Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mr. West

I had heard about the Rev. Mr. West, 19th century pastor of Ocracoke's Northern Methodist Church (Wesley Chapel). Then, one day I came across this brief article from the New Berne Weekly Journal (New Bern, NC), July 19, 1894:

"We hear that the charges against Rev. Mr. West, the Northern Methodist pastor at Ocracoke, have been investigated and that he has been acquitted."

You might wonder what the charges were. Read on.

Wesley Chapel

Wesley Chapel’s sixth pastor, Rev. W. E. West, was known to take a drink now and again. According to Elizabeth Howard, as recounted in Alton Ballance’s book, Ocracokers, “[t]his preacher had a very good delivery. He’d get in the pulpit and be a little under the influence of intoxicating beverages. One woman said that she would much rather hear him preach drunk than hear some sober.”

In June 1894, Mr. West was investigated by church officials on the charge of drunkenness, but, as the article above attests, was acquitted. One can only wonder what was going on behind the scenes!

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the dramatic story of life-saver Rasmus Midgett and his rescue of the crew of the barkentine Priscilla in August, 1899. You can read it here:

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:35 AM

    Charges? What charges? Was it dereliction of duty? Was he not preaching on Sunday? Was he driving to work DUI?? newspaper articles from the 19th century seem to be as reliable as Twitter or facebook. Is it fact or fiction, rumor or innuendo conventional small talk .. This is a Man of the Cloth how can his character be questioned .. He was merely filled with the Holy SPIRITS when preaching.