Rev. Wesley Welborn

- November 24, 2023

Rev. Dr. George Wesley Welborn, 74, died peacefully on November 24, 2023, surrounded by his family, in the parsonage of Strasburg United Methodist Church in Strasburg, Virginia. 

Wesley is survived by: his loving wife, Becky L. Welborn, his children, the Rev. Kathleen (John) Haynes, and MAJ.(R) Jonathan (Malika) Welborn, US Army, and six grandchildren, Michael, Wesley, Kamilla, Gabriel, Daniel, and Sophia.  He leaves behind his mother, Earlene Davidson and brothers Wayne and Roger.  Rev. Welborn was preceded in death by his father, Walter and youngest brother, Douglas.   

Wesley considered his family and the lives he touched through his ministry inside and outside the church as his greatest accomplishments.  He and Becky were a month shy of 53 years in marriage.  His daughter, Kathleen, followed in his footsteps and also became a UMC pastor.  His son, Jonathan, graduated from West Point Military Academy and served in the United States Army for 20 years rising to the rank of Major before retiring and returning to civilian life with his family this fall.  Both children have been married for 20 years or more and are raising grandchildren that Wesley was deeply proud of and blessed by.  His last day was spent sharing a homemade meal with his family and enjoying giving thanks for all God’s blessings.  

A native Texan, born in Corpus Christi, in 1949, Rev. Welborn graduated from Victoria High School.  After graduation, he attended McMahon School of Stenotype in Houston.  From there, Wesley was appointed Official Court Reporter of the 145th Judicial District Court in Nacogdoches.  There his best friend, Randy Warren, introduced him to Becky Lock at the Stephen F. Austin State University United Methodist Wesley Foundation.  

They married in Elkhart in 1970.  In 1971, Wesley had a powerful experience of God’s grace and love in Christ Jesus.  He prayerfully asked for and received the call to dedicate his life to preaching and teaching about that love and grace.  Wesley entered into ministry in the Texas Conference of the United Methodist under appointment to Smith Chapel Circuit in Mineola on February 1, 1972.  He was ordained an Elder in the United Methodist Church in 1980.

Rev. Welborn preached and served as a minister for 50 years, 44 years under appointment in the Texas Conference retiring in June of 2016.  He then served the Conference for two more years as an Intentional Interim Minister.  After he and Becky moved to Virginia to live with their daughter and son-in-law, both UMC pastors in the Virginia Conference, he assisted and persisted in ministry for four more years in extension ministry in the Shenandoah River District.  Wesley finally stepped out of the pulpit for health reasons in 2023, but even then, he carried on with teaching a Sunday School class as often as his health allowed.

Rev. Welborn’s appointments were as follows: Smith Chapel Circuit (‘72-’75), First UMC, Texas City (‘77-’78), Colfax Circuit (’78-’79), Beckville UMC & Allison Chapel (‘79-’82), First UMC, Bryan, Associate (’82-’88), St. John’s, Baytown (’88-’91), Van UMC (’91-’94), First UMC, Center (’94-’00), First UMC, Brenham (’00-06), Chapelwood UMC, Lake Jackson (’06-’12), First UMC, Port Neches (’12-’16), Fields Chapel UMC, Palestine, Retired (’16-‘18), Mt. Zion UMC, Brief Interim (’18), and Honorary Associate of Strasburg UMC, Strasburg, VA (’19-’22).   
While serving as an Associate Pastor at Bryan FUMC, Wesley, continued his love of learning by earning his D.Min. from McCormick Theological Seminary in, Chicago, Illinois.  His thesis was on Reviving the Dying Church. 

In addition to his work inside the church Rev. Welborn chose to give of his time to community organizations in each place he lived.  He has been a member of various Lions and Rotary clubs all his life.  Rev. Welborn also wrote weekly newspaper columns for various town papers and in Center, TX gave weekly radio devotionals. He frequently served on boards for local community development organizations, foundations, and charities.  

In his spare time, Wesley enjoyed staying physically active. Sports he enjoyed included: racquetball, tennis, kickboxing, pickle ball, and yoga.  He was often seen walking for miles through whatever pretty landscapes were near his home.  It was on one of these walks that he found retirement buddy, Smokey, a small, blonde puppy that eventually grew to almost three feet from head to foot.

The hobby he became passionate about after his children left home was raising orchids. He was a member of the Orchid Society in Lake Jackson and continued this hobby until the climates of where he lived no longer promoted orchid growth.  A favorite pastime for Wesley was playing Sid Meier’s Civilization series of games, which he introduced to his children and grandchildren over the years, though none of them will ever eclipse his level of play. 

A funeral service for Rev. Welborn will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 2, 2023 at Strasburg United Methodist Church.  A luncheon will follow in the Fellowship Hall.
Rev. Welborn’s Texan friends, family, colleagues and congregants are invited to attend a memorial service for him held on January 13, 2024 at 11:00am in the Peace Chapel at Lakeview Methodist Conference Center in Palestine, Texas.  Internment will be at the Texas Methodist Conference Cemetery at Lakeview.  Limited hotel rooms are available at Lakeview for those traveling. 
Memorial gifts may be made to a charity of your choice in the name of Rev. Dr. Wesley Welborn.  Wesley was a compassionate and generous man who gave to many charities throughout his life including, his local United Methodist Church, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the Leukemia Society, Huntington’s Disease Society of America, etc.