|New Zealand Methodist Church OnLine History
John Whiteley 1806-1869
FOCUS ON 1832 BY SYMBOLS
1. THE PIONEER MISSIONARY
2. THE CHURCH STATESMAN
3. THE AUTHORITY ON MAORI AFFAIRS
4. THE APOSTLE OF PEACE
5. THE DEVOTED MARTYR
THE WHITELEY FAMILY
EARLY WESLEYAN METHODIST AGENTS IN NEW PLYMOUTH
"On February 18th, 1959, about 5.15 in the afternoon, a fire began in the roof of the Whiteley Memorial Church, New Plymouth, and by 7.30 p.m. only the shell remained. Thanks to the mercy of God and the obedience of His servants there is a faithful and virile determination that the ashes of ruin shall be the foundations of an even nobler expression of devotion in a new memorial Church".a
Amidst those ashes were found some few private papers and many reports of the Reverend John Whiteley, who was revered as a devoted Missionary who lived through the So-called Maori Wars and died sacri-ficially somewhere along his path of duty.
Now there emerged from the smoke and fire, a man of great mana, whose courage inspired, whose versatility intrigued and whose dedication to Christ was humbling. Here was a man of calibre and renown, else why had Governors of State, and native Chieftains and Settlers' Commissioners contrived to have him close at hand when at the crossroads thev chose their paths, some of which became a young Nation's near-to-permanent ways.
Here was a man who brought great and lasting benefactions to his Church and amidst bitterest disappointments never whimpered, but remained composed and loyal and devoted.
And withal, here was a man who, moving "with the dust and fire of the world on his clothes, but carrying his shrine with him everywhere" was acclaimed by all-"The Great Peace-Maker".
W. W. H. Greerislade.
a Communication to the President of Conference 18.2.59.