Wednesday, November 6, 2013

the circuit rider and his brother

John A. Westbrook
John Amos Westbrook (1811-1888) was known as a saddle back preacher, a Methodist circuit rider, Born in Scotland's Isle of Sky, migrated to the United States along with his brother Murdock Malcolm Westbrook (1808 - 1866).  John and Murdoch rode together even though Murdock wasn't in the ministry.  Murdock was a devout Christian, a hunter and tent maker by trade, spent the majority of his life journeying and ministering with his brother.

There was a long period of time when John Westbrook was sworn in as marshal. The job offered pay to help fund his ministry.  He covered large territories in his circuit and he had good relationship with the people of all the communities of which he served.  Murdock never served in any official capacity other than being with and supporting his brother John's ministry and work.

It was said that Murdock was a quiet man, but when he spoke, he was said to have been more eloquent than his younger brother.  "His prayers were charged with great faith of being answered and were."  John's sermons were simple and usually involved merely reading from scriptures.  People were more drawn to John because he possessed a genuine compassion and empathy for all of mankind, finding great favor among the communities of his charge. 
If a visit to an area became prolonged stay,  Murdock would usually venture away from the population, explore the solitude of the forests and mountains to hunt and commune with God.

Both men had fine singing voices, wrote hymns, and often shared in ministry together.  There were seasons throughout their lives that they were apart, and whenever Murdock returned, their work together would continue on as before.  The book Holy Fire on the Frontier (pub.1811) touches on key events of John and Murdock Westbrook's lives.

A controversial and seldom mentioned aspect about their ministry is their involvement with the purge of nosferatu. 
John's wife, Llewelyn wrote of the brother's encounters with the nosferatu in the United States in her Diary of Rev. John Westbrook.  "John and Murdock experienced the tragedy of losing both parents and six siblings to what they referred to as the vampir sort.  John and Murdock discovered their personal salvation and deliverance when they gave their young lives to God."
-Holy Fire on the Frontier 

"The vampir sort feed primarily upon the blood of their own clan.  I witnessed this as a child, and saw many that I loved dearly fall prey to the demonic presence that found entrance into the home by a passed member of the family.  Once within the home, the entire bloodline would quickly destroyed in the area.  Salvation is the only salvation for those still living.  An awakening among the family is the only way to lessen the spread.  What I have discovered and found true is that the vampir sort thirst for the blood of their own kin.  Any one related or distantly related are prey to this form of evil.  The unnatural course of the vampir sort is to eventually kill a family tree by sapping the life from each living root.  When a man is saved, the blood is a new blood.  The demonic nosferatu detest the presence of Christ in the temple that courses through the veins of a reborn man.  This does not mean that a Christian can not be killed by the vampir sort, just as a Christian can succumb to the fatal wounds inflicted by that of a wild animal.  It does mean that the vampir does not thirst for that which will finish him.  The blood of Christ is a poison to many forms of these familiars."
-Rev JW

Murdock M. Westbrook

"It is not enough to hunt down and destroy the vampir sort, the family remaining must be saved to be saved from the unholy thirsts of these familiar spirits.  The kin remaining must individually become new creatures, baptized of water and share in Holy Communion, experience entire sanctification.  A transformed man is no longer under the curse of the world no matter how dark the principality."
-Murdock M Westbrook

John and Murdock Westbrook went about their lives taking opposition and troubles in stride.  Nosterafu cleansing was dealt with as the two encountered it.  They were called to help from communities within and sometimes outside of John's circuit.  Like any preacher of their time, John tended to all needs of the body, not just that of deliverance and cleansing of the vampir sort.  There were those in that day and since who wrongfully refer to them as vampire hunters.  There is nothing written that qualifies the ministry of John and Murdock as such.  Their lives were spent not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.  The Westbrooks saw their primary mission living out the love of Christ, commonly seen ministering to the sick, the widowed and the orphaned.  They fearlessly served God with their lives.
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