The Methodist Church is said to have lost one of its best preachers, with the passing of Reverend Dr. Joseph Emmette Agustus Weir. He passed away at age 83, on April 30.
At the time of his death, Weir who has been described as a “pastor’s pastor” who challenged people in their “walk” with God and their stewardship in ministry through his example, teachings, humility and friendship, is said to have been reading the scriptures, and took his last breath with the Holy Bible in his hands.
Weir was born on May 14, 1937, and was nurtured in faith at Wesley Methodist Church, Grants Town.
He earned degrees in theology and philosophy from the University of Aberdeen where he received his doctorate degree. He served as Methodist tutor/warden at the United Theological College of the West Indies, lectured at Templeton Theological Seminary (now closed) and College of The Bahamas (now University of The Bahamas). He also served as superintendent of the Boy’s Industrial School (now Simpson C. Penn Center for Boys). He founded the Bethany Bible & Training Institute and for a few years served as interim pastor at Our Savior Lutheran Church, Grand Bahama. He also served as Chaplain of Queen’s College, New Providence, and the Rand Memorial Hospital, Grand Bahama.
Weir was a prolific writer and penned the books “Pimps in the Pulpit”, “Obama in Prophecy” and “Praying the Lord’s Prayer”.
In addition, he wrote many columns for the newspapers in which he tackled topical matters and issues facing the nation and the church
The former pastor, superintendent and president/chairman emeritus is remembered as an expounder of the gospel, spanning 40-plus decades, as he showed not only his commitment to the “work”, but also the conviction that God placed on his life. And as a person who stood for truth, justice, goodness and service.
His compassion, kindness, understanding, and love is said were ever-present, along with his stance and commitment to biblical principles. And that he was the type of preacher whose life reflected his sermons.
Bishop Simeon Hall said the news of Weir’s passing “stirred emotions deeply”, and that he commiserated with his family.
“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.”
He said Weir served the Methodist Church with distinction, but was bigger than his denomination.
“He was truly an ecumenist, who encouraged inter-denominationalism,” said Hall in a press release.
“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 discussed 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.”
Hall said 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.”
Hall said Weir’s work, ministry and life touched many and will influence successive generations.
Weir is survived by his wife Ena Weir, and children Erica and Ellsworth Weir.