In 2018 Bethania Chapel celebrated 150 years in Leeswood, but its earliest origins go back to the 1850s. The work of itinerant Baptist preachers travelling throughout Wales and preaching the gospel resulted in many powerful and life changing experiences. Hardened men like the miners from Leeswood and Treuddyn, found their lives changed by the power and the good news of Jesus during the many Welsh revivals. It was transformed people like these that wanted to take the good news that they had heard into the surrounding villages.
By 1861 a small Baptist fellowship had been established in Treuddyn and Berea Chapel, which still stands, but is now a private home, was built at the Ffordd-y-Llan turning for Treuddyn. At this time, Leeswood was a small, Welsh speaking, mining community. A few people from Leeswood who were members at Berea began to hold house meetings in the village. In 1868 the Leeswood Baptists were able to buy a piece of land for £44–10–0d, and Bethania opened as a Welsh Baptist Chapel in 1870. The Bethania congregation would have been welsh speaking and services
Precisely why a group of Welsh miners dug into their own pockets to do such an ambitious thing over 150 years ago can only be speculated upon. Evidently their encounter with the Jesus they had read about in the Gospels and heard about from preachers, had been a significant and life changing experience for them.
Bethania Church Community is still a place where lives are changed by the same message of good news that the chapel’s founders would have heard or read back then. As part of its 150 years celebrations, Bethania delivered a copy of Mark’s Gospel to every household in the village.
Image: Miners 1890, courtesy of David Rowe, Mold & District Civic Society