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Daniel Rowland

1713-1790. Welsh Methodist leader. With Howel Harris* he has the distinction of being co-founder of Welsh Calvinistic Methodism.* He was born at Pantybeudy, Cardiganshire, the son of Daniel Rowland, parish priest of Nantgwnlle and Llangeitho. Information about his youth and education is scanty. He was ordained deacon (1734) and priest (1735) and served as curate to his brother, John, at the parishes served by their father. He was converted under the ministry of Griffith Jones of Llanddowror and began a preaching ministry of great power in the neighborhood of Llangeitho. He soon extended his labors beyond his own parishes and made contact with Howel Harris in 1737. Like Harris he began to found “societies” where his converts could be established in their newfound faith.

For a number of complex reasons, the Calvinistic Methodists in Wales split into two groups in 1752, Harris leading one group and Rowland the other. Ten years passed before reconciliation was effected. Meanwhile Llangeitho became the national center of Welsh Methodism since Harris had withdrawn from public work for a time. People traveled from all parts of Wales to hear Rowland preach and to receive Holy Communion at his hands. His position in the church was an anomalous one. When his brother was drowned in 1760, the authorities passed over Daniel Rowland and gave the living to his son, to whom he now became curate. But he was finally dispossessed in 1763 and continued his ministry in the “New Church” that had been built for him at Llangeitho. Rowland was both a hymnwriter and an author, but above all he was a preacher whose influence extended all over Wales. His sweetness of spirit and the magnetism of his delivery kept congregations spellbound-sometimes for hours on end-as he expounded the Gospel to them at Llangeitho.