Cardiff is a seaport and the capital of Wales--a city graced with many historic buildings and overlooked by a castle on a hill. A town of fewer than 2,000 people in 1801, its population multiplied into the hundreds of thousands in the 19th century. Martyn Lloyd-Jones contributed to that population boom when he was born in Cardiff on this day, December 20, 1899.
Martyn's childhood had at least one highlight: In January, 1910, his home caught on fire while he and his brothers were sleeping. All of them could easily have lost their lives. The family did lose almost everything they owned and their shaky finances never recovered. As a result, Martyn set out with real determination to succeed.
He entered a London medical school, completing all his exams at such a young age that he had to wait for his degree until his age caught up with his education. He became the chief clinical assistant of a leading physician, Sir Thomas Horder. Horder described Martyn as "the most acute thinker that I ever knew." Martyn faced the prospect of a brilliant and financially rewarding career. But something happened to change that.
Martyn had joined a Calvinist Methodist church when he was fifteen-years-old. Around 1924, he began to seriously consider his spiritual condition. "For many years I thought I was a Christian when in fact I was not. It was only later that I came to see that I had never been a Christian and became one." Reading the Bible for himself and pondering its meaning, he eventually realized that "What I needed was preaching that would convict me of sin and ... bring me to repentance and tell me something about regeneration. But I never heard that. The preaching we had was always based on the assumption that we were all Christians..."
Martyn asked Christ to become master of his life. As soon as he had made that decision, he was overwhelmed with a longing to return to Wales to share his new-found faith with the folks back home.
He took a small church in Aberavon, Wales. Local doctors snubbed him, thinking he was going to poach on their patients. But Martyn wanted instead to win souls. He preached clear, analytical messages. Working men and women came to know Christ. Notorious alcoholics converted to Christ. Other churches invited him to speak.
A few years after Martyn came to Aberavon, a local doctor asked for help with a difficult medical case. Martyn diagnosed the problem at once and proved completely right. After that, demands for his medical assistance increased to the point that they almost threatened his pastoral work.
His name became increasingly well-known. G. Campbell Morgan, another pastor with a powerful ministry, invited him to come to Westminster Chapel. Martyn accepted the Westminster invitation in 1938. Publication of his powerful sermons made him internationally famous. He died in 1981.
- "Cardiff." Britannica. 1967.
- "Cardiff, Wales Area -- December 1999." http://www.electricrainbow.com/welshpages/
- Catherwood, Sir Fred. "Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: His Life and Ministry." http://www.graceonlinelibrary.org/christian-living/ full.asp?ID=579.
- "Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the Need for Revival and Baptism with the Holy Spirit." Bethlehem Conference for Pastors, January 30, 1991. http://www.desiringGOD.org
- Packer, J.I. "Martyn Lloyd-Jones." Chosen vessels : portraits of ten outstanding Christian men. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Vine Books, 1985.
- "Portraits. Martyn Lloyd-Jones." The Baptist Page. http://www.baptistpage.org/Nquite/ NQ_portraits/jones.html.
Last updated June, 2007.