Ystalyfera

History and Heritage

Adulam Baptist Chapel, Pontardawe

Adulam Baptist Chapel Pontardawe
First constructed in 1844-1845, Adulam Baptist Chapel was rebuilt in 1889. The first minister was the Rev Philip Morgan, around 1848 when the cause was officially incorporated. The chapel was closed in 2004 and the building sold.

There appears to be dispute over the spelling of the name, with some sources citing Adulam, and others Adulum. As the chapel's own foundation stones call it "Adulam", that is the name we will be using here.

The chapel is located on Swansea Road, on the left after the Dilwyn Arms, before you get to the main roundabout leading either towards Trebanos, or left to the shopping park or Alltwen.



The Rebuilding

From The Cambrian newspaper, 26th July 1889:-

ADULAM CHAPEL PONTARDAWE

The rebuilding of this chapel having been completed, the ceremony of laying the two memorial stones were performed on Thursday, by Mr J T D Llewelyn, of Penllergaer, and Mr T Watkins, of Swansea. Mr Llewelyn and Mr Watkins were presented with a silver trowel and mallets by Mrs Jones, Clydach, and Mrs Dr Evans. Addresses were afterwards delivered by Mr Llewelyn, Mr Watkins, Revs T Evans, J Lewis, N Evans, J Lewis and others.
Mr Llewelyn and Mr Arthur Gilbertson presented cheques for 10 guineas each and Mr Watkins for £5 towards the building fund.


Ministers of Adulam Chapel

Rev Philip Morgan c1848
Rev Charles Williams To 1853
Rev J Pugh 1862-64
Rev D Edwards 1865-1874
Rev D H Jones (also Minister of Nant-y-Ffin) 1874-1880
Rev J T Morgan (and established Mount Elim in Ynysmeudwy) 1880-87
Rev Evan Robert Evans 1888-1915
Rev Lewis Goronwy Lewis 1917-30
Rev Vernon Rees 1934-1938
Rev J Rowland Jones 1943-1960

Read More about the Ministers

Rev Evan Robert Evans came to Adulam in February 1888, and ministered there until his death in November 1915 - read more about Rev Evan Robert Evans.

Rev Lewis Goronwy Lewis came to Adulam in November 1916, after having been sent the call by the congregation the previous month. He was famous for putting on shows, concerts and performances, and ministered there until 1930 - read more about Rev Lewis Goronwy Lewis.

Rev Vernon Rees entered Cardiff Baptist College from Tycroes and Adulam Chapel, Pontardawe was his first ministry. He served there from 1934 to 1938. The 1940 Baptist Handbook shows him to be residing in Penylan, Cardiff.


Memorial Stones of Adulam Baptist Chapel


Memorial stone of Adulam Baptist Chapel, Pontardawe, reading:-

This memorial stone
Was laid by
J.T.D. Llewelyn Esq.
Penllergare
July 25 1889


Memorial stone of Adulam Baptist Chapel, Pontardawe, reading:-

This memorial stone
Was laid by
Howel Watkins Esq.
Swansea
July 25 1889



History of the Chapel

From 'Pontardawe and District" by John Henry Davies

The orginal Adulam Chapel (John Henry Davies says Adulum in Welsh, Adullum in English) was built in 1845 and was a small square whie-washed building, with a low pyramid roof. It had two rows of seats in the upper gallery. The church was officially acccepted into the Welsh Baptist union (the Gymanfa) in 1848.

Several of the ministers also had Welsh Bardic names - J. Jones who was one of the ministers from elsewhere who helped to look after Adulam in the period 1853-62 was known as Mathetes; D H Jones, who also ministered at Nant-y-Ffin was known as Gaius; and J T Morgan, minister from 1880 to 1887 was known as Thalamis.

The chapel was rebuilt and reopened in 1889.

At the time that John Henry Davies' book was published, the most recent minister had been the Rev J Rowland Jones, B.A., who had left for Waunarlwydd on the last Sunday in January 1960.



Rear view of Adulam Chapel, Pontardawe, taken from Works Road


People of Adulam Chapel

The Llais newspaper of 31st March 1917 records the death of a deacon of Adulam:-

MR WILLIAM LEWIS Deacon

The death took place at Ynystawe Clydach, of Mr William Lewis, who had resided at Pontardawe for many years. Deceased was 78 years of age and was the father in law of Councillor Henry Thomas Trebanos.
He was a deacon at Adulam Pontardawe for 35 years and highly respected in the locality.
The funeral took place on Tuesday at Alltwen. A service was first held at Adulam, the Revs L G Lewis, T V Evans and Seiriol Williams and D Gower Richards being the officiating ministers.


War Memorial Plaque

Adulam Chapel had a war memorial plaque, containing the names of five men who had been killed in the First World War. The inscription read:-

ER COF ANNWYL AM Y BECHGYN O'R EGLWYS HON A SYRTHIODD YN Y RHYFEL MAWR
1914 - 1918.

Brinley Bevan
Carey Davies
John Davies
Henry George Howells
Daniel George John

"MUR OEDDYNT HWY N' NI NOS A DYDD"


 
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Stepping Out Into Showbusiness

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Simone dreamed of becoming a showbusiness star during her nights in the air raid shelter in the garden of her home in Southall, during World War Two. After joining the A.T.S. in the war, she became part of the concert party entertaining the troops, eventually joining the Windmill Theatre.

 
 
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