Llanfairfechan (1858-1860)

The outpouring began at Llanfairfechan, on the north coast just to the east of Bangor, as early as January 1858. There were only 24 members in the Welseyan church there at that time. The members decided to give themselves to prayer to seek God for blessing. Eifion Evans writes:

'A series of special preaching meetings was held from Monday to Thursday and strong impressions were felt, becoming more irresistible as the work went on. During the Sundays that followed the Spirit's influences were overpowering. All present would weep unashamedly, many crying out for mercy, and others praising God for the blood of Christ.'

A letter to the press from Thomas J Pritchard, the Wesleyan minister at Merthyr Tydfil, on 9th December 1904 outlined what happened, It seems that these prayer meetings were initiated in response from encouragement from senior clergy in the denomination:

'At the instigation of the Revs. Thomas Jones, D.D., and Thomas Aubrey, the chairman of the South Wales and North Wales districts respectively, all the circuits were called upon to make arrangements for revival services. During the week beginning on Monday, February 15th, 1858, a series of meetings were commenced at Llanfairfechan, Carnarvonshire. The preachers on the occasion were two of the most notable in Wales, viz., Thomas Aubrey, and Methuselah Thomas. The expectations were high, and the people flocked together. Evidently the church at Llanfairfechan was thoroughly roused. On Sunday, the 21st, a lay preacher, Mr Michael Roberts, was preaching with great power, and five converts were reported. On the 28th Mr M. Thomas was the preacher, his text being Job 1.5*. A mighty influence filled the place, and twenty-five converts were reported. Mr Thomas preached again at the same place and twenty more were added to the Church. Within the space of two months, 134 converts had joined the Wesleyan Methodist and sixty the Calvinistic Methodist Churches, and the revival spread rapidly, great numbers joining the churches.'

Thanks to the Welldigger Blogspot.

A VERY interesting Revival movement took place in Llanfairfechan and neighbourhood early in 1858. We have no grounds for connecting it in any way with the American movement, which had already attained considerable proportions. It seems to have sprung spontaneously from the religious instincts of God's people, face to face with a crisis in the situation of the kingdom of God amongst them; for Belial was waxing stronger and stronger, and the house of God weaker and weaker.

They realised it was time to supplicate the Throne for reinforcements. One of the united prayer-meetings is still referred to as "the mute prayer- meeting." Five men went forward successively to offer prayer, and not one of them was able to utter a single word. The audience dispersed, filled with strange feelings, some to pray by the roadside dykes, others in the fields and on the mountains. Before the end of the year nearly three hundred souls had been translated from the kingdom of darkness.

From, 'The '59 Revival', by J J Morgan, page 139.

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