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William Williams

1717-1791. Welsh Methodist leader, author, and hymnwriter. Although known to English readers as nothing more than the author of “Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,” Williams, whose work is almost entirely in Welsh, is the most significant literary exponent of the mind and spirit of the Evangelical Revival. He was born at Cefncoed, Llanfair-ar-y-byrn, Carmarthenshire, son of a ruling elder at the Congregational Church at Cefnarthen. Williams was educated at the Dissenting Academy at Llwyn-llwyd and it was then that he experienced evangelical conversion under the ministry of [[Howel Harris]]* when the latter was preaching in the churchyard of Talgarth. He joined the [[Church of England]] and was ordained deacon in 1740, but he was refused ordination as a priest in 1743. In the intervening years he served as a curate. After this unhappy experience, he devoted himself to the Methodist Revival as an itinerant preacher and the ablest conductor of the societies that were springing into existence