Williams wanted to become a doctor, following a long line of doctors that came from the area where he lived. With this in mind he was educated at the Nonconformist Academy at Llwyn-Llwyd. He would stay at Talgarth which was the nearest town to Howel Harris’ (see this website) home at Trafeca. In 1738 Harris was preaching with unparalleled fervour in the power of Holy Spirit throughout the neighbourhood and Williams heard him in Talgarth cemetery. He wrote about what happened to him: This the morning, still remembered,
That I first heard heaven’s sound;
By a summons straight from Glory,
With his voice, my heart was bound.
That’s the spot, forever treasured,
Where I first his visage spied,
At the Church’s portly entrance
With no path on any side;
In a solemn, serious spirit,
With eternity in sight;
Urging, pleading with the people
From God’s wrath to take their flight. After his conversion experience he seems to have completed his studies. He would have been tutored in the Greek and Latin classics, in Hebrew, Logic and Mathematics. However, Williams was a new man and felt that he had to preach the Gospel rather than become a doctor. It is likely that Harris influenced him, but for whatever reason he decided to become an Anglican and was ordained as deacon on August 3rd 1740 by the bishop of St David’s. He became curate at Llanwrtyd, together with two small churches at Abergwesyn.
Howell Harris preached from his Grandparents grave (surrounded by railings)