Obituary - Gomer Harries

Gomer Harries was born in 1868 at Mountain Ash, but soon after his parents removed to Penrhiwceibr and were amongst the founders of the Congregational church there. The son at an early age entered the coal pit where he formed friendship with a gifted young man – now the Rev J J Williams MA Morriston. The young church at Penrhiwceibr was full of life and attracted to it a group of young men who found in the minister, the Rev R Thomas, a stimulating counsellor. The teachers in the Sunday School were also quick to detect talent. Ere long Harries and his friend were urged to devote themselves to the Christian ministry. Harries entered the Academy at Pontypridd, kept by Mr Dunmor Edwards MA. In 1893 he became a student of the University College at Cardiff, having been awarded a scholarship at the college, provided by the owners and workmen of the Albion Colliery, Cilfynydd. In 1895 Harries was admitted as a student of the Memorial College, Brecon. In 1898 he was ordained as pastor of two churches, Llangynidr and Duffryn, Breconshire. Here he labored for forty years, until, owing to failing health, he was forced to resign on 1938. Soon afterwards he had a serious illness, from which he never recovered. He passed away on July 11 1942.

Though Mr Harries was brought up in an industrial centre, he soon accommodated himself to the conditions of a rural pastorate, winning the confidence and affection of hispeople by his sterling character, his devotion as pastor, his friendliness and straightforwardness. He was of a practical turn of mind, methodical in his habits, and unflagging in the performance of the duties of his office. He was ‘a workman that needeth not to be ashamed’, ‘a good steward of the manifold grace of God’. A man of clear, strong convictions, he showed courage in upholding them. His musical talent stood him in good stead in the ministry. He was a loyal friend and an entertaining companion, possessing a fair fund of humour and a touch of the mimetic art. He served on the executive committee of his Alma Mater for many years, did valuable service as secretary of the Sunday School committee of the Brecon and Radnor Association, and represented the Association on the Board of the LMS for a time. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

Source: Congregational Yearbook 1943: Obituaries