Published on Thursday, June 20, 2019

James Wendell Moore (1938-2019)

Nashville, June 2019 -- Dr. James Wendell Moore, award-winning author of more than 40 books plus scores of church group studies and devotional works published by Abingdon Press during a nearly 30-year partnership, died June 6, 2019, after a brief illness.


Topping the list of bestselling books by Jim Moore are Seizing the Moments (Abingdon Press bestseller 1988, Guideposts December Book of the Month); Yes, Lord, I Have Sinned, But I Have Several Excellent Excuses; Some Folks Feel the Rain . . . Others Just Get Wet; Healing Where It Hurts; and Rich in the Things That Count the Most.


“In addition to his immense skill in translating the theological principles of grace and hope into a ready source of practical healing, Jim was a thoroughly down-to-earth and collaborative gentleman. Editors and marketers at Abingdon Press pleaded for the opportunity to work with him. His spirit cast a bright light, and we all marveled at the glow,” said Neil Alexander, publisher of Abingdon Press (a division of The United Methodist Publishing House) for more than two decades.


Along with his prolific work as a writer, Jim preached weekly from 1984 until 2006 to thousands at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Houston and was selected as the preacher for The Protestant Hour (a widely heard national radio program) from December 1990 through March 1991, and again ten years later for fall 2001.


Born April 26, 1938, in Memphis, Tennessee, Jim graduated from Lambuth College (BA), Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MDiv), and Centenary College of Louisiana (Doctor of Divinity). He served on the board of directors of the Methodist Hospital in the Houston Medical Center; as a member of the board of trustees of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas; as a member of the executive board at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas; and as a member of the Houston Committee for Private Sector Initiatives. He also served on the United Methodist General Council on Ministries and the General Commission on Communication. In 1996, Jim served as leader of the Texas Annual Conference delegation to General Conference, and he was elected a delegate to four General Conferences (1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004).


After five years serving First United Methodist Church of Jackson, Tennessee, he worked on the staff of the Memphis Conference Council on Ministries from 1970 until 1972. Dr. Moore lectured in the Lambuth University Department of Religion and later served as associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana, before being appointed senior minister of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Houston. After retirement, he became minister in residence at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas.


Brian K. Milford, president of The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH), remarked, “Years before joining the publishing staff, I encountered many laity and clergy who were inspired and encouraged by Jim’s writing ministry. Since joining the UMPH team, I have learned more about his gracious manner, exceptional work ethic, and his special help in recruiting persons who have had an extraordinarily positive influence as leaders of our board of directors. Jim left his mark on our publishing house, and we are forever in his debt.”


Jim Moore is survived by his wife, June; daughter, Jodi; son, Jeff; and other loving family members. A memorial service honoring Dr. James W. Moore will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, in the sanctuary of St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer Road in Houston.

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Author: Amy Smith

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