Bethany the First 90 years (p4)

Bethany History

By Bill Phillips

Rev George Frederick Tansill 1918-1929 contined...

About this period Rev Tansill stood for Labour candidate and was successful in being elected to the old "Board of Gaurdians".

Some of us would remember the 1926 - 6 month's strike which began the exodus of many of our young men and women seeking work in England. This of course depleted the number of the congregation. This was the beginning of the "Days of Depression". Generously Pastor offered a reduction in his small salary. This if I remember  amounted to 72 pounds over a long period.

Happily it was not forgotten, for some years later, a cheque was sent to him in repayment as he had now left for Llangynidr. One thing I shall always remember as a youngster was the sanctity of the communion table, when each communion service he would read one of the items on our covenant card and speak upon it.

There were times when brothers and sisters did not see "eye to eye". There was jealousy over the playing of the organ "cythraul canu" but with tact, common sense and much prayer, these differences were always overcome.

I think the best way to sum it all up is to list some of the important minutes written during this period. This gives us a fair view of what the church was like.

Jan 21 1918 Collection for missionary fund to be taken 2nd Sunday in the month
Jan 21Christian Endeavour formed 1st president, Richard Jones
July 16 Resignation of William Holbrook (a founder member) as secetary after 18 years service. "Harry" Selway appointed in his place.
Aug13 Returning collections taken for wounded soldiers
Aug Performance of Drama "Change"
Sept Bible class changed to Thursday evenings.
Nov Influenza epidemic throughout neighbourhood. Decided not to close Sunday School although other churches have done so.

Jan 1919Fire insurence raised from £1025 to £2025.
Feb 25 New Hymn Board and Numbers purchased, cost 34 shillings
Funeral of founder member William Parry.

It is interesting to quote a minute written,

Agreed that service to be held in church, and also on all similar occasions, Deacons to act as bearers. No leafletsnor 'Dead March' required

During the year of 1919 there were many converts and baptisms.

Jan 1920 Auditing of all church books started

Apr 10 1921 Sanctioned loan of vestry for distribution, food and soup kitchen during 1921 strike
May Rev R.B. Jones, took church anniversary services.
Oct 4 Minuted that Church and Deacons objected to some members leaving after the first meeting. Bad example to those under "conviction".
Dec 22 Change of time of the morning service from 10:30am to 11am

Apr 6 1922 Womens Guild was formed. First president Pastors wife Mrs Tansill. To quote "Bethany Baptist Womens Guild" Objects
1. Establish a sisterhood
2. Visitation of homes and spread the Kingdom of God in our district.
3. To form a sewing class for all above 14 years of age but no member under 17 to vote.

Apr 1925 Church was renovated

Oct 27 1927 A faithful and much loved elderly brother Francis Wells was elected by the church as an honorary deacon. What a gracious brother he was.

Jan 27 1929 Pastor received and accepted a "call" to the Baptist Church at Llangynydr.

It was a sad day when Mr Tansill and his family left. Mrs Tansill, Myfannwy (Muvvy), Gwen and Myrddin. (Muvvy) who was now married was accompanied by her husband Tom Lewis also a faithful member. Nevertheless contact was still kept with Mr Tansil who paid many return visits to preach being held in very high esteem by all. By and large it was a very successful ministry - many souls were added to the Kingdom; it was also a period when much of the administration of the church was formed, which remains to the present day.


Three years was to elapse before we gave a "call" to another pastor:- Rev Griffith Owen. His call was given after a most unusual happening. Of his ministry we will read of the next issue.

>Cont Reading (p5)