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Celebration of Life Services Honoring the life of The Reverend Dr. David Leon Moore, will be conducted 3 p.m., Saturday, January 27, 2024, from the Livingston First Christian Church. Rev. James Shenko will officiate. Visitation with the family will be held on Friday, January 26 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. and Saturday January 27 from 2:00-3:00pm, with the service to follow on Saturday at 3:00pm, at First Christian Church.
The Reverend Dr. David Leon Moore passed away on Sunday, January 21, 2024, in Livingston, Tennessee. A lifelong pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), his ministry began at small churches in Kentucky and New Jersey in the 1950s, before he settled with his family in Tennessee in the early 1960s. Over the next 60 years he served as Senior Minister at Central Christian Church and Dozier Church in Springfield, Woodmont Christian Church in Nashville, and Hatcher Hall Christian Church, First Christian Church and Millerʼs Chapel in Livingston, and he had a number of interim ministries at other Christian Churches in Tennessee and Kentucky.
Many people in Livingston will remember Brother Moore and his wife Jean Moore as proprietors of The Paper Place on the square in Livingston, where they sold books and fudge after retirement, and solved the worldʼs problems over coffee with the morning crew. Dr. Moore was also a counselor, chaplain, teacher, author and poet. And to his family, he was a beloved son, brother, uncle, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
David was born in Salem, West Virginia, on May 12, 1934, to Earl Gilbert Moore and Gladys Swiger Moore. He was the first person in his family to go to college, and in 1956 he earned his A.B. from Bethany College in West Virginia, where he served as President of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity. In 1986, his alma mater would recognize his pastoral and theological accomplishments with an honorary doctorate in Divinity.
Rev. Moore met his first wife, Dana Fisher Moore, while they both attended Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky. The two of them raised three kids (Dee, David and Drew) and made a formidable ministerial team for the next 30 years, serving multiple congregations, while David also worked on his masterʼs degree at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and his doctoral degree at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He also served as chaplain at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Nashville, and taught theological courses at American Baptist College.
David and Dana complemented each other beautifully. Dana was supremely social, full of passion and energy. She sang in every choir, shook hands after every service, served on every committee. She had an innate organizational ability to bring people together and get things done. David was an intellectual, quiet, patient and wise, an erudite preacher whose sermons could equally inspire a thousand congregants in a cosmopolitan church, or a couple dozen churchgoers in a oneroom country church. Whether from the pulpit or over coffee, he was known for his talent to communicate complex thoughts and concepts with a lucid simplicity.
Their partnership came to a tragic end when Dana lost her battle with pancreatic cancer in 1986 during Davidʼs tenure as Senior Minister at Woodmont Christian Church in Nashville. Shortly after his wifeʼs death, Dr. Moore resigned from Woodmont and took a sabbatical to study theology at Manchester College, Oxford, in England. While in Oxford, he channeled his grief and loneliness into writing a book, The Liberating Power of Pain. Several years later he would also publish a Biblical novel, Jeremy of Kadesh, and a book of poems, Beyond Sight.
Rev. Moore spent the last few decades of his life in Livingston, Tennessee, where in 1994 he married his second wife, Frances Jean Moore. They were kindred spirits and enjoyed almost three decades of marriage together until Jean died in 2021. David served as Senior Minister at First Christian Church in the early 1990s. It was a sort of homecoming because he had first pastored the same church from 1973-1975 (and his oldest child Dee Moore Wells afterwards pastored the same church for 20 years). He spent the majority of the last 30 years as pastor of Millerʼs Chapel in Alpine, outside Livingston. In addition to his lifelong pastoral counseling, Dr. Moore had his own clinical therapy practice, and some of his most gratifying work post-retirement was working part-time as a therapist for New Life, a residential mental health facility. In fact, up until just weeks before his death, he was still answering regular phone calls from clients who sought his calming counsel.
Just as he was to his parishioners and clients, to his own family, David was a man of humility and wise counsel, a seeker of knowledge, a patient and sympathetic teacher. But he was also a tennis and golf coach to his kids and grandkids. He helped them polish their sermons and research papers. And most importantly, he was the consummate role model for how to live the best life, an ethical life.
David Moore was preceded in death by his parents Earl Moore and Gladys Swiger Moore, his brothers Ronald Moore and Earl Moore, Jr., his first wife Dana Fisher Moore, and his second wife Frances Jean McGuire Moore. Survivors include his children Dee (Al) Wells of Crawford, Tennessee, David (Karen) Moore II of Livingston, Tennessee, Drew Moore of New York, New York; his grandchildren David (Jelena) Moore III of Harker Heights, Texas, John David (Hannah) Ledford of Vacaville, California, Dana (Matt) Duncan of Henderson, Kentucky, and Mary (Trevor) Miller of Colorado Springs, Colorado; and his great-grandchildren Natalie Moore, Jaydin Moore, Corey Moore, Lizzy Phillips, Clay Phillips, Annabelle Ledford, Nora Ledford, and Ella Miller.
Memorial contributions may be paid and sent to Livingston First Christian Church at 320 Oakley Street, Livingston, TN 38570 with reference to (1) Millerʼs Chapel, or (2) David Moore Scholarship for Bethany Hills Church Camp. You can also Venmo your contribution to @Dee-Wells-5.