Sermon from the mound
Life has taken a lot of unexpected twists for the man who was recently named pastor of the Uniopolis and St. Johns United Methodist churches.
Little did the man leading two churches, David Moore, realize early on in his life how the sport he loved would shape the way he loved.
A native of Lexington, Ky., Moore played high school baseball at Lafayette High School, a fairly successful program that has produced 10 minor leaguers, including current Major League Baseball player Austin Kearns.
After his senior year in high school, Moore learned he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh round of the MLB June amateur draft, three months before his 18th birthday.
From that young age, he said he wanted to conquer the world through baseball, and his course had been set — or so it seemed.
“I played baseball from Little League on up,” Moore said. “I was going to be a superstar.”
Moore began his 11-year minor league pitching career immediately, making 12 starts in Rookie League ball with the Reds affiliate posting a 6-5 record.
Moore took college classes in the offseason, working on his physical education degree, but his goal at that point was to pitch in “The Show.” He worked his way through the system quickly, posting 11 wins for the Reds Single-A Tampa team.
By 1977, the major leagues seemed on the horizon as his 10-2 start at Double-A Trois-Rivieres earned him a promotion to Indianapolis.
One step from his dream, Moore made the 40-man spring training roster in both 1978 and 1979, but he was cut after pitching only 2 and 4 innings in the preseason.
After the 1979 season, his dreams hit the roadblock of realization. He was waived by the Reds and signed by the Minnesota Twins.
While the move would be the near-end of his dream, the change proved to be beginning of his true calling.
“After the 1979 season I was ready to give it up,” Moore said. “I was packing everything up and ready to move back to Lexington.”
Moore had been rooming with former Detroit Tiger pitcher and current New York Yankee pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Then destiny threw itself in Moore’s path and prevented him from moving at the last minute.
“The owner of the place we were renting happened to pull up right before I left,” Moore said. “I had never met him, we just sent him our rent every month. I got to talking to him and told him what I did.”
Moore’s landlord talked him out of moving, and a week later his contract was purchased by Minnesota. He became friends with Bobby Randall, the Twins starting second baseman from 1976-78, and Geoff Zahn, who was finishing out his fourth and final year in Minnesota as a mainstay of the Twins’ starting rotation.
“They (Randall and Zahn) took me to a church potluck dinner,” Moore said. “The preacher showed me my need for Christ. I acknowledged him and agreed with him.”
The preacher asked Moore on the spot if he wanted him to pray with Moore and help him accept Jesus Christ.
Moore rejected, mostly due his ego. However, on his way back from that potluck dinner, Moore accepted Jesus Christ as his savior and started his spiritual journey.
That year, he again made the 40-man spring training roster with Minnesota, and earned a preseason win against the Boston Red Sox against a team laden with perennial all-stars such as Carlton Fisk, Tony Perez, Rick Burleson, Jim Rice, Fred Lynn and Carl Yastrzemski. The game was played at Winter Haven, Fla.
After that season, Moore went to the Dodger organization and even roomed with Orel Hershiser as a member of Dodger’s Triple-A squad at Albuquerque.
He hammered down one more solid year in the minor leagues, going 12-5 in the Pacific Coast League, but made only minimal appearances the following season.
Moore played for six different minor league teams in his 11-year career and won 96 games and posted a 3.78 lifetime earned run average.
With his baseball career over as a player, his quest to serve the Lord started.
Since that time, he has been involved with various Christian Ministries and Churches. He attended Open Bible College in Des Moines, Iowa, for one semester. In 2006, he then attended Maranatha College in Dublin, Va., where he received his bachelor’s degree in biblical studies.
He then completed his pastoral degree at Rhema Bible College in Tulsa, Okla. in 2008. He eventually completed some course work for his master’s degree at Southwestern Christian University in Bethany, Okla. but did not finish.
While his baseball career did not amount to what he expected, he said it put him on the path of his true calling and what he needed to do with his life.
Today he is married to Linda Dulin-Moore, who is an associate pastor at Lockington United Methodist Church. Together they have five children, Chad, Shane, Katie, Marlee and Hannah, and a grandson, Evan.
“Professional sports is a very demanding lifestyle,” Moore said. “I had the perception that everything was going to work out. But it is a superficial lifestyle and it wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. I was trying to glorify myself. It put me on the path I needed to be on.”
Through a series of events and relationships, Moore said his misery and unfulfillment led him to a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.
He said his goal is to fulfill the great commission by connecting people to Jesus Christ, to disciple believers, and for people to be set free from oppression so that they may enjoy their spiritual heritage.