Dowlais Elim Family Church
A Church With A Mission
At the request of a group of men who were converts from the 1904-1907 revival a man named Stephen Jeffreys who at that time was pastor of Island Place Church in Llanelli came to Dowlais. He was a man whose ministry was God anointed and soon the community of Dowlais was experiencing another revival. In the short time the hired halls became totally inadequate to accommodate the crowds, so when the use of the Undenominational Christian Mission in Ivor Street was offered in September 1917 the opportunity was quickly taken up. At first the congregation rented then in December 1919 the building was purchased for £600. During his time as pastor he went out on many nationwide campaigns and in 1924 on deciding to become a full time evangelist, he left the church in the hands of lay elders under the leadership of Mr.E.Clement Morgan. Late in 1924 there was the first formal agreement between the leaders and the Elim Pentecostal Alliance, this agreement was renewed in 1927 and in 1928 the church became a member of the Elim Pentecostal Alliance
Among the early converts were a considerable number of Spanish people who came to work in the iron foundries of Dowlais, they would spend part of the service with the Welsh/English speaking congregation and then move into the vestry for their own Spanish language service which was under leadership of Mr and Mrs George Thomas and it was wonderful to hear them praising and worshiping in their own tongue. In 1924 George entered the first Elim Bible College in Clapham was ordained in 1926 and went from there as missionaries to Mexico and Spain, when they left for Bible college the leadership of the Spanish work passed to Mr and Mrs Rhys Jones who lovingly cared for them for many years.
During the period 1973-1975 the Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council announced that they were going to redevelop major areas in Dowlais and as a result of this decision our church was purchased for demolition under a compulsory purchase order. Many of us remember that last Sunday evening baptismal service and how we felt when we left the Old Mission Hall for the last time, however God was in it all and we were very grateful to the leaders of the Libanus church who allowed us to use their building for all our services and on occasion shared the Sunday service with us.
March 15th 1975 was a very special day, a day of celebration as the new Dowlais Elim Church was opened by Pastor P.S.Brewster assisted by one of our oldest members Mrs Whiteford. It was a day when people actually queued to get in. over the 96 years it has been in existence the Elim Family Church in Dowlais has been served by many faithful men and women the first Elim pastor was S.J.Cooper in 1932 followed by W.N.Bambleby, W.J.Patterson, Frank Shadlock, Leslie Green, Harry Haith, Fred Byatt, R.R.Taylor, W.J.Higgs, Granville Davies, Raymond Hunston, F.J.Taylor, Archie Nicolson, J.H.Crimp, A.I.MacInnes, Horace Renynolds, Lyndon Jones, Samuel Millar, Phil Gray, Wayne Carpenter, Samuel Millar, and today Paul Edwards.
Through all these years our church has been a faithful witness for god in the County Borough of Merthyr Tydfil and we thank God for our Pastors and Fathers and Mothers, Grandfathers and Grandmothers who established the work in Dowlais, for their testimonies and example through all the years, what testimonies, singing, laughing and dancing in the Holy Spirit but they were only faithful servants that God used and now the baton has passed to us. Their God is our God and he is the same today, still building his church and his promises to us will be fulfilled because he is a Faithful God.
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