|Fred Byron Moore, Junior was born in Olustee, Oklahoma in 1927, but lived most of his life in Sherman, Texas. After graduating from Sherman High School in 1945, Fred enlisted in the US Navy to serve his country in World War II. In early 1946, he found employment at the Quaker Oats Company where he met and fell in love with Betty Claire Graham. They were married in the First Baptist Church of Sherman, Texas on January 1, 1947. They used to joke that their wedding took 2 years to complete, because they started the ceremony at 11:45 p.m. and finished at 12:05 a.m. They remained married until his untimely death. Fred and Betty have three children, Danny Joe, Deborah Kaye and Samuel Aubrey.
In 1955, Fred went to work for the Federal Credit Union Bureau, and traveled throughout Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. In 1960, he decided to answer God’s call to become a minister in the Southern Baptist denomination. He went back to college at LSU to finish his undergraduate degree and finally graduated in 1963 with a BS in General Studies.
The family then moved to New Orleans so Fred could attend the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He attended classes during the day and worked nights as a motel clerk. He also performed occasionally as a preacher in churches in Louisiana and Mississippi. Fred graduated with his Master of Arts in Divinity and moved the family to his first, full-time pastorate at the Waterproof Baptist Church in Waterproof, Louisiana. This rural community was just up-river from Natchez, Mississippi.
From 1966 to 1971, Fred served as pastor of the New Zion Baptist church in Kentwood, Louisiana. This was during the height of the school integration and race relations controversies. He took the position that the church services should be open to both white and black Christians. Unfortunately, the local Ku Klux Klan did not look favorably upon that position. They tried to intimidate him to change his position. For example, they stole his air conditioning unit from his church office and warned him that he would suffer more than heat from the temperature if he didn’t change his non-discriminatory position. When he refused to change his mind, they blew up the family’s mailbox along the highway with an explosive device. He still refused to reverse his position. Eventually, they gave up on him and waited for him to leave for another pastorate.
Throughout the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s, Fred served within the Southern Baptist Church. In 1982, he accepted the Lord’s ministerial calling to convert from the Southern Baptist to the United Methodist denomination. His first charge was to be the minister for four small churches in the towns of Glenmora, Forest Hill, Melder, and Hineston. In 1984 Fred and his wife Betty moved to Gueydan, Louisiana near the gulf coast. He served there as pastor for 2 years and learned to enjoy the unique pop-corn flavor of the local rice harvest. Other appointments prior to his retirement in 1997 included Walker, Friendship, Mooringsport, Oak Grove, and Kentwood-Mt. Hermon.
Following his retirement, Fred and Betty moved to the Alexandria area where he continued to provide pastoral support in the Alexandria District. Fred served Evergreen, St. Mark in Alexandria and was serving the Campi-St. Maurice charge at the time of his death in November, 2005. Fred is survived by his wife Betty, who now has Alzheimer’s disease and lives with her daughter, Deborah, and her husband, Roger Phillips. They currently reside in Ball, Louisiana across the river from Alexandria. The oldest son, Danny and his wife Nancy, live in San Antonio, Texas. The youngest son, Sam and his wife Divina, live near Seattle, Washington in the town of Steilacoom.
|Source: Louisiana Conference Journal, 2006|