As stated before , this is a multi part posting of our trip To Ohio. If you haven’t read the other parts, do so now so you will be caught us with all of us.
When I lived in Celina from 1943 to 1949, I attended the local Church of the Nazarene -- why? Because my grandfather was the pastor and I lived with my grandparents! The picture above is the building as I remembered it. A current picture of the building follows this article.
The last time I was in this building was during the summer of 1952 after I graduated from high school. I took a trip in my brother’s car that he left with me when he was overseas in the Navy. I stopped in Muncie, IN to pick up my younger brother Bob who was living with our mother there. He was 12 or 13 at the time. Together we drove over to Celina to visit Grandpa and attend the church on Sunday. Grandma had passed away a couple of years earlier. In the morning service we were introduced as Rev. Moore’s grandsons. After the service the pastor came by to see me and I have written about that encounter before. It is also included in the “talk” I gave the church which is below.
It was 57 years later that we took this current trip to Ohio to revisit my roots. I found the church’s email address on the web and wrote to the pastor. I didn’t know his name or how long he had been the pastor. I gave him all my history of that church and told him my daughter Brenda and I would be in their Sunday morning service June 14th. I asked if I could address his congregation to let them know what had happened to me in the years since my last visit and what an impact this church had made on my life.
I received an email response back from Dr. Larry Hamilton. He said he was going to be gone that week prior to our visit to attend the District Assembly and that he would be back for Sunday. He didn’t respond to my request. Just said he was looking forward to meeting me and my daughter.
On Sunday morning we arrived at the church during Sunday School and looked around. The pastor was busy with a class and we would have to wait to see him. We had time to go over to the Sugar Street building (the old church building) and took pictures and video there. I showed Brenda where we used to farm the land next to the church and the story about raising cane. You can read that story here. The building has changed some as they took off the front entrance and made it a side entrance. I didn’t get inside the building to see what they had done to it. Would have liked to but didn’t have time then. We found out that the church membership relocated to another building between the old one and the current one which was built in 1981.
We returned to the new location for the service and met the pastor just before the service was to begin. He gave me the order of service which included an item named “Testimony”. That was where I would talk to the congregation. That was the first Brenda heard about it and asked if she could video this part of the service. The pastor said yes and she got the video camera. She included the entire talk in the special DVD that she and her husband Scott made for me of the "Trip Back To My Roots”.
When it came to my part in the program, the pastor gave an introduction of who I was and when I was a part of that church membership. I took the platform and was concerned if I would be able to deliver the two pages I had typed. If I couldn’t, Brenda would have to finish it for me. Fortunately, I was able to get through all of it without coughing. I’m including the two pages in this posting which makes it a long one but one in which you can see why I wanted to deliver it. I told them about the reason for the trip and that currently there was no cure for what I have with my lungs. I told them I needed the Lord to heal me.
Following the message by the pastor, he pulled out a small bottle of oil from his pocket and said that he didn’t know why the Lord asked him to take this to the service but he now knows -- to anoint and pray over Dick Moore! We had a healing service which included a couple others that came forward. As you can imagine, this brought tears to my eyes and to Brenda’s. Whether the Lord wants to heal me or not is up to Him. But all of us were faithful to His Will.
After the service several came up to talk to me remembering my grandparents. This was a good way to start off Sunday.
Talk given to Celina Church of the Nazarene, June 14, 2009
Thank you, Pastor for allowing me this time to talk to your church. My daughter, Brenda Ostrander, is with me on this trip.
I was an active member of this church from 1943 to 1949. Part of this time my grandfather, Rev. J. Irwin Moore, was pastor. He retired from active preaching in 1946 and moved out of the parsonage. We had to buy our own home which was located at 630 Brandon Avenue. Grandpa moved from being pastor to being the janitor. So I was still involved in keeping the church clean and the yard mowed. The church allowed us to farm the land around it and we raised a lot of our own food. I told people we were able to raise cane behind the church and get away with it.
I have a box of “Celina” things and found these two certificates from this time. The pastor then was H. J. Maish. Alva Keifer was the father of my best friend, Tom Keifer and his brother Dick Keifer who used to be your treasurer. Harlow Fetters and I shared the same month and day for our birthdays.
In September 1949 I moved to Kansas City Missouri to live with my Uncle Ray and Aunt Edith Moore because grandmother’s health was failing. Ray was the music director for the “headquarters” church - First Church of the Nazarene. I attended my last three years of high school in Kansas City. Upon graduation from high school, I took a trip back to Celina to visit my grandfather one more time before leaving for college at Pasadena Nazarene College in California. Grandmother had passed away in 1950. Grandpa lived to be 101 years and 11 months old.
This church started me on my way to living a Christian life. And in 1952 it started me on my way of singing solos in church. That is an interesting story -- "I was introduced in the church as Rev. Moore’s grandson. The present pastor and I had never met. He came up to me after church and asked if I would sing a solo in the evening service. I had never sung a solo in church! I had done so in youth group in KC but never in church. The pastor had guessed that since my name was Moore and there are a number of singers in the Moore family that I could do it too. I figured there probably won’t be 50 people here that night so I agreed to work something up. I was talking to Helen Howell who used to be my brother, Ben’s, girlfriend. The pastor knew that Helen sang and asked us to do a duet also. We looked at each other and said why not. Then he asked me if I would lead the singing for the evening service. I asked him if he wanted me to preach also -- he said “Could you?” No I can’t preach so he had to do that."
I graduated from PNC in 1956. Was married July 22, 1955 to Ann Edwards who lived down the street from my home in KC. Spent my working life at State Farm Insurance in management retiring in 1996 with 37 years of service.
I have spent my life in churches and been actively involved in their music programs in choirs, quartets, duets, and solos. In 1971 I helped form the Watchmen Gospel Quartet which traveled around the state singing southern gospel music. I was with them for 11 years. The quartet continued with my partner and they just retired at the end of 2008. They were in to their 38th year of singing the gospel.
I have planned this trip many times over the years and couldn’t find the time to take it. It’s been 57 years since my last visit. Recently I have been diagnosed with Ideopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis - a lung disease, for which at this time there is no cure. I would appreciate your prayers for a miracle healing by the Great Physician. My daughter Brenda said it was time for that long awaited trip back to my roots. She planned it for this weekend and I told her we had to come to Celina Church of the Nazarene even though it is in a different building.
My wife and Brenda’s mother is handicapped and unable to travel so she is at home. We have our 54th wedding anniversary coming up next month. We also have a son, Rick Moore and each of our children have two children of their own. Rick and Anne have Emily and Eric - Brenda and Scott have Hannah and Rachel.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story. If you would like to read more about my life, you can visit my web site where I am writing my memories for my family. You can read it too! Ask me for a card with the web site address.
This is the "old Sugar Street Nazarene Church " building.
Dr. Larry Hamilton, Pastor and Dick Moore