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David Llewellyn Bell was born in the little village of Velindre near to Pontarddulais around the year 1880. He was an illegitimate child, although he had three brothers he was the one God had chosen, in His sovereignty, to show his love and grace.

He married around the year 1900 and lived in the village of Pontarddulais. He was unaffected by the Revival of 1904 being a very self righteous man. Some years later he realised that his religion was empty, and could not satisfy the deep desire and longing of his heart, and so he began searching for reality. One night he attended a service in a church in Llanelli and on leaving the service he was handed a tract entitled "Are you part of the building, or the scaffolding?" When he returned home he told his wife that he would never enter a church again until that question was answered.

The following poem, written by him describes his experience:-

Alone with God in my kitchen
One never forgotten night
When I was weighed in the balance
Found wanting, my awful plight.
I cried, and I prayed and trembled
No hope for a sinner like me
I found I had false religion
My sins like mounds I could see.
Four days under this conviction
God seemed to be far away
I prayed and prayed for forgiveness
But none seemed to come my way
One night Christ Jesus appeared
And offered to take my case
I heard that he was the Saviour
For all of the human race.
I fell at his feet as a dead man
I told Him what a sinner I was
With His hands and feet and side wounds
He pleaded with God my cause.
Next day I heard him saying
"No condemnation now, you are free,
I paid all the debt that you owed Him

When I died on Calvary's tree."


It was Boxing day 1917, the time, 3.O'clock in the afternoon. He had never known the love of an earthly father, but he knew now that God was his father and that he had been born again of the Holy Spirit into His family. Sometime later he asked God to use him, and he began singing on the streets of Pontarddulais. He would sing in Welsh:-

"Un rhyfedd un rhyfedd yw'r Iesu
Gellwir ei enw rhyfeddal
Moliant iddo ef"

that is

Wonderful wonderful Jesus
Oh He's a wonderful Saviour
Praise His holy name.

Sometime later he invited Stephen Jeffreys to take some meetings in his home, this was the beginning of the work which is today known as Bont Elim Community Church 'Beulah'. At first the small company of believers worshipped in a disused fish shop near the centre of the village, but later as the work grew, Beulah was erected on a small plot on Twyniago Road (where it remained until the fellowship outgrew the building, and in April 2012 moved to its new home on the corner of Alltiago Road and Oakfield Street).

William Bell was in charge of the work for some years and invited an artist to paint a suitable picture on the wall behind the pulpit. At the opening ceremony it was clear that the picture depicted the marriage at Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed His first miracle - turning the water in to wine. A visiting minister began to sing:

"I belong to the bridal procession
I am going to the marriage of the Lamb
I have an eternal possession
With the bridegroom in the Heavenly Land.
And I'm going there some day
I'm going there to stay
With Jesus."

Some time later William Bell's wife who had been a missionary in India held a series of Gospel meetings in the local Institute, one evening a young man came in to the service with the intention of disrupting the proceedings, but as he heard the Word of God proclaimed he came under deep conviction and gave his life to God. Later he left Pontarddulais and served the Lord for many years as a missionary in Japan.

One Tuesday evening the church had gathered for a prayer meeting and a young boy of about ten years old had chosen some hymns to play at the service. Just before they sang the final hymn Llewellyn Bell asked this young boy if he would like to be saved, not knowing that he was under conviction although so young. There at the little harmonium he gave his life to Jesus and when they stood to sing the final hymn, this young boy had chosen "O happy day that fixed my choice on Thee my Saviour and my God". When older he entered the Christian ministry and has recently completed 60 years of service for the Master with the Assemblies of God, and has preached the Gospel in many countries around the world.

During his years of employment Llewellyn Bell worked as a carpenter in the Clayton Tinplate Works at Pontarddulais. He had the oversight of eighteen men and asked the Lord to save them and he prayed earnestly for them every day. He took a block of wood into which he knocked eighteen nails, each time one of these men gave their lives to God he removed a nail. When he retired at the age of sixty five all the nails had been removed. Forty years later his grand daughter attended a wedding in London. She was asked by a young woman if she was the grand daughter of Llewellyn Bell. When she said "yes" this young woman told her that her grand father had been one of the nails in his block of wood.

"TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY SALVATION IS OF THE LORD" JONAH 2v9

The above account courtesy of Mr Bell's grand daughter Jean.


The following information was supplied by Mr Clifford Rees, he was the ten year old boy mentioned in the above account.

“Beulah church started in a very ordinary way. Not through the strength of a revival or crusade. In January 1918, on a Sunday morning in Penvidi House in the home of David Llewelyn Bell, a stone’s throw from the Goppa chapel, there was a prayer meeting attended by one. The collection was one shilling in old currency, five pence by today’s.

In the evening the number had increased to two, Mr. Bell being joined by his wife. In a short time the number had increased to seven When the first home became too small for the growing congregation, a portable building seating sixty people was purchased and was set up near the King Hotel. Some very famous Pentecostal ministers preached in this building, notably Steven Jeffries. It became necessary to move to a larger building and Beulah was built seating about a hundred on Twyn Iago.”

FROM, “HANES PONTARDULAIS” COMPILED BY E. LEWIS EVANS, GWASG GOMER, LLANDYSUL,1949. Llewelyn Bell contributed the foregoing.

From the church two other churches have branched out. The Apostolic church Carmel in Pontardulais and its sister church in the village of Ponlliw.

The influence of the church has extended to regions far from its immediate vicinity with the significant number of its members entering the Christian ministry

JOHN CLEMENT.

Native of the neighbouring village of Ponlliw was converted during an evangelistic rally conducted by Blodwen Bell in the Institute Rooms in Pontardulais. Blodwen was a one-time missionary to India. John Clement felt the call of God to missionary service in Japan where he ministered very successfully for many years. Later he served as a pastor in the Assemblies of God in the United States.

THOMAS ELFED FRANCIS.

One Sunday morning, Llewelyn Bell found himself in the church without another soul in the congregation. In these circumstances, many would have had a time of prayer and then gone home early. Not so Mr. Bell, he had a full service. The usual number of hymns, the Scripture readings, the time for prayer and worship and partaking of the Communion Table. He even preached the sermon to himself. So at the usual time that the Sunday morning meeting finished, he was locking the door of the church. A young man, walking his dog passed by. There were no bungalows in Twyn Iago at that time, it was an open field area. The young man had been to a service in the chapel that he attended and was walking the dog while his mother was preparing the Sunday dinner. Quickly Mr. Bell entered into conversation, about the Lord, of course. The upshot was that the door of the church was unlocked, the young man accompanied by the dog entered with the preacher and knelt at the front pew accepting the Lord has his Saviour.

Thomas Elfed became the organist in Beulah for a number of years before entering the Elim Bible College in Clapham London. He was a prominent Elim minister for the rest of his life successfully pastoring many churches.

WILLIE BELL

Son of the founder of the church also became an ordained Elim minister while pursuing his vocation as a schoolteacher. He was a gifted Gospel singer. In his teen years he had ministered at the piano in some of the great crusades conducted by Stephen Jeffries. He brought blessing to many large gatherings including the Royal Albert Hall in London which was packed to capacity in the great meetings convened by Principal George Jeffries. Wille’s wife, Blodwen was a product of Cross Keys church which was the first Pentecostal Church in Wales. She had served as a missionary in India. She was a gifted preacher and with her husband ministered in many churches throughout Britain.


CLIFFORD REES.

10 years old when he was saved and came to know new life in Jesus.

A summer evening in 1929, I came in from playing and wondered what had hit our house The next door neighbour stood in our kitchen, my mother and father gazing at him in astonishment. He kept the village grocer’s shop, was the village undertaker and carpenter, he also ran the village taxi, and in his spare time, he was the chimney sweep. But on this occasion he had adopted a far more important role. He waved his arms like a Dutch windmill and kept repeating come and get what I’ve got its Wonderful. He told my father, “Come and get what I’ve got its wonderful, you get what I’ve got and you won’t want to go to public houses any more, you won’t want to go to football matches any more.” Then to my mother, “You come and get what I’ve got and you won’t want to go to cinemas and theatres any more” And after repeating come and get what I’ve got, its wonderful about fifty more times, out he went.

I have attended sessions on personal evangelism by the hour, read loads of books on the subject. According to these, Albert Jones did not do a thing right. But we cannot be too hard on him, he had not been saved an hour. He attended an evangelistic crusade in the local Pentecostal church. He had accepted the Lord Jesus as His Saviour. He did not know really what had happened to him, but he knew it was something wonderful and he was bursting to tell about it and to share this wonderful experience. He may not have done things according to the books or lectures, but that simple testimony was the means of my mother, myself, my father, sister and brother coming to know the Lord.

My mother was the first to be saved and I started to go with her to the Pentecostal church. I was one of the “Goodie Goodies”. I read my Bible every day, and regularly attended the church. I did not act or speak as some of the boys in my school class did. I prayed for God to save souls, not realising that I needed salvation as much as any one. I actually quoted Scripture, Jesus said, “ I came not to call the righteous but sinners, and, they that are whole need not Physician, but they that are sick”. I felt I was righteous, I was whole. Then a memorable Saturday night, the great evangelist, George Jeffries was holding a crusade in Swansea. There were two thousand people in the Grand theatre, the preacher ignored one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine and preached at me. By the end of the meeting, I did not feel very righteous or whole, but though many came to accept the Lord Jesus that night, I was not one of them. Tuesday night was prayer meeting in our little church. The pastor on Sunday asked if I would play the organ for the service as the regular organist was away. I said that I would play if I could choose my own hymns. I did not bother if the hymns were suitable for a prayer meeting, Gospel service, baptismal or any other service, I chose ones with not too many sharps and flats and demi or semi quavers.

I gave my list to the pastor and the meeting proceeded. At the time of the closing hymn, I was on the organ stool, hymnbook open at the page, enjoying a boyish delight that I knew the closing hymn. The pastor was turning over the pages of his hymnbook. Then suddenly, prompted by the Holy Spirit, he looked down at me and said, “Would you like to be saved to night”. I have thanked God a million times and more that I said, “Yes”. The pastor said a little prayer; I repeated it after him. That night it was done! I was saved, the greatest night of my life!

He then announced the hymn that I had inadvertently chosen, it was :-

O happy day, that fixed my choice, On Thee, my Saviour and My God!

Well may this glowing heart rejoice. And tell its raptures all abroad.

Happy day, happy day. When Jesus washed my sins away!

He taught me how to watch and pray, And live rejoicing every day.

Happy day, happy day. When Jesus washed my sins away.

And it has been a happy day ever since.

I have been a minister of Assemblies of God for sixty two years. I have had pastorates in Nottingham, Edinburgh, Chesterfield, Coventry and Manchester. I have been privileged to serve on many of the Movements committees notably the Executive Council of Assemblies of God.


HARRY REES.

Was a member of the church and active in the young people’s work. He went into the Baptist ministry and ministered in their churches in West Wales.

LADIES WHO ENTERED THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY.

ROSIE WATTS.

Married Pastor A. J. Chutr, who had been a very successful pastor in Beulah.

MARION REES.

Married another Elim Pastor, Edward Jarvis. During their ministry at Swansea the beautiful building of the City Temple was built. Edward passed into the presence of the Lord in 1979. Marion was recently married to Pastor James Hardman, another Elim minister who enjoyed a successful ministry in Beulah.

MAIR WILLIAMS.

The wife of Harry Rees who served faithfully at her husband’s side until she was taken home at quite an early age.

In his contribution to, “Hanes Pontardulais”, Llewelyn Bell states that Beulah joined Elim in 1939. There is a lapse in his memory here. I left for Hampstead Bible College in January 1940. By this time, Stanley Green had been pastor for six months, then Alfred Chutr for at least two years and John Cooper had been there for a few months. I would estimate that Beulah joined Elim in 1937.


Up to Present Day

In 2007 Jason Beynon joined us as our Pastor, Pastor Jason has been a member of Bont Elim for many years (he was saved in Bont Elim over 20 years ago). After recognising God's calling on his life he joined the Elim MIT programme and graduated in 2011.

As a fellowship we had been looking for a new home since about 2002, as we had outgrown our building on Twyniago Road. In October 2011 the KS3 Pupil Referral Unit on Oakfield Street was put on the market by Swansea City Council. After much prayer and a unanimous vote by the church member's, we entered into negotiations to purchase the building which sits on 0.6 acre of land. We were successful in purchasing it and received the keys on Friday 6th of April 2012. Our building on Twyniago Road was vacated on Monday 9th April 2012 when we moved to our new home. The official opening took place on the weekend of the 29th and 30th September 2012 and was led by Pastor Geoff Feasey, with Mrs Grace Morgan (nee Parry) cutting the ribbon.

We thank God for His goodness and pray that we will know His hand of blessing on our new spiritual home.

We are grateful for the many Godly Pastors who have ministered at Bont Elim Community Church 'Beulah' in the past; who all had an influence for the Lord in the Bont - apologies if I have missed any off the list.

Steven Gunn, Derek Lambelle, John Fry, Paul Rowe, Robert Kane, John Leonard, Richard Buxton, Billy Fenning, Roger Hutchinson, Edward Cole, Geoff Feasey, Derek Lambelle, Robert Pender, Kenneth Smith, William Dempster, Phillip Brewer, George Steele, Cyril Martin, Kenneth Weldon, Reginald Taylor, Edward Jarvis, Frederick Coleman, James Hardman, Agnes Kennedy, Alfred Chutr, Ken Weldon, John Cooper, Stanley Green

If you know of any others drop us an email.

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