Evan Roberts (minister)

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Evan Roberts in 1905

Evan John Roberts (8 June 1878 – 29 September 1951), was a leading figure of the 1904-1905 Welsh Revival who suffered many setbacks in his later life.

His obituary in The Western Mail summed up his career thus:

"He was a man who had experienced strange things. In his youth, he had seemed to hold the nation in the palms of his hands. He endured strains and underwent great changes of opinion and outlook, but his religious convictions remained firm to the end."

Early life[edit]

Born in Loughor, Wales, Evan Roberts was the younger of two sons of Henry and Hannah Roberts. Raised in a Calvinistic Methodist home, he was a serious child who attended church regularly and memorized scripture at night. From the age of 11 to 23, he worked in the coal mines alongside his father.[1]

Ministry[edit]

In 1904, Roberts began studying for the ministry at Newcastle Emlyn. Attendance at a service held by evangelist Seth Joshua in Blaenanerch, Cardigan led to an experience that formed Roberts' belief in the "Baptism of the Spirit". In October of that year, Roberts began speaking at a series of small meetings. These appearances led to his involvement in the Revival. He was soon attracting congregations numbering thousands. Within two weeks the Welsh Revival was national news and before long, Evan Roberts and his brother Dan and his best friend Sidney Evans were travelling the country conducting Revival Meetings.[2]

The four "points" of his message were:

  1. Confess all known sin, receiving forgiveness through Jesus Christ
  2. Remove anything in your life that you are in doubt or feel unsure about
  3. Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly
  4. Publicly confess the Lord Jesus Christ

Collapse[edit]

Roberts soon succumbed to the pressure of his rigorous schedule, and, in 1906, suffered a physical and emotional collapse.

Later life[edit]

Evan Roberts died in 1951 at the age of seventy-three. He was buried in a family plot behind Moriah Chapel in Loughor, South Wales. Today, a memorial column commemorates his contribution to the revival.

Works[edit]

Amazing Grace[edit]

The story of Evan Roberts and his role in the 1904-1905 Welsh Revival was made into a successful stage musical by Mal Pope called Amazing Grace in 2005.[3]

Sources[edit]

  • Invasion Of Wales By The Spirit Through Evan Roberts, James A. Stewart, Revival Literature, 1963.
  • God's Generals, Roberts Liardon, Whitaker House, 1996.
  • Holding Forth the Word of Life, Heath Church, 2000
  • Instrument of Revival, Brynmor P. Jones, Logos, 1995
  • National Library of Wales, Sir John Herbert Lewis Papers

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Evan Roberts. 100 Welsh Heroes. Retrieved on 2013-03-24.
  2. ^ Evan Roberts. Welsh Revival (1904-09-29). Retrieved on 2013-03-24.
  3. ^ 'Amazing Grace' returns to Swansea for November 2011. Malpope.com. Retrieved on 2013-03-24.