2021 Online Annual Conference: Agenda, Book of Recommendations, Special Offering

COVID-19 battle impact’s Pine Forest UMC pastor’s life, faith


By Kara Witherow, Editor

For more than 100 days, Rev. Wes Moye lay in a hospital room, surrounded by the countless nurses, doctors, and machines that worked to keep him alive.

Now home after his harrowing battle with COVID-19, he’s surrounded by his wife, Jan, and the rest of their family as he continues to recover and rehabilitate.

Throughout the four-month ordeal, Rev. Moye was surrounded by the love, prayers, and support of the Pine Forest UMC congregation, friends around the South Georgia Conference, and fellow believers around the connection.

Diagnosed with COVID-19 in September, Rev. Moye, who serves as senior pastor of Pine Forest United Methodist Church in Dublin, spent 38 days on a ventilator. Unconscious for most of that time, Rev. Moye battled double pneumonia, sepsis, and went into heart failure. Doctors feared he would have brain damage and told his wife to prepare for the worst.

“God was merciful,” said Rev. Moye, who was paralyzed from the neck down when he woke from his coma. “I’m overwhelmed by the grace of God, the goodness of God, and the love of God’s people.”

After spending six weeks rehabilitating, Rev. Moye is now home, working with therapists to regain movement in his legs and feet.

He doesn’t question why he endured this ordeal, but instead points to God and His grace.

“There’s no way I could be bitter with God about why this happened. Why not me?” he asks. “The goodness of God outweighs anything I’ve gone through, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.”

Rev. Moye has been a Christian since he was 17, and although the experience impacted his life and faith in profound ways, his faith remained steadfast and unwavering.

“God got my attention and reminded me that this is a season to draw closer to Him and to realize my first and top priority is Him,” he said.

He’s been reminded of the beauty of the community of faith and the importance of fellow believers.

“Through the years, and especially with this, I’ve realized that we are better when we are together. It’s a cliché, for sure, but it’s true,” he said.

An outpouring of love and support from around the South Georgia Conference has come his way, and hundreds of cards and letters have been sent to show him and his family that they’re being prayed for.

“The community of faith has been incredible, and I have come to honor that and recognize that more now how important that is.”

And even though Rev. Moye isn’t active on Facebook, members of his family and church staff are. While he was hospitalized they posted regular updates and asked for prayers. At one point during his illness, Rev. Moye’s son estimated that more than 40,000 people were praying for his dad’s recovery.

“I was amazed at the outreach that Facebook has,” Rev. Moye said. “God used Facebook, no question about it!”

His heart breaks for those who haven’t been as fortunate as he and for those who have lost loved ones to the illness.

Rev. Moye longs for the day when he can once again stand in the pulpit and be reunited with his Pine Forest UMC family and prays for that day to come soon. He recognizes that the “nightmare” he endured has a higher purpose, and even in the hospital was sharing God’s love with others.

“I’m learning more and more that it’s not my place to second guess God. We know that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord, and I believe that,” he said. “It’s all about God. I want my life, in the end, to glorify Him. I want to be remembered as someone who loved the Lord, loved people, and gave my very best toward the kingdom of God and toward expanding the kingdom.”

Want even more of the story? Watch this brief video with Rev. Wes Moye

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