History of Blaenau Gwent Baptist
The first church, which we now know as Blaenau Gwent Baptist church, was first built in 1660. The church was a branch of the Church of Llanwenarth and in its early years were without a minister of their own. Therefore, the first minister of the Church of Llanwenarth, William Pritchard often took the services.
The connection between Blaenau and Llanwenarth is in no doubt. Roger Jenkins, who was baptised at Llanwenarth was one of the founding members of Blaenau.
In 1696 Blaenau Church became a separate church from Llanwenarth after it was formally constituted. However, the links remained strong for the coming years. The total congregation totalled 65, with 40 women and 25 men.
Moving forward to 1822, the first children’s Sunday school began. Around this time, the English began to be implemented, with night services being held for those who were English speaking. By 1903, the church became completely English speaking.
In 1945 disaster struck when a fire destroyed the church, with rebuilding not taking place until 1957. The minister at the time Mr Ivor Davies said “it was the chapel that had burned- not the church.”
During the late 1980’s into the early 1990’s the church was meeting in the local comprehensive school. Finally in 1993, a new building was built with the first service being held on Christmas day; the church was then dedicated on the 26th March 1994.
The church to this day boasts a strong congregation and continues to serve the community with its range of ministries, such as Food Bag, coffee mornings and prayer meetings.