Daniel Rowland meets Howell Harris (1737)
In August 1737 Harris went to Defynnog where he heard Daniel Rowland (see this website) preach for the first time. Neither Harris nor Rowland knew about the other’s existence until that time. Harris relates “…on hearing the uncommon gifts given him and the amazing power and authority by which he spoke and the effects it had on the people, I was made indeed thankful, and my heart burst with love to God and to him. Here began my acquaintance with him and to all eternity it shall never end.”
In October of that year Harris went to visit Rowland and their work together began. These two men founded Methodism in Wales and led the revival that transformed the people of the Principality. Harris and Rowland had the uninhibited and compelling urge to preach the Gospel. Crowds flocked to hear them; Harris writes that between 400 and 2,000 would hear him speak. Some future leaders were being saved under Harris’ ministry. Howel Davies was converted at one of his meetings in 1737 and he went on to be a curate of Griffith Jones, later becoming the ‘Apostle of Pembrokeshire.’ In 1738 William Williams of Pantycelyn, the hymn writer, accepted Jesus after hearing Harris in Talgarth churchyard. Rowland, Harris, Williams and Davies were the four leaders of the Great Awakening in Wales, and they worked together for many years.