When Rowland was ordained deacon by the Bishop of St David’s at Duke Street Chapel in London in 1734, he walked all the way there and all the way back! He was appointed curate at Llangeitho and Nantcwnlle. By this time his father had died and his elder brother had taken over these two parishes. The same year he married a local farmer’s daughter and lived on their farm for a year, until his brother married and moved away to Llanddewibrefi when he then moved into the vicarage at Nantcwnlle.
One person wrote 'It is said that the people were under such deep convictions that numbers of them, unable to stand, lay down in the grounds of the Churchyard of Nantcwnlle. They were so thick on the ground that it was not easy for a person to pass by.'
For Rowland, with the blessings of revival came further persecution from the bishop in 1763 when a William Williams was appointed to the curacies of Llangeitho and Nantcwnlle; Rowland was out of a job! Rowland carried out services at a house nearby and virtually all his congregation went with him; to such an extent that Holy Communion was not administered at the church for nearly 50 years. A chapel was built for Rowland at the nearby Gwynfil. In 1767 the church wardens and principal inhabitants of Nantcwnlle, together with the non-resident vicar asked Rowland to serve as curate again; to which he assented on the understanding that the bishop agreed, but the bishop did not agree.