The Grand Ballroom at 3801 Market St. was filled to capacity as family, friends and admirers celebrated the ministry and achievements of Pastor William Moore and his wife Pauline, the dynamic duo of Tenth Memorial Baptist Church.
The Quadruplet Celebration for the leader of the church at 1328 N. 19th St. marked his 58 years of preaching the gospel, 54 years of pastoring — 45 years doing so at Tenth Memorial — and 50 years of marriage.
Guests from various churches, denominations, vocations arrived from around the United States to show their support and appreciation.
“We are celebrating four anniversaries and the people here have been people who have touched our lives in various chapters and seasons of our lives,” Moore said. “We’ve come to really celebrate what God has done and what God has allowed us to do in and through the lives of the people who are here to do the work to do the work of His kingdom.”
“I have been a part of it for 50 years,” said Pauline Moore, the church’s first lady as she stood at her husband’s side.
“And still going strong,” Moore said with a smile. “I really feel humbled to have all of these folks here to come on a Saturday afternoon to spend this time with us.”
His wife concurred.
“I am honored and peacock proud because you really don’t know the impact you have on people until you gather in these kinds of celebrations and you look around and see people whose lives you have touched, whose lives you have interchanged with, it gives you such a wonderful feeling to know that people love you, respect you, and are a part of your ministry,” she said.
Throughout his 58 years of preaching, there has been many ups and downs but what top his ‘ups’ list was coming to Tenth Memorial, said Moore, who was born in New Bern, North Carolina.
“Coming to Tenth Memorial Baptist Church was really a wonderful experience because, without that, we wouldn’t be here today. So, God allowed me to come from North Carolina to the most wonderful congregation in the world,” he said.
Moore, who earned a master of divinity from Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1985, said that God has allowed the church to do wonderful things for the community its serves along the way.
“He allowed us to build a 60-unit senior home where seniors can live out their final years in a secure building, we’ve been able to build some houses but also to be a light during some tough times in the community long before the community had the attraction and appeal that it has now because of gentrification,” said the father of two.
“We’ve been there through some tough time, through the gang wars and all of that. There are a number of people who we have witnessed to who are members of our congregation [today],” he said.
Seeing those lives transformed, said Moore, “is a wonderful, wonderful experience”.
The Rev. Suzanne Harmon-Carn was a church member when Moore was installed as pastor in 1974 at Tenth Memorial.
“We are excited emotionally, spiritually and overall because we have seen our pastor grow and he has caused the church to grow,” said Harmon-Carn. “So, we are here to celebrate all of these milestones of his life and we are so excited about it.”
“He’s a great man of wisdom and his compassion for people is unprecedented,”said the Rev. Urbano Taliaferro, an associate minister at Tenth Memorial, whose roots date to 1915.
“I guess I could say that the love that he exudes is contagious and it passes on to the congregation and you can’t help but want to be there,” added Taliaferro.