Presbyterians of the Past generally posts articles about people and subjects of the more distant past, but because the United States is celebrating its birthday and many men and women are away from hearth and home on foreign fields, it is appropriate to make an exception for a minister from recent history, Chaplain Bryan J. Weaver. He was a minister of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) serving with the United States military for a number of years. Presbyterians of the Past thanks the editor of New Horizons in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Rev. Danny E. Olinger, for his kind permission to republish the memorial with its photograph. The memorial was first published on pages 19-20 of the June 2016 issue of New Horizons. Some minor editing has been done for posting the memorial on this site.
The chaplaincy is a difficult calling because the minister has to balance his commitment to the gospel as he serves ministering the Word to those bearing the sword of the state. Chap. Weaver was a faithful minister to and a dedicated colleague of his flock as he risked his life at the front. The author of Presbyterians of the Past expresses his condolences to Chaplain Weaver’s survivors, church family, military associates, and friends while reminding them of the consolation that only the Holy Spirit working through the Word of God can bring.
If you are interested in reading more about chaplains, both those ministering in the military and others shepherding in prisons, just click the “Categories” button on the Presbyterians of the Past homepage toolbar, then the “Biographies” button, and finally, click the “Chaplains” button. Currently, the world is remembering the centennial of the First World War, The Great War, which the United States entered in April 1917. For a biography of a chaplain and hero of the First World War, read about Chap. T. M. Bulla.
In Memoriam, Bryan J. Weaver
Robert M. Coie
In the always perfect and wise providence of our sovereign God, Captain Bryan Jay Weaver, Chaplain Corps (CHC), United States Navy (USN), was taken from this life into the arms of his faithful Savior on April 2, 2016, and transferred to the Church Triumphant. The last words on his lips were “Jesus, Jesus,” repeated several times.
Bryan was born in 1955. He and his wife Shelley had three sons: Grant, Kurt, and Trent. He graduated from Taylor University (BA, 1978), Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (MDiv, 1983), and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (ThM, 1997).
Bryan served as a Navy chaplain for over thirty years, twenty one of which were with the United States Marine Corps (a possible record). He was believed to be the most decorated Navy chaplain at the time of his death (eight rows of ribbons). In Kosovo, he disarmed an enemy combatant who attacked his unit with a knife. During combat operations in Iraq, General James F. Amos, his commanding officer who would later become Commandant of the Marine Corps, gave him the nickname “Battle Chaps” for crawling from fighting hole to fighting hole, encouraging Marines and in the process teaching non-commissioned officers and officers what it is to be a leader of Marines.
Bryan was a faithful servant of King Jesus in an increasingly hostile world. He was awarded the Navy peer-elected John H. Craven Servant Leadership Award in 2014 and the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary Faithful Servant Award in December 2015.
In his time with the Marines, he served as Command Chaplain of a battalion in the 1st Marine Division, and later the 24th Expeditionary Unit, the 2nd Marine Division, the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Force Command, Norfolk, and Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina.
During his last twenty-seven months, Bryan had about nine cancer-related brain procedures. Toward the end, he seemed to be gaining strength, but to no avail. He was buried in Beaufort National Cemetery, South Carolina, wearing his Marine uniform.
I can testify that Bryan Weaver feared God, and not man, as well as any man I have ever known, and I have been privileged to call him my friend.