Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
September 2, 1862

Wheeling Intelligencer
May 30, 1863

Methodist Protestant Church.

Preamble And Resolutions

Adopted by the Annual Conference of the Western Virginia District, Methodist Protestant Church, which held its Session in Independence, Preston county, Va., Sept. 2d, 1862.

The Committee on Church Relations reported the following preamble and resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:

Whereas, Our beloved country is at present convulsed by an unprovoked and unholy rebellion, incited by sinister aims, and sustained by unscrupulous means; and

Whereas, We desire at once to express our sympathy for our country, in this hour of her sore trial, to manifest our abhorrence of the accursed rebellion; and to make the record of Conference unmistakeably clear in this deeply vital question; therefore

Resolved, That every member of this body shall be required to take and subscribe the following oaths, and until he does so, he shall not be considered a member of this Conference:

Oaths. - I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the laws made in pursuance thereof, as the supreme law of the land, any law of any State or of the so-called Confederate States of America to the contrary notwithstanding; and that I will support the Government of the State of Virginia, as now recognized by the United States Government.

I do also solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithful and true allegiance bear to the United States of America, and to the said Government of Virginia, against all their enemies whatsoever.

Resolved, That in the interval of Conference Sessions, the President shall not, by his official acts, recognize as a member of this Conference any member who shall not have previously taken and subscribed to the preceding oaths before a proper authority.

The oaths above written were solemnly taken and subscribed to by all the ministers and delegates composing the Conference, who were in attendance, before John Howard, Esq., an acting magistrate of Preston county, Va.

P. T. Laishley,
C. Hooten,
John Clark,
A. Wilson,
D. B. Dorsey,
J. Anvil,
T. E. Lancaster,

G. G. Westfall, Secretary.

[Will all the loyal papers of West Virginia please copy?]

P. S. - I suppose the Rev. Mr. Clark, of your city, did not know at the time he handed you that little article a day or two ago, that the W. V. District of the M. P. Church had pursued the course above written in order to detect rebel sympathizers. I suppose he did not know that "Rev. Mr. Clawson" was not at the Conference at its last session. Neither did he know that "Rev. Mr. Clawson" had refused to take the oath prescribed by the Conference. But he may know that by reading the first resolution above that "Rev. Mr. Clawson" is not a member of the A Conference.

If other Churches who boast so much of loyalty, will use the same vigilance and independence to detect disloyalty that our Conference has, I think it probable they will find a "beam" in their own eye while there is but a "mote" in ours.

G. G. Westfall.
Palatine, May 27th, 1863.

Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: September 1862

West Virginia Archives and History