Welcome to Oak Island UMC.
Oak Island UMC is a non-profit, religious organization. We are always happy to meet new people - all are welcome!
John Welsey DeVilbiss
I would like to begin with a little history of John Wesley DeVilbiss early childhood. Born August 28, 1819, to the parents of Alexander and Priscilla DeVilbiss. Alexander was a exhorter (minister) and class leader. The family joined a caravan traveling to Licking County, Ohio. The town was a frontier town as were most in this time frame. A village was laid out around the land of the DeVilbiss, the people who moved around the family, name the community Alexandria. There is a monument in honor of Alexander DeVilbiss. www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker.
John Wesley was a child who heard the word of God all his life. This, most assuredly contributed to his desire to serve our loving Lord. At the age of 13 he enters a saddler’s shop to learn the trade of making saddles. He worked alongside a relative of his mothers. This relative was also a Christian which continued to assist with the growth of Johns desire to serve.
In the year of 1833 he attended a camp meeting and was converted at the age of 14. With his spiritual living and daily devotions from family and friends is there no wonder he would be willing to serve the Lord. His desire at this young age was to share in the gospel’s truth, love of God, the saving grace and forgiveness of sins.
The law in Ohio was that an employer was to send an employee to school for a few weeks each year. This school was where you would get the best training, later he attended the Methodist College in Kentucky. After some college he returned home and continued to work as a saddler. In 1836 his desire was so overwhelming that he knew he wanted to enter the ministry so he did. He began his diligent work in service in Ohio going to camp meeting, preaching and studying. He had been licensed to preach, junior preacher. His companions would call him,” earnest, zealous, fervent and able in prayer, all his labors were blessed. There was an increase reported of about two hundred within the seven or eight years before volunteering to come to Texas. While at a conference he had a yearning desire to volunteer for the Texas circuit. Sitting at the conference listening to the talks and discussions on the need of the work in Texas he did not hesitate by jumping to his feet raising his hand and offered his services to travel. At the age of 22 in the year of 1842 he was to be a circuit rider for the Presbyterian/Methodist church. Now Ohio and Kentucky were civilized and cultured. Some had brick houses, shops, restaurants and large farms, animals, rode in buggies, on trains, stagecoach travel, steam-boats and of course horses.