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Mount Zion History Brief


This place stands in the country between Pontrhydyrun, and the town of Usk. Glascoed is a branch of the church at Llangwm; but a few of the members belonged to Penygarn. Those brethren met to worship in a dwelling-house near the spot where the present chapel stands. There lived in that house a man named Joseph Wroth, with his wife and three daughters. This Joseph Wroth was a descendant (and last in the neighbourhood to bear the name) of the celebrated Mr. Wroth, the vicar of Llanfaches who died about 1641. (See Ser. Gomer 1855, p405).

In 1816 those few Christians were formed a church in the house of Mr. Lewis Lewis, who was a grandson of Joseph Wroth. Mr. Lewis had begun to preach at Blaenau Gwent in 1810. At the time the Church was formed, Mr. Lewis was ordained pastor to the little flock. This Church was received into the Association in 1817. In 1820, a small chapel was built, chiefly thro’ the untiring perseverance of the minister. Mr Lewis followed his manual labours preached much, and travelled to several places to collect towards the debt of his chapel. In one of his journeys he caught cold in a damp bed, and after that his health rapidly declined. Mr. Lewis was a sincere Christian, and was a blessing in his neighbourhood; but he died May 25th, 1832, aged 44. He was buried near the chapel.

In 1834, Mr. G. Jones who was working at Varteg, undertook the pastorate two Sunday in every month, as he was living so far away. Although he was faithful, yet the difficulties in the way of efficiency were so great, Mr Jones came to the conclusion to resign, which he did in 1840. Members: 30.

Mr. Thos. Evans settled here in 1844, and ministered until 1848.

Mr. Rees Rees, was an old member at Trosnant, baptised there in the time of David Roberts – he also preached here. In the unhappy division that happened in 1843, Mr. Rees went out with the party that formed Zion, Lower Trosnant. He was ordained there – not as pastor – but as assistant. He became the pastor of Glascoed in 1849, but still resided at Pontypool, following his daily labour. He devoted all the time he could spare to his ministry, and strove to acquire some knowledge of English, as that language was indispensable at Glascoed. The desire to be a minister had overpowered him; and he was determined to die or to succeed. He did much good here. The members were 56 at his death. In the dark, Mr. Rees fell into the river near where he worked, and there his body was founded, Jan 11th 1862. He was much respected, and was buried at Penygarn.

Mr. W. Morgan settled here in 1863, and was here till 1870, when he removed to Monmouth. Members 62.

Mr. J. Tucker, a local preacher at Pontypool, took the oversight of the Church in 1872. He was here till 1877. Members now 71.

Mr W. Thomas, came here in 1878, but resigned an removed to LLanddewi Rhydderch in 1880. The members were 82, and the scholars 55. Mr J. Pugh a student from Pontypool, was ordained here in 1882. He is a good young man but weak in health.


Mr Wm. Roberts. He began to preach here and went to the College in Abergavenny. He was ordained as an assistant at Glascoed in 1823. His preaching was not of much account, and the people did not think it worth while to take the trouble to hear him, as his sermons were seldom above 15 minutes in length. He was a coal-seller at Abergavenny about 1850: and there died.

Mr. Joseph Lewis was son of the minister, Mr. Lewis Lewis. He began to preach about 1846, and went to Pontypool college in 1852. He is now the minister of the first English Church at Tredegar, where he has been these twenty three years.

He returned to Glascoed in 1887 and ministered there; though nearly blind for several years, He died in May 1894, and was buried in Glascoed on the last day of the month.

Source: Collection D. 1605.4 at Gwent County Record Office. Transcribed by Alistair Pitt. April 2008.