1766 – 1838
Welsh Baptist minister, Christmas Evans was born near the village of Llandyssul, Cardiganshire, on Christmas day, 1766. His father, a shoemaker, died soon after and Christmas grew up as an illiterate farm laborer in the care of a godless, cruel uncle. At the age of seventeen, he became a servant to a Presbyterian minister in whose church he was converted during a revival meeting. He began to learn to read and to write and to take an interest in spiritual things which caused his former companions in sin to beat him severely and to put out one of his eyes. The Baptists of Llandyssul influenced him greatly, and he joined the Baptist church there.
In 1790 at the age of twenty-four, he was ordained and began to travel the entire country of Wales preaching in churches, in the coal mines, and in the fields. A remarkable manifestation of the Holy Spirit accompanied his ministry, and revival like prairie fire swept the country. Thousands were converted and many thousands of Christians began to openly witness for Christ and to sing hymns publicly as testimony of their salvation. This resulted in the “Welsh Revival.”
In spite of his early disadvantages and personal disfigurement, Christmas Evans was a remarkably powerful preacher. To a natural aptitude for this calling he united a nimble mind and an inquiring spirit; his character was simple, his piety genuine, and his faith fervently evangelical. His chief characteristic was a vivid and affluent imagination, which under the control of the Holy Spirit, earned for him the name of “the Bunyan of Wales.”