Christmas Evans Married (1789)

Christmas Evans married Catherine, one of his congregation; at Bryncroes church in October 1789. He ministered successfully in Lleyn for about two years, often preaching five times on Sundays and walking a circuit of twenty miles in the process. At Ty’ndonen, one of the centres where he preached, 50 were baptised in the first year. He then went on a preaching tour to South Wales on foot. The people in Lleyn were so poor that Evans was paid barely enough to live on and not enough to get the use of a horse. He preached in every town or village he passed through and in South Wales large numbers of people would frequently follow him to the next town. He walked through six counties and his fame spread. He reported, “I now felt a power in the word, like a hammer breaking the rock, and not like a brush. I had a very powerful time at Cilfowyr, and also pleasant meetings in the neighbourhood of Cardigan. The work of conversion was progressing so rapidly and with so much energy in those parts, that the ordinance of baptism was administered every month for a year or more, at Cilfowyr, Cardigan, Blaen-waun, Blaen-y-ffos and Ebenezer, to from ten to twenty persons each month…. Preaching was now unto me a pleasure, and the success of the ministry in all places was very great. The same people attended fifteen or twenty different meetings.” On his return to Lleyn matters did not go as well as he hoped. He reported many years later that more were converted under his ministry in that two years than in any comparable period of time until 1829 in Caerphilly. Despite his success, many of his converts went to join the Calvinistic Methodists. Whatever the reason for this -disagreement with the Baptist’s doctrine, unhappiness at Evans’ autocratic leadership, or greater familiarity with Methodists - Evans was discouraged. He was therefore glad to accept the invitation of a Baptist Deacon to Llangefni on the island of Anglesey, which is 29 miles long and 22 miles wide. He and his wife left Lleyn on Christmas Day 1791.