation services were Revs. D. Davies. Wauntrodau; B. Williafhs. Taber- nacle, Merthyr Wm. Jones. Cardiff Principal Thos. Thomas, Pontx- pool; J. Richards, Pontypridd; D. Saunders. Pontypool; J. Jones, Seion. Merthyr, and W. R. Davies, Dowlais. The number of members in Penpound at this time was 91, in- cluding a branch at Mountain Ash. which was under the charge of Dr. Price. Four were baptised in the first year. A Sunday School was started at Abernant, and prayer meetings were held there, and the same was done at Trecynon. Llwyd- coed, Tregibbon, Penvwain. and Aberaman. The superintendent re- sponsible for this Work was Mr. Thomas Dyke. XEW deacons were appointed in 1849, viz., Phillip John. David Hughes, Wm. Davies. John Thomas. Thos. Dyke and John Davies. In 1851, after much thought and consideration, it Was resolved to build a new chapel—Calfaria—and this was ready early in 1852. On February 8th, 1852, the first service was held in Calfaria, and the spec- ial opening meetings were held in May, 1852. In 18-55 the Heolyfelin Baptist Church was incorporated under the auspices of the Hirwain Baptist Church; and in 1856 91 members from Calfaria were transferred to .