Bishop Arthur J. Moore
Bishop Moore was born in Argyle, Georgia, on December 26, 1888. He was named a General Evangelist of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1919, and was appointed to Travis Park Church in San Antonio, Texas, in 1920. After six years in Texas, Bishop Moore was appointed to First United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, the largest church in the MECS and considered the “flagship” of Southern Methodism. In May, 1930, at General Conference in Dallas, Texas, Arthur J. Moore was elected to the episcopacy at the age of 41, and he would serve as an active bishop of the Church for the next thirty years. His first assignment was to the Pacific Coast area but, at the General Conference in 1934, Bishop Moore was given a very different assignment.
Bishop Moore was assigned to all of the foreign work of the MECS, with the exception of Latin America. This included the countries of China, Japan, Korea, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Poland and the Belgian Congo in Africa. He was the recognized leader of the first of the “Bishops Crusades” and his first crusade was to raise funds for missions. He was elected to the presidency of the Board of Missions, a position he held for twenty years. This is ironic because, as a young man, he had wanted to go as a missionary himself but was turned down because he did not have adequate preparation. He later said that he felt that his work in the first Bishop’s Crusade was his greatest contribution to the whole Church during his active period of episcopal service.
Arthur J. Moore was one of the leaders responsible for the beginning of The Upper Room devotional magazine and the organization of the Board of Evangelism. In 1940, Bishop Moore was appointed to be the Bishop of the North and South Georgia Conferences and lived the rest of his life in Atlanta. In 1949, he orchestrated the purchase of the Hamilton Plantation on the Frederica River, St Simons Island, and helped create Epworth by the Sea, the Methodist Conference Center of the South Georgia Conference. A building was constructed in 1960, to house administration and registration for the Conference Center, but it soon became the Moore Methodist Museum, to house Bishop Moore’s personal collection of books and artifacts from a lifetime of travel.
Bishop Arthur J. Moore died at the age of eighty-five on June 30, 1974, in Atlanta, Georgia.