Letters

A tribute to Rev. Dr. J. Emmette Weir 

Dear Editor,

The sad news of the passing of our friend and brother in ministry, Dr. J. Emmette Weir, stirred emotions deeply.

We commiserate with his wife, Mrs. Ena Weir, of so many years, their children, siblings, other relatives, and persons to whom he ministered. May the triune God, whom Dr. Weir so eloquently proclaimed, sustain all of you.

As far back as the 1950s, as a boy we lived in the Meeting and West Street area, the Weirs were a distinguished family. I believe Emmette’s mother was a teacher at old Western Junior. Those were the days when a teacher’s appearance was the best motivation for students. Mrs. Weir stands out in my memory.

The Weirs were people others looked up to if you wanted to climb the social ladder. Dr. Weir was an erudite scholar and theologian whom I emulated.

I made an open confession of faith to Christ as Savior when I was only 16. This took place in April of 1964. Emmette Weir was one of the pastors who came through “Choke Neck Alley” looking for me and gave me a good spiritual footing.

This brother served the Methodist Church with distinction, but he was bigger than his denomination. He was truly an ecumenist, who encouraged inter-denominationalism.

When I returned from seminary in 1973, Dr. Weir had already made a name for himself in the church and at the national level as a theologian and a philosopher with a heart for the nation and the wider Caribbean.

Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, a group of pastors such as Dr. Colin Archer, Pastor Geoffrey Wood, Archdeacon William Thompson, Dr. Weir and I met regularly to exchange ideas and discuss theology and national issues.

I vividly remember Dr. Weir espousing the idea that the call to “national service” was the right thing to help guide our nation’s youth and urged all to support it. Sadly, politics got in the way of its implementation.

Emmette Weir was so comfortable with what God had deposited in him that he was equally comfortable to dialogue with others with opposing doctrinal and social positions. He embraced the Methodist principles, but he was clearly a Kingdom citizen. Pastor Weir’s writings and sermons were hermeneutically sound and homiletically well structured.

His human frame is with us no more.

During October past, Rev. Geoffrey Wood and I conducted a seven-week class on the topic “Maintaining Faith during this Pandemic”.

We reached more than 300 persons on seven different nations. My friend and brother J. Emmette Weir lectured on one of the sessions and shared a profound message that was felt around the world.

This is what he always did, every time he rose to declare the truth and power of God’s word. He was a walking example that anointing and knowledge are imperative for 21st Century Gospel proclamation.

Our Christian faith teaches us that he is not dead; he is only asleep.

Earth’s loss is heaven’s gain. He has taken leave. He has gone ahead of us. He has gone to a place far better than down here to help with the preparations of a place for God’s redeemed.

I am indeed grateful to God that I obeyed His voice and honored my brother with a Christian award for commitment and faithfulness to Kingdom work in April 2018.

Thank you, brother Weir. Your work, ministry and your life have touched many and will influence successive generations.

Simeon B. Hall

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