Philips, Benjamin (abt1819-1901)

Transcription of Obituary In the Christian Messenger

MR. BENJAMIN PHILIPS, of Leintwardine, was a pioneer of the Connexion in this neighbourhood. He was converted at the age of twenty, and the change of mind then produced took practical form in telling to others what a dear Saviour he had found. He spared neither time, money, nor energy, to make known the truth which made him free.

He was the first to mission Lingen – a village five miles distant – as near as we can tell from 1840-43. In the old-fashioned way he sung and prayed, and exhorted the people to turn from their evil ways and live. A man named Reynolds asked him to tea, and said if he would come again next Sunday the house should be open for preaching.

This was accepted, and Benjamin took another or two with him, and a very successful meeting was held. It was not long before a society was formed and a chapel built.

The church grew in number and wealth so much as to demand greater accommodation. Hence, in 1878 the present chapel was built at a cost of £726, with a good school-room in the rear, and is now free from debt. We have about forty members and growing Sunday school, Bible Class, and Christian Endeavour, and a juvenile Missionary Society, which for several years has raised over £12 for the African Fund. And, by the way, from that day to this the Reynolds’ have been actively associated with the opening and keeping of God’s House for the services of His people. We have, therefore, good reason to thank God for the conversion of Benjamin Philips.

He was a strong man, had a powerful voice, and a determined will, so that he was not easily turned from his purpose, and when these qualities were used for righteous ends his possibilities for good were great. But his denunciations of what he considered wrong were equally strong. And so the possibilities are that he was sometimes misunderstood. But we have no reason to question his motive. For some years he has been unable to work, or take appointments or lead class, and the present generation may not value the man as those could in days of yore.

We have seen a gold coin warped and battered and blurred, but it was true gold withal. So, our brother, he was tried in a threefold way, temporally, physically, and mentally, but whenever the mention was made of the Blood of the Lamb, the gracious influences of the Spirit, or the faithfulness of God, his face would gleam with heavenly light, and his soul give vent to rapturous joy. He was interred in Leintwardine churchyard, by our own minister, on Tuesday, November 12th, 1901, in the presence of many local preachers and friends. An appropriate sermon was preached by Mr. J. Heywood, of Knighton.

Family and other information

Benjamin was born abt 1819 at Llanbaddon, Radnorshire. He worked as a wheelwright.

His first wife was Mary Weaver (abt1817-1876).

Benjamin married Jemima Eliza Cadwallader (abt1831-1881) in the summer of 1879 in the Ludlow Registration District.

Benjamin married Fanny Morris (1841-1891) in the spring of 1884 in the Church Stretton Registration District, Shropshire.

Benjamin married Mary (abt 1849) in the summer of 1892 in the Atcham Registration District, Shropshire.

References

Christian Messenger 1903/31

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: Many records spell the surname Phillips.

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