COMMODORE DUPONT MOORE
In the first half of the 20th century churches of Christ had neither money nor resources, but enjoyed phenomenal growth. Most of that growth came as God blessed the genuine faith and sacrificial work of men and women who were determined to share the gospel with others. One such individual laboring in the upper Ohio Valley was C. D. Moore.
C. D. Moore or Dora as he was generally known, was born near Sistersville, West Virginia on July 31, 1861. He obeyed the gospel in February 1880 during a meeting conducted by R. H. Springer. Though he had no formal training in the study of the Bible or preaching, he determined to do all he could to spread the gospel story. He worked in coal mines and saw mills through the week to support himself and his family. Then he would preach on weekends in schools, churches, meeting halls or any other place conducive to a gathering for preaching. Early on, however, an accident in a saw mill left Dora Moore badly crippled in his right hip and the right side of his face permanently scarred. Because he could no longer support himself by physical labor, Dora began full time preaching. He knew that because of his injuries and scarring that he would never be able to preach in larger, “well to do,” places so he determined to carry the gospel to people in mission places where the church was small or not existing. In this way he established many congregations. His brother, Ira Moore, wrote about his labors: “For about thirty-eight years of his life he diligently, earnestly, and sympathetically preached the Gospel of Christ and was quite successful in winning many hundreds to the Cross, not only in his native state of West Virginia, but in many communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania, and in Oklahoma, Kansas and California, and for several years mostly in Florida” (I. Moore, 4). One time Dora shared some of his experiences with readers of the Christian Leader: “In my mission work I have slept in school houses, with my saddle for my pillow, and in my Ford, because of having no other place to lodge. Have boarded myself on bread, bananas, beans and water, and thankful for that much. Have forded deep and dangerous creeks in winter time, even when the ice was running out, and came near being dumped in a few times. Stoned and shot at while preaching. Two shots were fired close by me by a zealous Digressive, because, by request of the elders, I was preaching on ‘Why we do not use musical instruments in our worship.’” (C. Moore, 8). In spite of lifelong pain from his crippling accident and in the face of intense opposition, C. D. Moore preached Christ. Most of the time he was never adequately supported in his preaching. Rather than being called a “beggar,” he often went without food, clothing, and shelter. But Moore never became bitter about the lack of interest and support by his brethren. He wrote in later years, “My soul rejoices that I was able to cling to the faith through those hard many years. Never did complain about it. Was happy in the work.” (C. Moore, 8).
C. D. Moore utilized the printed page for evangelism and edification. Early in his preaching career he contributed many articles to the Gospel Echo edited by Alfred Ellmore. Later he sent in articles to the Christian Leader, usually under the heading, “Sword Swipes.”
Dora Moore was a friend to young preachers also. He encouraged many young men to follow his example in evangelism. One such young man was Fred Dennis. Brother Dennis paid this tribute at Moore’s funeral. “He was my ‘Paul’ in the gospel. When I was contemplating entering the evangelistic field it was Dora Moore who encouraged me above all others.” (Dennis, 2). Dora Moore died at Paden City, West Virginia on October 6, 1933.
Faith, suffering and sacrifice, yet always with a cheerful attitude. These were consistent characteristics in the life of C. D. Moore. Inspiration to do more evangelism despite hardship and without complaining is a message that Dora Moore still speaks to those who will listen.
Fred Dennis, “Commodore Dupont Moore,” Christian Leader (10-17-1933): 2.
C. D. Moore, “Sleep on Now, and Take Your Rest,” Christian Leader (8-21-1928): 8.
Ira Moore, “A Valiant Soldier of the Cross Fallen,” Christian Leader (10-31-1933): 4.