Samuel Rees Howells
A Short Biography
Samuel Rees Howells, or "Mr Samuel" as he was affectionately called by student and staff members of the Bible College of Wales (BCW) was born in 1912
in Brynamman, a mining village near Swansea, South Wales, UK. Before his birth, the Lord gave Mr Rees and Mrs Lizzie Howells
his name – ‘Samuel,’ and there were similarities in his life to the Samuel he was named after
in the Bible. His mothers middle name was Hannah, and he too was to be dedicated by his mother on the altar of sacrifice.
In 1912, his parents received the call to Africa by the Lord, and with training needed for the mission field, the young Samuel was given into the care of his foster parents – Mr Howells’
uncle and his wife (Moses and Elizabeth Rees). It was at the point that his name was changed to Samuel Rees.
In July of 1915, three year old Samuel waved to the train carrying his parents away as it passed along the railway track at the bottom
of his adoptive parents’ garden. The vivid memories of that occasion remained with him throughout his life.
For the next five years, Rees Howells and his wife saw the hundredfold promised by the Lord to those who ‘give up wife,
husband, child…’ under their ministry in Southern Africa, beginning in Gazaland. The story of leaving their baby son had a deep effect on the Africans,
and after a wonderfully fruitful time in Africa, Mr and Mrs Howells returned to the UK in 1920 for furlough and then deputation
work under the South Africa General Mission (SAGM).
Meanwhile, little Samuel grew up with his foster parents in the village of Garnant, in Wales. It was here, that he attended the
junior school where his foster mother was headmistress. He accepted the Lord as his personal Saviour in 1924 when he was just 12
years old, and, just like Samuel in the Bible he seemed set apart for the Lord from his youth. That same year, The Bible College
of Wales (BCW) was opened by Rees Howells at Glynderwen House, Blackpill, Swansea, Wales, UK. Samuel was attending Preparatory
School in Uplands, Swansea and was staying with his natural parents at the Bible College of Wales throughout the week and returning to his
adoptive parents at the weekends.
Samuel’s adoptive parents wanted him to become a doctor, but Samuel felt the Lord’s call to Christian ministry. So, in
the early 1930s he attended Oxford University, where he graduated in theology. After graduation, without any persuasion from
his natural parents he joined the Bible College of Wales and became a member of the College staff. He lectured in theology
and Greek, and later became Assistant Director of the College, which were then based on two sites: Derwen Fawr and Sketty Isaf, Sketty,
Swansea. These sites were a five minute walk up the road from Glynderwen (the site of the School), but crossed a geographical boundary
into Sketty. When Rees Howells died in February 1950, Samuel became the Honorary Director and assumed the responsibility of the entire work of the College
until he stepped down in 2002, aged 89!
Always a quiet man and unassuming in character, Mr Samuel had a keen mind and a dry sense of humour. He was a true son of his father,
sharing in a life of deep and costly intercession, both during the War years and later when he became the Honorary Director.
Rees went to be with the Lord in February 1950 and his son, Samuel Howells took charge of the work. Immediately he called the College to
prayer, declaring that they would have more prayer meetings than before and would continue in the life of faith. Over the next
fifty years, Samuel Rees Howells led the College to intercede through various world crises, and they saw the power of intercession
prevail against the powers of darkness
Reverend Samuel Rees Howells. MA Oxon, Hon. Director of The Bible College of Wales passed into glory on Thursday 18 March 2004
aged 91 years. A memorial service was held on the 31 March in the conference hall at BCW where around 200 people were present,
including many past students and staff, alongside leaders and founders of several notable worldwide ministries.
The inspirational life of Samuel Rees Howells has led to two books being published about his life on the centenary of his birth.
The story of the intercessions of Samuel Rees Howells and the intercessors trained by Rees Howells are told in the book
Samuel Rees Howells: A Life of Intercession Go.
The story of Samuel’s life at the Bible College of Wales, it staff, students and history is told in
Samuel, Son and Successor of Rees Howells Go.