Ebenezer Baptist Church, Abertillery

This church was opened in the 1870s, when the Baptist cause already had a long history in the area. Abertillery’s first Welsh Baptist chapel opened in 1715.

The new English-language Baptist church was designed by Aaron Davies of Rhymney and cost c.£1,000. A multi-purpose hall was added in 1905, as a Christian revival swept across Wales and a further 400 to 500 joined the Baptist cause in Abertillery. More than 950 “scholars” were then attending Sunday School at Ebenezer!

Photo of Ebenezer Baptist church c.1900The hall included innovative moveable partitions to form four classrooms, each seating c.150 children. There were 17 additional rooms or compartments for up to 20 children each. The photo of the chapel, courtesy of the National Library of Wales, is thought to date from c.1900.

A new organ was installed in 1922 as a First World War memorial.

Beatrice Dykes (1894-1927) was an enthusiastic member of the Ebenezer congregation. She married miner Ron Green in 1916 and was an early Labour Party activist. She supported moves to improve healthcare for working people and was one of a group of women who made and laundered hospital bedlinen.

Beatrice Green’s articles about the plight of people in Abertillery during the 1926 general strike drew wider attention to the situation. She was involved in providing relief for families in the strike, including organising temporary placements of children with foster families to lessen the financial strain on parents. She died suddenly in 1927.

Flora Drummond, a former leader of the suffragette movement, spoke many times to female audiences at the Ebenezer Lecture Hall during the 1920s. Her topics included “Reconstruction” and “Power and Responsibility”.

The church remains a hub for local activities – follow the link below for details.

Postcode: NP13 1ED View Location Map

Website of Ebenezer Baptist Church (Facebook)

More about Ebenezer’s history on Graham Bennett’s website