Williams, Thomas John

Although his primary vocation was in the insurance business, Thomas John Williams (b. Ynysmeudwy, Glamorganshire, Wales, 1869; d. Llanelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales, 1944) studied with David Evans at Cardiff and later was organist and choirmaster at Zion Chapel (1903­-1913) and Calfaria Chapel (1913-1931), both in Llanelly. He composed a number of hymn tunes and a few anthems.

His best known hymn tune is EBENEZER, written in 1896 and named after Ebenezer Chapel, Rhos, Pontardawe. It was published in Yr Athraw (‘The Teacher’) in 1897, and used in Williams’s anthem Goleu yn y Glyn (‘Light in the valley’) in 1899. It appeared in the Baptist Book of Praise (1900, an English-language book for Welsh Baptists), and was included in EH (1906), set to ‘Who is this with garments gory’*, where it was described only as ‘Welsh Hymn Melody’

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