Saturday, November 26
The Revival in Rhos reached high tide last Friday. The service was announced for ten o'clock in the morning. From then on it continued without a break until almost ten o'clock at night. The first part of the meeting was held in Penuel and until about six o'clock it was spent in prayer and pleading; ministers of the district took it in turn to lead each hour. Such a meeting was not only a novelty, the influence of the Holy Spirit was also constraining some to wrestle with God for a blessing and for a mighty demonstration of the power of the gospel to change characters. As a result prayer was felt to be red-hot and when they moved across to Capel Mawr for the final meetings of R. B. Jones' mission the expectation of an outpouring of the Spirit had never been higher during that whole series of meetings.
It was amazing how quiet and tranquil Rhos was from seven to ten on Friday night—no one was walking up and down the streets; the shops were closed and the homes were in darkness. Only by turning into Capel Mawr and seeing the gathering there would you have the explanation. Never before had that large building been seen so full. So great was the throng that it was necessary to open the spacious schoolroom to hold the overflow meeting. Even though this was done hundreds had to be turned away disappointed. Within the building was one of the most uplifting sights imaginable.
Hundreds of faces could be seen, each marked by concern and expectation. The meeting began with a remarkably fervent, effectual prayer from the Rev. O. J. Owen, Ponkey and sections in the third chapter of John's Gospel were read. Then the Rev. R. B. Jones came and after first offering a short prayer he announced his text, amid overwhelming stillness, from the first chapter of the First Epistle to Timothy: 'The saying is true and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
It was a short sermon that displayed no great profundity of thought (that is to say, it was not because he did not appear to possess this, but because there was no need to darken the counsel of God by human wisdom) and applied no oratorical effects either. It was characterised by simplicity, by the unmixed purity of evangelical teaching, and by an intimacy that touched everyone and ensured that each person in that great congregation was able to understand every sentence. How ordinary it was, yet what a lesson for preachers! It was so devoid of self-ambition but what an influence followed it! So simple yet overflowing with the riches of the gospel! There was no playing at all with the emotions but rather making his way to the mind and conscience of his listeners. What wonder that its effect was so great? It was impossible to escape; the vast crowd was swept by an electrical charge that everyone felt. One felt that the Holy Spirit was working mightily through him and there was proof of this in the number of converts.
When he had finished in the chapel he moved to the schoolroom and again delivered an address to the congregation there, based on the same text. Following this the meeting was left open for the congregation, and what an anointed service it was! One prayed here and as he uttered his last word another sang over there, the congregation joining in with complete abandon, repeating it and trebling it. Following that, a number were competing to relate their experiences, and all these were evidently tempered by the Spirit. 'Amens' and 'Thanks be to Him' broke out in showers through the congregation and it was obvious that the majority of them were in some indescribable exultation and joy. At the close there was an address by Mr Jones. Before leaving the gathering he exhorted those who professed faith to awake in earnest to their work. He said that the Spirit had come and was eager to impart blessings. If only they would be ready to receive them and to work together, they would experience even more from him and would have more abundant demonstrations of his blessing.
It was feared that with the departure of Mr Jones the flood tide would recede but despite such apprehensions, there were meetings full of blessing throughout Saturday. There were meetings in the morning and afternoon and another at half past five. After this a procession was formed outside Penuel chapel, and with the ministers in front they walked the streets of Ponkey and Rhos, pausing at suitable places to hold meetings. The Rev. Barrow Williams of Llandudno gave an address at every stopping point. As they journeyed the crowd was singing the best-known Welsh hymns. They were watched by thousands of people and surely a deep impression was left on those onlookers. No such procession had ever been seen in the area before. Though it was Saturday night and one of the busiest periods, trade and all traffic were forced to give way. When they went back to the chapel a huge congregation arrived. At the end the Christian Workers were called aside and they were sent out to reach those who had just left the public houses. Some of them were brought back to the chapel and they held an effectual prayer meeting until midnight.
The influence was general throughout the district as was clearly seen on Sunday. It was reported that the gatherings in every service were more numerous and more inspiring than they had been for years, and to crown it all there was not one church in the district without converts. Meetings were held daily throughout the week— morning, afternoon and evening. On Monday night, in Capel Mawr, the Rev. H. Barrow Williams preached to a large congregation and fifteen remained behind. On Wednesday night, in Zion, Ponkey, there was a powerful temperance sermon by the Rev. J. Williams BA, Wrexham. The story of every meeting was wonderful and the saving influence was felt in almost all of them.
The news of this has travelled far, and many strangers arrive daily to see and hear. There is a tremendous longing for greater things to come and that it would not be confined to this district alone. Our own desire, with the desire of hundreds of others, is:
'March onward, heavenly fire,
Take complete possession in this place.'
Saturday, December 3rd
A glorious scene was the one in Capel Mawr on Tuesday night in the Church Meeting when 52 presented themselves for church membership. In Mynydd Seion that same night there were over 30 doing the same thing and a blessed time was had.
From, 'The Rhos Herald'. 171 were added to this church from the beginning of R B Jones' meetings in November to the end of January 1905. Also 127 to the Salvation Army, 101 to Mynydd Sion, 69 to Hill Street, 40 to Salem and 40 to Mount Pleasant. Plus many others to the other churches in the town on this website.
Known as Capel Mawr.