The history of Nebo Chapel

Written in 1934 by Dora Williams Tyn Graig

(Rough translation from Welsh text)

With searching and going through the memories in the district it can be seen that the cause started in my home in Tyn Graig in October 1807 when John Jones preached. I do not know why they were preaching   in Tyn Graig. It was said it was once an inn but not at this time.

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It is obvious therefore that the Rev John was working here in the cause in Rhiw before building the Independent chapel in the district. This chapel was built through the efforts of John Jones and the local people in the year 1813 but it was only a small chapel and the cause was very weak. John Jones was sent here to fulfil the work of ministry in Sept 1820 and continued to work after that for 7 years until he was struck down with a severe illness and after a fortnight of pain he died, 3 Sept 1827, 53 years old and was buried in the cemetery alongside the chapel.

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       Nebo Chapel                          Dora Williams

After being some time without a minister Mr William Morris, a young man from Cardiganshire was sent here in March 1828. Mr Morris was a strong man physically but weak in spirit which led him to a painful end. Having laboured here for 2 years he had a medical illness  which  prevented him from carrying on his ministry.  He left the country and was for some time in France. Mr Morris was a good man and used to this land but he was so nervous that anything tiresome almost drove him mad.

Then a call was given to John Morgan of Dowlais. He came here in October 1832 and was here for 4 years. He left in 1836 and went to Abererch and Mr Owen Thomas from Pentre Foelas looked after the chapel for a period but John Morgan came back and was here until 1838 when he moved to Abergwili South Wales.

Rolant Williams Tyn Y Muriau did everything in the chapel; was 79 years old in 1839. When Mr Thomas Davies of Ffestiniog was here for a little while after the departure of Mr Morris but his stay was short. Others were here for a short time, but there was no permanent minister here until Mr John Owen, a student from Bala. He came March 5 1845. He worked here for two years and then moved to Nefyn. Having been a short while without a minister they appointed Mr Thomas Thomas from Ffrwyfal College and he was installed May 23rd 1849. Mr Thomas worked hard and successfully in the ministry over a wide area for 5 years until he moved to Llanfair near Lampeter Cardiganshire, 28 Dec 1852. Monthly meetings at Nebo Preachers; Ambrose D Griffith Bethel, Pwllheli and T.G. Roberts 29 July 1852.

Rev D Griffith, Bethel at Nebo 12 March 1854 Text Psalm 24 verse 1.

After his departure came Mr Henry Rees Pentraeth but he was not here long. After that Mr Joseph Morris took charge of these churches and part of his ministry was restoring the chapel in 1856. Mr Morris was the supervisor in building at the Madryn Estate, the property of Mr Jones Parry the M.P. for Caernarfonshire at the time and because of that he had to give up his care of these churches and there was nobody looking after them after this although he was preaching every Sunday in these places where there was a vacancy which was well received. A day school was held in Nebo chapel in 1856 on Mondays. Sion Williams Tudweiliog, Penparciau Robert Parry Tyn Lon, died 26 Oct 1858 and was buried at Nebo by Joseph Morriss

In 1859 Mr William Powell from Llanelli came here for a short season. In the beginning of 1863 Evan Lloyd if Pentre, Lleyn came. He was inducted in August 1863, but Mr Lloyd only lived 13 months after that. He died suddenly on the road when returning from the chapel on Sept 3 1864.

A year later Mr Howell R Jones from Drws y Coed was appointed and inducted 21 March 1865. He was here until spring of 1870 when he moved to the board of Edeyrn, Anglesey. Early in the following year Mr David Davies from Dysgwndum Cardiganshire was appointed and during his ministry the chapel was rebuilt in 1876.

In the year 1877 Mr Davies moved from here to Gwalchmai Anglesey and the chapel was for a long time after this without a minister. Because of the inconvenience of the place and the difficulty getting a minister to serve the sacraments it was decided by the chapels in Hebron to call Mr William Williams Pwll Crwn who was a deacon and lay preacher, to help and a meeting was held to confirm that in Januaru 1881. Then Mr j Roberts came from Conway then Mr Williams who was a great help in this place.

In 1885 Mr James G Jones of Penygroes was called. Mr Jones had received the call to these churches the previous year but refused them that time but on the second calling he thought he had a direct call from God and decided to come. He started here in May and stayed for 5 years. He changed the church and he had a new perspective but in 1890 he had a call to Newtown.

Then there was a period of about 10 years without a minister, until Mr John Hughes Brynsiencyn, Anglesey was in our midst in 1899. He was only here a bare 8 months. One morning in January 1900 he had dressed to set out for Nebo but he had to break his arrangements for this journey from which he never came back. In the following year Mr Thomas Lloyd from college in Cardigan started on his work in November 1901.

The ordaining chapel meeting was Jan 5&6 1902. Professor D E Jones , MA cardigan preached in the ordaining service David Rees, capel mawr Anglesey, Mr Rhedol Roberts Abersoch, Evan Jones Llanbedrog, T Williams Capel Helyg,  JJ Jones BA Pwllheli Mr ross Hughes Borth y Gest and the brother of Mr Lloyd the late Mr Emrys Lloyd New Tredegar. Mr Lloyd was minister here for 8 years and his ministry was exceptionally successful. There was a debt on the chapel at this time but he was very keen to see the debt cleared and decided to go round the members to collect and cleared it.

In 1903 it was Nebo’s turn to have the quarterly meeting and this was the first quarterly meeting that was held here for many a year, if not the first ever. And the chapel was not at the time very suitable to hold it but Mr Lloyd succeded in receiving them and he preached along with other preachers. Mr Lloyd left here for Rhostryfan in 1909.

In 1911 a call was given to the Rev JR Evans Pennal. He and his wife were exceptionally busy in the neighbourhood, two quarterly meetings were held in the course of his ministry. His health broke down and he suffered severe pain for many years and I think he was seen to be preaching every Sunday. Eventually he had surgery , he miraculously came through.. He also lost one of his children and one of his brothers while here. He suffered the whole quietly and uncomplainingly. Towards the end of  his ministry he regained his strength. In the beginning of February 1927 he left us after 15 years of faithful ministry. This was the minister who was longest among us. We were noted for moving around and I doubt if there is any church that had as many  ministers and preachers as had been working in Nebo. It is in the furthest corner of the land and so it ‘s not easy for anyone to move here, it’s so expensive.

 

Also John Jones and Sion Foel, he could not read but used to teach the children all his life. He used to say the funniest words and the children repeated after him. Once he was teaching a verse to the children. Believe your father and your mother a child said that to his son. Abraham Jones “Dear me “ he said “ there’s not a spinning wheel in the factory that’s able to believe it!! I   know no one else except Abraham Jones the son of Sion Foel and John Griffith. John Griffith was a very well known musician and he was a carpenter. His grandson was John Griffith Bsc Dolgellau Who was editor of the Cerddor (music for many a year. magazine) This John Griffith was meant to move to Rhoslan but there was great concern in the neighbourhood about his future if he went and all pressed him to stay for the sake of the chapel, and although he had taken a house there he had to give it up for the sake of the chapel at Nebo, he stayed and went with his work in the surrounding farmhouses. His daughter Mrs Miriam Griffiths is the oldest member of the chapel at present (1934) his granddaughter is also a member of the chapel and was a great help with the singing. One of the grandsons is in one of the largest Merchant Houses in the capital (John William, Bryn Hyfryd) he’s kept his membership of the chapel and is very generous in his giving.

After the two mentioned Thomas Rowlands and John Abraham Jones took their places. It is possible that there is no one in the congregation this afternoon apart from the youngest that has not heard tell of John Abraham Jones, but he was known as Sion Abraham, he being the son of Abraham Jones, he spent his life in this district and gave his best hours to the cause. He had original wit.

Once the Rev Owen Jones, Pwllheli, was coming to Nebo to preach and to talk on the collection with the Rev Rheidiol Roberts. The first time Mr Roberts came to Rhiw after coming to Abersoch Sion Abraham said “This is the boy that has come to Abersoch”

“Yes” said Owen Jones “He can preach” said Owen “Well I don’t know” said Owen Jones. “But I shall in a minute” and soon he saw that the old brother was able to preach”

After the death of John A Jones there was only one deacon, namely William Jones Tan Y Garn, and the following were chosen;

John Williams Bodlondeb.

Thomas Williams Ty Mawr.

Roland Williams Bryn Goleu.

 The next to take it on was John Williams. He was a Methodist, but when he came to live in Rhiw he came to Nebo with his wife who was the daughter of John A Jones. But having changed he was a Methodist in his roots and preached the Methodist doctrines. Every time he rose to speak in the meeting he brought out something he had heard from some Methodist preacher in Uwchmynydd, fair play to him.

Then we lost William Jones one of the stalwarts of the church. He was one of the original types who could hold a “seiat”( prayer fellowship meeting) in the old fashion that we have now lost. He had inherited the ability to recite beyond the ordinary and it was pleasant to hear him reciting again the sermon in the seiat. He died 11 January 1927.

 The first secretary I remember here was Griffith Jones Ty Rhedyn who was very faithful in his work.

Then Mr Griffith from the council school was chosen to follow him as secretary. He came from an independent family in Lleyn, family of Sychnant., th son of Rev Thomas Griffith Bryngwran Anglesey. He was a great help to the cause when he was in Rhiw. He left here to go to Groeslon near Caernarfon. He was presented by the chapel with a handsome clock in thanks for his services.

Here I stop the present history the trustees are;

Thomas Williams Ty Mawr.

Robert Griffith Seaview.

Isaac Williams Treheli.

John Williams Brynhyfryd.

Ismael Jones Trip.

Griffith Jones Tyn FronRobert. 

Hugh Griffith Penffordd Felin Groeslon.

Jane Williams Brynhyfryd. 

Dora Williams Tyn Graig.

The membership is now 25.

Although there are few of them they contribute well to sustain the cause and with the help of the central treasury and home missionary we are able to swim without going under water. But we have undertaken a heavy burden this year for a church so weak namely repairing the chapel houses and having had a loan of £100 from the fund of the deacons of the church we are very anxious that we can see this debt paid.

There are several things I have left out because they say there’s not much time for me to speak!!!

 

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