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Picture of Sweet KissingPicture of Christ the LightgiverAll Saints Old Catholic Church

An Old Catholic Church  located in Clarksville, Tennessee.  Married Clergy allowed. 

Ordination information, Old Catholic Church History, and more.

Old Catholic Diocese of the Holy Spirit of the Old Catholic Communion in North America

AKA as the Old Catholic Church of America Inc.*

 

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Caring for hearts and souls
Come Sunday, cardiac nurse trades scrubs for priest's vestments

 

When it comes to matters of the heart and soul, one local man could be considered a common denominator.

During the week, the Rev. Marvin Moore is a cardiac nurse at Gateway Medical Center.

When Sunday rolls around, Moore exchanges his scrubs for vestments in his second job as priest at All Saints Independent Old Catholic Church at 863 Salem Road.

"Marvin is a spiritual leader with the heart of a nurse," said the Rev. Kevin Adamson, deacon at All Saints.

Moore is committed to caring for hurting people in both of his chosen professions. All Saints parishioner Lisa Dotson considers Moore "an awesome priest."

"He has such a sense of humanity and has such a deep, deep, deep faith in God and man. I guess that's what makes him such a great nurse," Dotson said.

All Saints is a small parish averaging 75 to 80 people, and Moore serves without a salary.

"You have to have another job for a paycheck," Moore said.

He and his wife, JoAnn, moved to Montgomery County almost two years ago. He had commuted from their Lebanon home for several months to lead church services after All Saints' former priest, the Rev. Michael Nesmith, moved out of state.

Father Moore

"God dragged me kicking and screaming into the ministry," Moore said.

Growing up in Ohio, he attended a local church regularly with his family, but Moore said he never felt comfortable in that setting.

As a teen, he dated a young Jewish girl and often attended synagogue with her.

"I remember the first time I went. It was so different. The rabbi wasn't yelling from the pulpit. I liked that he was just talking about the Bible," Moore said.

His exposure to something different led Marvin to research and delve into core doctrine in an attempt to define his own personal beliefs.

His spiritual journey included visiting numerous churches and examining several Christian denominations during his early adulthood.

He definitely favored liturgical churches that followed more traditional service formats.

"I know I always felt I was called to teach, but not to preach, necessarily," Moore said.

While living in Lebanon, Moore found a church home at Faith Lutheran Church for 16 years, but it wasn't permanent. After a few years serving as director of Christian education at Faith Lutheran, Moore felt drawn to the ministry, but he was hesitant to step up to the pulpit.

"Eventually, I was asked to give a sermon. I could teach Sunday school at the drop of a hat, but to give a sermon, that was something in a different realm," Moore said.

However, he accepted the baton to give his first homily. That inaugural sermon led to another.

"Then I gave another and another. Finally, my wife said, 'You need to go back to seminary.' For her to tell me to go back to school knowing what that entailed, I knew it had to be God speaking through her to me," Moore said.

As Moore worked online toward his master's degree in theology from the International Theological Seminary in Tampa, Fla., he continued to search for a denomination that matched the personal beliefs he had developed through study.

It was during his online research that Moore ran across Nesmith's Web site for All Saints.

"I fell into the Old Catholics. So many of the churches that I had researched seemed to have agendas and were not truly orthodox," Moore said.

Moore contacted Nesmith and eventually consulted with three different bishops in the Old Catholic denomination who agreed that Moore's discernment and leaning toward Old Catholic seemed authentic.

He became an ordained priest in 2003.

Nurse Moore

It was 1969 at the height of the Vietnam War when Moore graduated high school. He knew he was about to be drafted and opted to enlist in the Air Force, hoping to get his job choice.

"I wanted to be a medic and they promised, so I signed up," Moore said.

The military, however, made him into a policeman.

He bid adieu to the Air Force after his enlistment and joined the Navy for a hitch during which he did become a medic. Moore has been nursing ever since.

"Yes, it's a fulfilling job. We can make a difference in people's lives," Moore said.

When asked about the similarity between nursing and preaching, he said: "Yes, there's a definite correlation."

Finding that balance between the secular and spiritual is a constant challenge for Moore.

"I have to be careful. I can't impose my religious thinking on a patient," said Moore, "but any time a patient invites it, I'm glad to talk to them."

Working as a cardiac cath lab nurse at Gateway constantly places Moore near people facing life-and-death decisions patients and their families.

"There have been plenty of times when I wasn't sure the patient would make it through the procedure," Moore said.

He admits that, every so often, he chalks up patients' survival to miracles.

Moore's nursing duties place him on call every other week, impacting his responsibilities as a parish priest.

"I've had to cancel Wednesday night services every other week because of my hospital schedule, but the parish knew that when they asked me to take over for Mike," Moore said.

And they don't mind at all.

"We have learned to work around his nursing schedule. He is very dedicated to this church, and we're blessed to have both he and his wife," parishioner Virginia Merchant said.

"He is very responsive to community needs," parishioner Jim Castruccio added.

"When he can't be somewhere, there are several of us who can respond," Castruccio said. "After all, larger lay participation is desired and essentially that's the way it should be."

Ann Wallace covers education/religion. She can be reached at 245-0287 or annwallace@theleafchronicle.com.

 

Originally published June 16, 2007

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Marvin Moore said his most priestly duty is his day job as a cardiac nurse at Gateway Medical Center. Moore took over as the head priest at All Saints Old Catholic Church last year. All Saints parishioner Lisa Dotson said of Moore, "He has such a sense of humanity and has such a deep, deep, deep faith in God and man. I guess that's what makes him such a great nurse."

IF YOU GO
 

Where: All Saints Independent Old Catholic Church, 863 Salem Road.
 

When: 10 a.m. Sunday, call for schedule of weekday services.
 

Call: 645-3673
 

On the Net: frnesmith.tripod.com



 Zoom Photo
Photo Illustration by Alicia Archuleta/ The Leaf