Felicia Moore, New Beginnings
Pastor Jon Moore wrestled with the idea of becoming an ordained pastor. He started attending Bristol Mennonite Church (which became New Beginnings Community Church soon afterward) in May of 1986, through a relationship with Raymond Jackson, the congregationâ€™s pastor at the time. Moore gave his first sermon in August that year and was later appointed as a chairperson to the administration council in December.
After some time at New Beginnings, Moore began to feel God calling him to participate in ministerial leadership trainings. In 1999, Pastor Moore returned to help the congregation, becoming interim pastorate. He was interested in ministry, but the idea of ordination seemed far-off .
After years of discerning, people from near and far came to celebrate and witness Pastor Jon Mooreâ€™s ordination on May 20, 2007. The special day started with an unusual morning worship at New Beginnings congregation, filled with a time of testimonies and â€œhallelujahs.â€ Everyone was invited to a special fellowship meal before the afternoon service.
In the afternoon, the sanctuary was crowded. The whole congregation was part of the service in some shape or form. Many chose to celebrate by presenting a praise dance or simply sharing a word of encouragement. Conference Minister, Ertell Whigham,
who has known Pastor Moore for years, officiated. He stated, â€œWhen youâ€™re licensed, you do ministry. When youâ€™re ordained you are ministry. The ministry is you.â€ Many present nodded and agreed with an â€œamen.â€ At the end of the service, Pastor Ertell asked the church council to surround Pastor Moore so that everyone could extend their arms in prayer. Gifts were presented to Pastor Moore and he was dressed in a white robe and given a new Bible. It was the first time in Franconia Conference that an African American was ordained by another black American pastor.
Pastor Moore believes that ordination means his life is now about ministry and shows a long-term commitment to the leadership at New Beginnings. He wants to be realistic with people but to show something different about Godâ€™s love. He says, â€œMy hope is to touch lives, one at a time.â€
photo provided by Jon Moore