David Bevan Jones (Dewi Elfred) 1807-1863
First Minister Gwawr Chapel, Regent St Aberaman
 
   
David Bevan was born in 1807 to John and Hannah Jones of Gellifaharen, Llandysul Cardigan and was baptized on the 30th June 1807.He came Gwawr Chapel Aberaman from around the beginning of 1849, the chapel was incorporated in June 1848. Dewi altered the chapel lease deleting the name of the Rev. Dr. Thomas Price of Calfaria Church Aberdare and a friend of his and adding his own name and that of a supporter. It is not certain how or when Dewi came under the influence of Mormonism, but even before he left Rhymney it was rumoured that he fostered unorthodox ideas, leaning towards Unitarianism, an investigation was held by the Glamorgan Baptist Association at Aberdare in November 1850, and he and the congregation of Gwawr Chapel were excommunicated from the Association.

In 1851 Dewi went to William Phillips who was president of the All Saints in Wales and received with four others Mormon baptism on the River Cynon on the 27th April 1851 in the sight of 2000 people before returning to the chapel where he was inducted as a priest of the church of Latter Day Saints. This was a climax of the Mormon Mission in Wales, leaving them a chapel, a baptized minister and wide publicity. A legal controversy ensued between the Saints and the Baptists and in summer of 1851 a session of the Glamorgan assizes a verdict was reached in favour of the Baptists, in November 1851 the Baptists organised a march of 2000 supporters under the leadership of Rev Dr. Price to repossess Gwawr chapel because Dewi Elfed had refused to surrender the building to them despite the court decision. Dr. Price, together with 2000 supporters and the law officer, marched to the chapel in an attempt to take possession.

Seeing their approach, David Jones locked himself inside the Chapel, together with one supporter. The court official declared that he had no authority to break down the door. That being the case, Dr. Price and one of his deacons gained access through a window. After 'a wild and exciting chase around the chapel galleries', the Baptist minister turned Mormon was caught, and forcibly ejected from the Chapel, Dr. Price kicking him out of the front door. Dewi was sent by the Saints as an eloquent and well known missionary through Glamorgan and Gwent to spread the faith in October 1852, He was married by 1833 and had five children, in may 1860 he emigrated with his wife and the 2 youngest on the William Tapscott from Liverpool to New York, where they stayed for two years before travelling for four months across the prairie with other pioneer Mormons, arriving at Great Salt Lake Valley in October 1862, he settled in Logan, about 100 miles north of Salt Lake City, he died in 1863 of tuberculosis in May/June 1863.

A Baptist Congregation become Latte-Day- Saints (Gwawr Chapel, Aberaman)
Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser 09.05.1851


A great ferment has arisen among the religious bodies at Aberdare, which will probably terminate in hands of the lawyers. On Sunday, the minister and congregation of a Baptist Chapel unanimously renounced their views, and adopted those of the Latter-day Saints and not contented with that, we hear that they have taken possession of the Chapel, for the see of the Saints. On the same day they were all baptised in the river Cynon, s enraptured, humbly opine, with their former dipping, as to desire to go the whole hog at once.

The Baptist Church at Aberdare 31.05.1851
Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent


Sir,
Will you have the kindness to insert this in correction of a statement which appeared in your paper of the 10th inst., to the effect "That the whole of the Baptist Church, with their Minister at Aberdare, had turned Latter Day Saints," &c.
I beg to say that the statement is entirely void of foundation, and is quite in keeping with the "lying wonders" of the deluded followers of Joe Smith.
I can assure you Sir, that I and the Church under my care would as soon join the blind followers of Johanna Southcot as become identified with the Latter Day Saints.
Yours, very truly
THOMAS PRICE, Baptist Minister. Aberdare,
May 22nd, 1851

P.S. I should have sent to you earlier, but not seeing, the ‘Herald' regularly, I was not aware of the statement till assured of it by a friend.

Gwawr Chapel Regent St Aberaman

Seeing their approach, David Jones locked himself inside the Chapel, together with one supporter. The court official declared that he had no authority to break down the door. That being the case, Dr. Price and one of his deacons gained access through a window. After 'a wild and exciting chase around the chapel galleries', the Baptist minister turned Mormon was caught, and forcibly ejected from the Chapel, Dr Price kicking him out of the front door. Dewi was sent by the Saints as an eloquent and well known missionary through Glamorgan and Gwent to spread the faith in October 1852, He was married by 1833 and had five children, in May 1860 he emigrated with his wife and the 2 youngest on the William Tapscott from Liverpool to New York, where they stayed for two years before travelling for four months across the prairie with other pioneer Mormons, arriving at Great Salt Lake Valley in October 1862, he settled in Logan, about 100 miles north of Salt Lake City, he died in 1863 of tuberculosis in May/June 1863.