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Introduced Version Senate Concurrent Resolution 34 History

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SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 34

(By Senator Chafin)


Requesting the Division of Highways name the portion of U. S. 52 from Taylorville Bridge to the intersection of State Route 44 in Mingo County the "R. A. West Memorial Highway".

Whereas, R. A. West was born on March 12, 1947, in the town of Varney, Mingo County; and
Whereas, R. A. West married Marsha Lowe of Williamson, Mingo County. He took a position as fireman with the Norfolk and Western Railroad and soon thereafter became the youngest person to be promoted to the position of engineer; and
Whereas, At the age of 22, R. A. West, despite the fact that his first-born son was paralyzed due to injury at birth and was confined to a wheelchair, was driven by his religious convictions to heed the call to the evangelical ministry and resigned his job with the railroad, forfeiting his job-related medical benefits while large medical bills associated with the condition of his son continued to mount, thereby evidencing his unshakable religious faith; and
Whereas, R. A. West began proselytizing and, due to his unquestioning faith and religious fervor, was never content with evangelizing solely on Sundays. Instead, he evangelized an average of 300 times each year, continuing this amazingly torrid pace for the first 15 years of his ministry; and
Whereas, R. A. West Ministry expanded into radio and television throughout the United States and into 80 foreign countries, spreading a constructive and positive message to millions of human beings throughout the planet; and
Whereas, In spite of his national and world acclaim, R. A. West never abandoned nor distanced himself from his humble origins, nor from his beloved Varney, West Virginia, nor from his family, friends and parishioners; and
Whereas, R. A. West, as a direct result of his good and fruitful works, became one of the most respected unofficial ambassadors of West Virginia, a fact which was commemorated by former Governor Jay Rockefeller, among other prominent notables; and
Whereas, Sadly, R. A. West was suddenly and unexpectedly taken to his reward on July 6, 2002, when his earthly existence was terminated as the result of a motorcycle accident; this event resulted in the largest funeral ever conducted in southern West Virginia, drawing approximately 2,000 persons from all over the United States who gathered to pay their last respects; and
Whereas, The residents of Varney, Mingo County, as well as people from all over the United States and in the foreign countries where Reverend West's message of peace, love and faith was broadcast, shall never forget his towering spirit and his dedicated fervor in sharing his religious faith; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Legislature hereby requests the Division of Highways name the portion of U. S. 52 from Taylorville Bridge to the intersection of State Route 44 in Mingo County the "R. A. West Memorial Highway"; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Division of Highways is hereby requested to have made and be placed signs identifying the highway as the "R. A. West Memorial Highway"; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the Senate is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and to the family of the Reverend R. A. West.
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