By Rev. Chris McAlilly
Photo right:The Rev. John Moore (center wearing a green tie) is retiring after 45 years of service in the Mississippi Conference. Photo by Rev. Chris McAlilly
On Sunday, April 26, 2015, family, friends and colleagues gathered at New Albany First United Methodist Church to honor and celebrate Rev. John Moore, district superintendent of the New Albany District. Moore's retirement will begin at the 2015 Session of the Mississippi Annual Conference in June.
Words of affirmation and appreciation were shared by Rev. Jeff Lawrence representing the clergy and by Rev. Andy Ray representing the Cabinet of the Mississippi Conference. In response, John offered thanksgiving to all for their presence, but his deepest gratitude, spoken through tears; he shared with his wife, Nancy, and his family. He also gave a poignant speech punctuated by his characteristic shouts of hallelujah!
The end of the gathering was perhaps the most powerful. Rev. Lawrence invited the 125 plus in attendance to surround John and Nancy for prayer. The gathering laid hands upon him and the Rev. Dr. Jimmy Barnes, district superintendent in the Tupelo District, prayed a prayer of blessing over this momentous transition.
It is a remarkable thing to behold Spirit at work and the body of Christ move with grace and compassion to honor a son and servant of the most high God. All those who bore witness left with their faith strengthened and their loyalties renewed.