Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Meet Mike Moore

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Meet Mike Moore

Article excerpt

Byline: Sandy Strickland, Staff writer

In his middle years, Mike Moore decided to craft lives instead of furniture.

For 21 years, Moore owned a successful cabinet and countertop manufacturing plant.

Then at age 43, he enrolled in seminary school at Duke University. Before he'd even completed his studies, he was appointed as lay pastor of Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, a struggling congregation that has since been revitalized.

"I was always called to minister, but I didn't answer the call," the Jacksonville native said. "I was rebellious."

As a boy, Moore said he loved to build things. Specifically, he loved to drive nails. One morning, he got out a keg of nails that his dad had bought, climbed a ladder and spent the day hammering them into the exposed white-painted beams in the carport.

Every 12 inches or so, he added a nail. At lunchtime, Mom brought him a baloney sandwich. When Dad got home from work, he took him to the woodshed.

"Well, it kept him quiet all day," Mom told Dad.

And yes, the nails were pulled out.

Later, Moore became a star middle linebacker at Englewood High School, where he was recruited by Florida, Tennessee and Duke. He chose Tennessee but injured his knee during his last high school game and had to give up his scholarship.

Like the apostle Paul before his conversion, Moore said, he was anti-Christian. So much so that when people who knew him as a young adult find out he's preaching, Moore said he has "to pick them up and give them CPR."

Moore said his life was transformed when his father--"my hero"-- died of a heart attack. That next Sunday Moore was in church.

Ironically, it was more than 25 years after he was courted by Duke that Moore found himself taking accelerated seminary courses at the university.

Moore said he's grateful to United Methodist district officials for allowing Good Shepherd to remain open and move to the booming Crystal Springs area. …

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