June 15, 1851 - October 8, 1892
|Walter Dunstan was born in England, June 15, 1851, his mother and probably his father, being a communicant of the Church of England. His education was thorough, begun at home, but continued during the last three years of his school days at Paris, France. Here, and during his subsequent career of three years as a Paymaster in the British Navy, he became a fluent speaker of the French, German, Spanish and Italian languages, as well as a skillful accountant and mathematician of unusual acquirements. He traveled much in various parts of Europe and Asia, becoming familiar with the Holy Land, specially so with Jerusalem. During his service in the Navy, and until his conversion, “be was thoroughly a man of the world,” but one in whom the high principles of honor and of purity of purpose were dominant. His health so far failing as to make it necessary that he should be discharged from the British Naval Service, he mastered the science and art of stenography, as a means of livelihood, and became the leading teacher of that science in New Orleans, where he made his home.
Under the ministry of Rev. Mr. Aitkin, a Missioner of the Church of England, who was at that time holding special services at one of the Protestant Episcopal Churches of New Orleans, Brother Dunstan was converted to Christ.
Reared in the Communion of the Church of England, he naturally connected himself with the Protestant Episcopal Church, being confirmed and becoming a communicant at Grace Church, New Orleans. Finding, however, the fellowship of the Methodist Church more congenial to his conscious experience of salvation, Brother Dunstan severed his connection with the Protestant Episcopal Church, and, in 1886 became a member of Felicity Street Methodist Episcopal Church, South, under the pastorate of Rev. S. H. Werlein. By the Quarterly Conference of Felicity Street Church, he was licensed to preach.
He was admitted on trial into the Louisiana Annual Conference in December 1887. ‘In 1888, he served the Simsport Circuit, and at the next Conference was sent to the Vidalia Circuit. During that year his health failed so entirely that he was unable, to complete his work, but he was admitted into full connection with the Conference in January 1890, and reported for work. He was, however, placed on the list of Supernumeraries, with the hope that his health might still further rally. Gradually, but surely, his disease, pulmonary consumption, worked its ravages, until October 8, 1892, alone with God, at some hour during the night, his soul slipped away to Jesus.
Walter Dunstan was an earnest, energetic, humble man, full of the Holy Ghost. He loved to commune with God, spending usually at least three hours each day in prayer. He loved to labor among the poor, going in the Spirit of the Master with words of cheer and spiritual counsel. He yearned to be in the field, actively at work as a Minister of Christ; yet, as it was otherwise ordered, he cheerfully accepted the decision, and went bravely to work to earn an honest living, and to labor in a less extensive field for his Lord. Thorough in whatever he undertook he soon won the distinction of being the most competent man in the State of Louisiana in his chosen line. Weak almost to the point of exhaustion, he would, for months before his death, divide almost equally the working hours of the day between his office and his couch. As a Christian and a Minister his character and his reputation were alike spotless, and when he “fell on sleep,” the people said, “a good man has gone home.”
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1892, Pages 37-38 by William H. LaPrade and F. N. Parker|