Clergy Corner, Sept. 15, 2017

Clergy Corner, Sept. 15, 2017

If you happen to bump into the new senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Savoy, we highly recommend asking him to tell a story.

The Rev. CHUCK MOORE — Marilyn's Pittsburgh Steelers-loving husband of 40 years — has lived the kind of life that makes for plenty of rich Sunday-sermon material. Such as ...

1. Joe Namath's mom helped him look his Sunday best.

Moore grew up in Beaver Falls, Pa. (pop. 8.768), an everyone-knows-everyone kind of town known for two things: being the fictional setting for the '80s sitcom 'Mr. Belvedere' and the actual hometown of Broadway Joe.

"Joe Namath grew up about seven doors from me," Moore says. "His mom and my mom were friends."

Rose Namath worked in the men's clothing store in town and sold a young Chuck — who "grew up in an era when everybody wore a suit to church, even the little kids" — his first matching sport coat and slacks.

2. 'The most exciting week' of his life happened in late January of 1986.

It started with a flight from Ohio, where he was living at the time, to Haiti, where he was headed for a mission trip, with a plane change in Miami.

When the plane arrived over Florida, the captain reminded the cabin that the space shuttle Challenger was about to take off from Cape Canaveral, and he was going to get as close as the FAA and NASA would allow.

"Get your cameras out," he said.

"I still have pictures," Moore says. "We saw it happen but didn't know it had exploded. People were like, 'What was that?' As soon as we landed, people were asking us: Were you in the sky when the shuttle exploded?"

The trip got even worse from there. Violent protests broke out in Haiti just after their arrival, leading to the burning of a courthouse, their group being whisked away to the hills of Port-au-Prince and "Baby Doc" Duvalier's ouster as president.

"We left on the final airplane before the whole government collapsed and the airport was shut down," Moore says.

3. His parents argued over what to name him.

Mom wanted Jonathan Edward (named after the American revivalist preacher). Dad fought for Charles Wesley (in honor of the English leader of the Methodist movement).

Dad won.

It's no wonder that the first time Moore remembers hearing his calling to the ministry was at age 3 or 4.

"I've always loved church," he says. "I loved listening to great preaching."

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