|Completed||1895 (replacing earlier building)|
|Construction cost||£344 (1856)|
Bethel, Abernant is a Baptist Chapel at Abernant in the Aberdare Valley in Wales and one of the few nonconformist chapels in the area that is still open today.
Bethel was a branch of Calfaria, Aberdare and began as a Sunday School in 1846. The church itself was established in 1857, largely at the instigation of Thomas Price, minister of Calfaria, Aberdare, and the leading figure in the Baptist denomination in the locality. The original 1856 building, which cost £344 to build, proved inadequate within a short time. In 1861 it was taken down and the chapel rebuilt and re-opened a year later. In 1862, 163 members were released from Calfaria to strengthen Bethel. These were amongst 927 men and women released from Calfaria during Price's ministry to establish local chapels.
Price, however, ensured that the unity of the Baptist 'family' of churches was maintained by such activities as Baptismal services in the river Cynon and annual eisteddfodau. In 1913, a local resident recalled:
"I remember that once a month on Sunday afternoons, Dr. Price, the Baptist minister, used to baptise his recent converts in the Cynon River, alongside the iron bridge at the bottom of Commercial Street. I have seen as many as 25 or 30 converts, men and women, on the same afternoon. On these occasions the whole of the Baptist community used to meet at the chapel and march ii procession through the streets with the converts, the men converts being attired in long black robes and the women in white. They marched through the streets from the chapel to the place of baptism singing hymns. As a matter of course, large crowds gathered on the river banks to witness the immersions."
John Mills became its minister in the 1880s.
A further structural modification occurred in 1895.
Rev B. Williams became the minister at Bethel in 1913.
- Jones. Chapels of the Cynon Valley. p. 116.
- "Old Aberdare. Local History of the Baptist Denomination". Aberdare Times. 1 November 1913. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
- Alexander, D.T. (5 April 1913). "Old Aberdare. Leading Men and Establishments 50 Years Ago". Aberdare Leader. Retrieved 19 January 2014.