Born: February 11, 1717, on the family farm of Pantycelyn, Wales.
Died: January 11, 1791, on Pantycelyn, the farm where he was born.
Buried: Llanfair-ar-y-bryn, Carmarthenshire, Wales.
Known as the
Sweet Singer of Wales, and
the Watts of Wales, Williams originally attended the Presbyterian College in Carmarthen, intending to become a doctor. However, at 21 years of age, he was riding in a stage coach that stopped at Talgarth, Breconshire, where he heard the open air preaching of evangelist Howel Harris. That day Williams changed his career plans from medicine to the ministry.
He was ordained a deacon of the Established Church in 1740 by Dr. Claget, Bishop of St. David’s, and for three years served the curacies of Llanwrtyd and Llanddewi-Abergwesyn; he never received Priest’s Orders.
He became early acquainted with the revivalist Daniel Rowlands, and for 35 years preached monthly at Llaullian, Caio, and Llansawel, beside making preaching journeys in north and south Wales. He was held in great esteem as a preacher.