Edwin Fountain Moseley, Wofford’s third Rhodes Scholar

Like his two predecessors who earned Rhodes scholarships, Edwin Moseley was a highly-involved student while at Wofford.

Edwin F. Moseley, Wofford’s third Rhodes Scholar

Moseley, from Laurens, SC, came to Wofford in 1912.  He joined the Preston Literary Society, as all students were expected to be in one of the societies.  He served in various offices and as a monthly speaker in the society.  He was also a member of the Carlisle Hall executive committee, a senior class officer, and a freshman and senior speaker and a junior debater.  As a senior speaker, in fact, he gave one of the addresses at Commencement.  He was a member of the varsity track team and president of the YMCA.  As his classmates noted, “Weenie (what a nickname!) is a most excellent student as well as a leader in practically every phase of college activity.”

He graduated from Wofford in 1916, earning both the AB and MA degrees – six of his classmates did the same, including Beta Club founder John West Harris.  Following his graduation, he saw military service in the Allied Expeditionary Force during World War I, and attended the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.  In 1920, he joined the Upper South Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church, and later that year, he won a Rhodes Scholarship from South Carolina and spent the years 1921-23 at Oxford’s Wadham College.

In 1924, he transferred to the China Mission Conference, was ordained a deacon, and served as a missionary there until 1927.  He transferred back to the Upper South Carolina Conference in 1928 and was ordained an elder.  He served Trinity Methodist in Spartanburg in 1929-30 and in Enoree in 1931.  In 1928, perhaps between his return from China until he could get an appointment in a local church, he served as a temporary member of Wofford’s English faculty.

He withdrew from the Methodist ministry in 1932 and joined the Episcopal Church, and in 1933, was ordained a deacon, and later a priest, in the diocese of East Carolina (Eastern North Carolina).  He served Episcopal parishes in Willimston, NC, Hamilton, NC, and Kinston, NC in the 1930s and 1940s.  From 1959-65, he was the rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Hertford, NC.  There’s nothing to indicate why he decided to switch from the Methodist to the Episcopal Church, but in eastern North Carolina, he quickly rose to hold leading positions in the diocese.  In the late 1970s, he was living in Chapel Hill, NC.

By Phillip Stone

I've been the archivist of Wofford College and the South Carolina United Methodist since 1999. I'll be sharing college, Methodist, and local history, documents, photographs, and other interesting stories on this blog, which I've been keeping since December 2007.