It is believed by some that the Apostle Paul personally carried the gospel to the isle of Britain. Whether true or not, Bible Christianity was firmly established among the peoples of those islands long before the arrival of Catholicism. One area where the Baptists flourished was Wales, and as the American colonies began to grow, Wales sent some of their pastors to evangelize and establish churches on this side of the Atlantic.
Cathcart’s Baptist Encyclopedia speaks of a Welsh preacher named Abel Morgan. That man was born a few years after another our Abel Morgan arrived in this country.
On August 23, 1711, the church in Blaenaugwent, Wales, held a special service to honor their pastor who had served them for 15 years. With broken hearts they said farewell to Elder Abel Morgan and his family, who felt the call of God to emigrate to America. On September 28 their ship pulled anchor, but contrary winds came up, and the ship was forced to find shelter for three weeks. When they sailed again, they made it as far as Cork, Ireland, before having to seek a safe harbor for another five weeks. Finally on November 19 they were able to recommence their journey. A month later, in the middle of the Atlantic, Brother Morgan’s son died – followed by his wife three days later. They were both buried at sea. Pastor Morgan greatly suffered his loss, but because he was sure of God’s will, he had no thoughts of returning home. On this day (Feb. 14) in 1711, he and the rest of his children arrived in Philadelphia. Soon he became the pastor of the Baptist church in Pennepeck just outside the city, and there he labored until his death on December 16, 1722.
There were quite a few Welsh preachers who came to this country. There were even whole churches which emigrated en masse. Generally speaking those preachers were stanchly fundamental in doctrine, bold preachers of the truth and often wonderfully musical. Morgan and several others helped to establish the Philadelphia Baptist Association which was instrumental in spreading the truths which we now hold dear.