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Title: Oral History Interview with John Thomas Moore, October 18, 2000. Interview R-0142. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Moore, John Thomas, interviewee
Interview conducted by Weber, Christopher
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 128 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-11-28, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with John Thomas Moore, October 18, 2000. Interview R-0142. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series R. Special Research Projects. Southern Oral History Program Collection (R-0142)
Author: Christopher Weber
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with John Thomas Moore, October 18, 2000. Interview R-0142. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series R. Special Research Projects. Southern Oral History Program Collection (R-0142)
Author: John Thomas Moore
Description: 163 Mb
Description: 30 p.
Note: Interview conducted on October 18, 2000, by Christopher Weber; recorded in Durham, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series R. Special Research Projects, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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An audio file with the interview complements this electronic edition.
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The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with John Thomas Moore, October 18, 2000.
Interview R-0142. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Moore, John Thomas, interviewee


Interview Participants

    JOHN THOMAS MOORE, interviewee
    CHRISTOPHER WEBER, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Today is October 18, 2000, and I am talking to Bishop Moore at the Durham Hosiery Mill.
Let me ask you first, Bishop Moore, what's your full name?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
John Thomas Moore, Junior.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
When and where were you born?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
In Atlanta, Georgia—
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Oh, really? I'm from Atlanta, too. I grew up down near Sylvan Hills. Mr. Moore has brought a whole lot of documents here, and I am going to read off a few of them, just to get us started. Anything you want to come in and say about these, don't hold back.
[Reading] "Bishop John Thomas Moore was born to his mother Franny Moore and the late John Henry Moore. Bishop began his life and career in the ministry in 1957, right after graduating from high school."
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
That's correct.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
[Reading] "When he was a member of the New Bethel, under the leadership of Rev. Dearson, pastor. Bishop was then married to Ms. Jean Banks on February 21, 1960, by the Bishop B. McKinney. Bishop was called into the ministry at True Way Holiness under Bishop W.A. Jones. Bishop W.A. Jones then ordained Bishop Moore, and two years later he was given the position of being junior pastor. Bishop Moore traveled around with Bishop Jones in and out of the State of North Carolina. In 1969 Bishop Moore came to Durham, North Carolina, as evangelist to the Church of God and Prophecy in Braggtown."
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
That's correct.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
[Reading] "At that time he also served as president of the youth department, Sunday School teacher, pastor in Burlington of the Church of Prophecy, in Sanford, (Orley), Kingston, Pink Hill, and South Carolina." All at once?

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JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yeah.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Sounds like you were a little busy!
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yes, I was. I didn't let no grass grow under my feet. I worked for the Lord, yes sir.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
[Reading] "In 1961 Bishop Moore and evangelist Lillis Shaw organized"—is that Mrs. Shaw, who we were talking to a minute ago?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
No, she's dead. That's another Mrs. Shaw.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
"—organized the Faith and Hope Mission Holy Church on Ramseur Street."
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
That's correct.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
How close was that to here?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Wasn't too far. Was round up there where the [unclear] junk yard is.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
[Reading] "Two years later Bishop Moore and Evangelist Shaw changed the name of the church to Faith and Hope Mission Holy Church, and rented on 419 Walker Street in Durham. In 1961 God spoke to Bishop Moore about a radio broadcast, and Bishop Moore obeyed every Saturday night from 8:15 p.m. until 8:45 over WSRC radio station."
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
That's right. Used to be on Club Boulevard.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
[Reading] "On the tenth day of June, 1973 of that year, Bishop Moore received a certificate from Durham Technical Institute for the completion of medical care for the elderly, given to him on June 8, 1973. On April 23, 1971, he received the Bible Training Institute, given to him at Cleveland, Tennessee."
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
That's where I went, that's right.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
[Reading] "On May 9, 1998, Bishop Moore received a Human Rights Award from the Human Relations Commission [of Durham]. On December 10, 1991, he received an appreciation award for many years and tears—"
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
That's right.

Page 3
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
[Reading] "—of dedication and committed service from the Edgemont Board of Directors. In 1991 Bishop Moore began his new work. It is called the New Gospel Horizon Resurrection Holy Church, Inc., located at 1802 Angier Avenue. Bishop Moore is the pastor and founder. Evangelist Lucy Robinson is the associate pastor. Bishop Moore has a staff in ministry, Elder Alice Hunter, Evangelist Shirley Alston."
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
I'm sorry to say that Shirley Alston passed away.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
I'm sorry to hear that.
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
She's not living, the rest of them is.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
She's gone on to be a saint now. "On April, Bishop Moore relocated the New Gospel Horizon Resurrection Holy Church, on 458 South Driver Street. Bishop Moore is founder and pastor. In 1994 Bishop Moore has a wonderful and working staff."
Now I've had a quick overview of your accomplishments. Can you tell me a little bit about this whole thing got started?
Obviously, you've had a long career, but where did all that begin?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
I was in high school. Just before I finished high school, I just dedicated my life and everything over to Jesus Christ. He began to speak to me. As a young man, they didn't quite understand what was going on and what was happening to me in school. At that time you could go to the library and get books and things and read. So I went to the library; I got the Bible, the Bible commentary, and anything concerning salvation, and began to read and study. The Lord just anointed me with his word, showering, blessing power upon me. I began to move—
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
You said that when you were in high school, the Lord started talking to you then.
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yes, he did, just like me and you are talking. I heard the voice of God speak and I sat a listened. I was brought up in the church from a young man. My uncle was an archbishop and my grandmother was a world missionary. I was brought up in the church. Get up on Sunday morning, take your bath or whatever you have to do. Then you go in

Page 4
the room and everybody kneel down and prayed. Mother prayed, Grandma prayed, then Uncle prayed, then we'd go and eat breakfast. Then we'd do the same thing at the breakfast table. Then we'd get ready to go to Sunday School, from Sunday School to the 11 o'clock service. After that you eat, then go back at 6 o'clock for the evangelism service and (YPHA). I grew up that way. I never was a worldly person. I never did deal with the world. I never smoke, I never drank, I never chewed, I never done nothing—none of the worldly habits.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Especially with your family but also in general, it sounds like your family had a big influence on you.
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yes, that's right.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Can you tell me just a little about your family? What was your family like?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
They was great people. They was religious people; they went to church and all that. My grandmother worked in service for people, then she would come home and get us ready to go to church through the week days, whatever the [unclear] was. We just got along fine. Raised our own chickens, our hogs, and our gardens. We got along fine. We didn't have to go to the store for nothing, just maybe a little something like flour. Then she got in contact with this other man so we didn't have to do that. So I was brought up to work and serve the Lord, and do what he said do.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Now, was this Atlanta they were bringing you up in, or was it someplace else?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
No, my parents moved. My daddy worked with the planer mill. He graded lumber for the planer mill. So they moved to Durham, North Carolina, and I was only five years old when they moved here. Then I made Durham my home. [My father] lived here till he got killed [clicks tongue and pauses] . So he went out one night—you know how mens do, you know. My grandmother said, "Don't go tonight, son." Grandma said, "I don't feel like things are going to be right for you. I don't think you need to go." He said, "Mama, I just—" She said, "You go ahead on, but you're going to regret it." And he did.

Page 5
In the morning about 5 or 6 o'clock Mr. Ellis D. Jones, the undertaker, came and was talking to Momma. He said, "We found this young man. I know who the young man is, and you know who he is, too." She said, "Oh, yes, my son." He said, "I didn't want to tell you so, but it is." They had beat him up and thrown him on the highway. They had run all over his legs and just crushed the bones and everything. So they carried him to Lincoln Hospital. They had to amputate his legs. So when they carried him through and I saw him, I screamed. Momma said, "Hush up." So I went to the [unclear] , "Momma, Daddy gonna die, Daddy gonna die, Daddy gonna die." She said, "I said hush, boy!" But it all came out of me; the Lord said, "He gonna die, he gonna die." After they did the operation, three weeks later he died. I said, "I told you, Momma." She said, "You shut up." Always been a person with the Lord [unclear] . Whenever he'd tell me to go talk to you, and I'd make myself plain and sit there and [say], "Thus said the Lord," it always would happen. I always been an anointed person by God. I could just go to people and pray for people and they'd get healed, get deliverance. I was at the Church of God and Providence in Bragtown; the pastor had given me to have eleven o'clock service. [unclear] give out Scripture and give me some. I was sitting there, and this man and his wife came in, and they was blind. I was sitting there, and the Spirit began to talk to me, and my body was beginning to shiver. I said, "O God, what is it?" He said, "Go lay your hands on the husband and wife." I anointed my hands with consecrated olive oil—I know you know what that is—
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Yes, sir.
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
I went and anointed them and said, "Thus says the Lord." I put my left hand on him and my right hand on her, and I just began to pray on the Spirit. When I got through their eyes came open and they began to sing, shout, holler, and praise God. The pastor there, he said, "I didn't get a chance to preach. Why'd you do that?" I said, "I didn't do it. Thus said the Lord!" He said, "But I had a message!" I said, "Look, me and God had the message." She said, "I'm so glad. We've done been everywhere. The Lord

Page 6
told us in the Scriptures this morning that he was going to bless us, and I obeyed God." From that day on, they've been going and going and going and doing. Now I am 64 years old, and I am still striving and working for the Lord. I've done things for people, opened up their eyes and healed people from several things. I don't call myself no healer, I just do what God says do. God just has blessed and blessed and blessed….
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
So you've been hearing the voice of the Lord since early on.
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yeah.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
What did your family think of that? Did they have the same experience themselves?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yeah, they looks up to me. My momma is ninety years old; she looks up to me right now. Young people in the family do, my nieces and nephews. Course, my niece is the pastor of the church now. I talked to my bishop, Bishop J.C. Scott of Apex, [unclear] Church of God in Christ Jesus, the same denomination I am—. Let me back up. The Bishop W.A. Jones, he died last year. He was my bishop. We funeralized him and—I go to the church sometimes and they come to me—I prayed to the Lord. I said, "Lord, I need a leader now. I need a leader. I need a leader, someone who's going to lead and teach me." So he laid Bishop Scott and Overseer Scott on my heart, so I went to him and talked with him. He came to the church and said, "Yeah, I'll license you." I had made my niece assistant pastor to me. Bishop Scott said, "The Lord has lain this on my heart," so I said, "O.K., Bishop, we got to obey you." I was kind of sick; see, I'm a chronic diabetic, and I go to the dialysis. My health was kind of getting weak, but I don't worry about that. The Lord will take care of me, first with one thing, then another. He said, "We gonna make you assistant pastor. [unclear] is the pastor, and you are gonna be the bishop, founder, and overseer of the church. I said, "That's fine." I preach on the first and third Sundays, she preach on the second and fourth Sundays. If it's the fifth Sunday, then we have a [unclear] meeting, and all the other pastors have fifteen minutes to talk when we come back in the evening. We just function like that and keep right on going. I've had a whole lot of

Page 7
tragedies, but the Lord brought me out. That's how the church started right there, and we've been going and going and going ever since. Then I went to the Durham Tech Institute—right here. [picks up a certificate from the table]
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
It says, "This is to certify that John Thomas Moore has attended and satisfactorily completed 234 hours instruction in attended care for the elderly, and is awarded this certificate this eighth day of June, 1973." Did that mean—
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
They gave me a certificate and gave me a license to work in the rest homes and the hospitals helping the elderly folks, going in their homes and helping them, doing everything.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
How did you decide to do that?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
That was a program I heard about, and I loved to do things to help people. I saw this way to really help people, to get in contact with different people and talk to people. I talk to them about the Lord, and they enjoy it.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
I can imagine they do. How long did you end up doing this work with the elderly?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
I done this for ten years, before I got sick.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
[Reading] "The Coordinating Council of Senior Citizens, Durham, North Carolina. This is to certify that John Thomas Moore has successfully completed the two months' course in the care of the elderly, including classroom instruction and supervised work experience, thereby qualifying for membership in the Attendant Corps for Elderly, this tenth day of June—" I doesn't say what year.
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
It doesn't say the year? I thought the year was on there.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Was that near the same time as the other certificate?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yeah, that was right after that. I tell you, I've got everything here [shuffling the papers on the table].
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Oh, look. [Picking up a certificate]
This is from Hillhaven. So you worked at Hillhaven?

Page 8
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yes, sir!
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Is that the place where you worked with all the seniors? Or did you work in some other places, too?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
I worked some other places, too, but most of it was right there.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
[Reading] "This certificate is awarded to Mr. John T. Moore in recognition of participation in the reality orientation training program. Hillhaven, Incorporated, Durham, North Carolina." This is from September 27, 1973. It says you did ten classroom hours. So this is when you were really getting some training?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yeah, that's where I worked, got training, and everything. I stayed right there at that Hillhaven South for seven years. I know you know where Hillhaven South is—right over near Duke.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Before you started working with the elderly, what other sort of work had you done?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
I was just doing home care, going and doing whatever needed to be done for them, staying three or two hours. I had three patients. You had to bathe the men and shave them, cut their toe nails and finger nails, fix them something for lunch. Then you'd let them sign your paper and go on to the next person. When you have three patients a day, that's a lot of work. After you do three patients, then you're tired. You go home and rest. Then I got ready to go to church and got myself together for that. I didn't let nothing worry me; I got along fine. Then I was working at Duke Hospital—
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Oh really?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yeah, I got sick—No, I was working at Hillhaven [unclear] when I got sick at 47 years old. I had a terrible attack hit me all me in chest, and didn't nobody know what it was. I went to Duke (Hospital). (The doctors) said, "Well, what we're going to have to do, Mr. Moore, is bore a hole in your chest and take some of the [unclear] out of there. I said, "Naw, I'm not no hog to bore into and take that bit. Y'all will never do that. Not going to experiment on me!" I left Duke and went on about my business. [hitting the

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table] That's exactly when I went to Hillhaven Center, and worked there for a long time. I used to go to work from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Then they'd need somebody else, and I'd just re-sign up and I'd work from 3 to 11 at night. Then sometimes after I had worked through that, then I'd still do the next shift. Working and working, it was a little bit too much. Then I worked at Woolworth at lunchtime on the lunch line—
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Oh, you did? Did that come after Hillhaven or before?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yeah, I'd leave Hillhaven and go up to the Woolworth's and rechange clothes, put on another white outfit and work on the lunch line till 2 o'clock. Then I'd come home, change uniforms again, and take care of one patient. My aunt used to tell me, "You doing too much, boy. You need to rest. I'd say, "I'll rest when I'm in my grave." She said, "I know that, but you need to rest now." She's still living. Bless her heart, she's 94 years old, but she's not able to get around. She's had two or three strokes in New York with her daughter. She's the mother of our church. But I got along fine. Then I got sick and they sent me to the doctor. I said, "I'm going to Dr. Kenny Banks over there by Lincoln." He checked me out and everything—oh, I meant to bring that letter. When he found out—. I stayed in the hospital. I believe it was '67 or '71, June and July. I couldn't stand for nothing to touch my body, no kind of heat or nothing.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
This is when you were in the hospital.
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
I was in the hospital. I couldn't even stand in front of the air conditioner. They just kept me there with the sheet on. I was sick person, running temperatures and everything. [The doctor] came in there one day and said, "I'm going to take your blood and send it to Atlanta, Georgia, to be analyzed. They'll send it back to me within the same day." He flew it there and they flew it back. He came back and I was just laying there, resting. He came and shook me, "Mr. Moore, Mr. Moore." I said, "What is it, Doctor?" He said, "Don't do that, don't do that, don't do that. Don't sleep like that! You're going to go into a coma. You're a quanta-diabetic." I had sugar in my urine and in my blood. It was just eating me up. They put me on insulin, 100 units a day and 20 at night. I was

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laying there in the hospital—and I want you to listen to this; a lot of people don't believe this. [loudly, dramatically] I saw myself in the casket in the church. [pause] I saw my whole body in the church in the casket, and Mother Shaw's daughter came in and began to look at me and began to pray. She said, "Bishop Moore, you can't do this, you can't go like this, you gotta come back." She began to pray, and I saw myself just rising, just rising. I rose out of the casket.
Then I woke up out of the sleep I was in. The doctor was just rolling and shaking me. I said, "I'm all right. I'm fine." "No, you wasn't. You was gone. We didn't know what to do for you." [clapping his hands lightly] I said, "I'm fine, I'm fine," heart monitors all on me, shooting i.v.'s. I said, "I'm am fine. Still here."
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Thank God.
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
I'm still here. God ain't ready for me yet. My work is not done. I'm still pastor, still going, still doing. These people that live around here say, "You a miracle man." I say, "Call me what you want; I'm just an instrument for God, just a witness for him."
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
That experience you had in the hospital, did that have a big affect on your life after that?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yeah, I got stronger and more powerful for the Lord. I get well and they didn't understand it. I told (the doctors), "I'm going home." They said, "No, you're not." I said, "I'm going home." They thought I couldn't walk. I began to walk around and visit people in the other wards. They said, "You got to lay down." I said, "I cannot sit down. I cannot. I cannot." I get weak sometimes, but the strength of the Lord brings me through. Now I am not even taking no insulin at all. He took me off of that. He took me off of the needle, said, "You don't need it no more." I just test my sugar every now and then. I don't never be more than 145, 150. It never gets way up. I eat like I ought to; I don't eat a whole lot of food, like people think I ought to eat. See, I don't eat that fried food and all that heavy starch food. I eat a lot of fruits and stuff like that, light stuff, and

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vegetables that will keep you going. You don't have to eat a whole lot of meat. If I eat any type of meat, it will be like turkey, fish, and chicken. All that other red meat and stuff I don't bother with. It's not good for you. Don't eat nobody's pork, no, no, no. And I don't eat no whole of dairy food. The Lord just keeps me going. I keeps myself going under the blood of Jesus.
I fell about four or five months ago. I went to the dialysis, and came back and they said, "Mr. Moore, your auntie up there sick" I said, "What in the world?" I stay over at the dialysis four hours and a half. The people say it makes you weak. I don't really get that weak. But I'll go home and eat something, then I'll rest. So I rushed right on upstairs. I thought she was sitting in the chair, but she was stretched out right on the floor. I said, "I'm calling the paramedics right now." I called them and they came. I said, "You're going to the hospital." She said, "No, I'll wait for my daughter." I said, "Your daughter is coming in next month." I carried her on to Duke. At Duke they said she was dehydrated, wouldn't half eat, and everything was happening to her. They kept her. I said, "Aunt Rose, I'm going home. I'll be back Monday to see you. Was going to have service on Sunday." On Monday I came on out there and sat down to wait for the cab. I said, "Why doesn't my leg feel right?" I stretched it out and walked a little bit. Then the cab came out. I could just barely make it in the cab. I said, "What in the world?" I kept moving my leg, had me a sandwich, and got home. Put the sandwich on top of the table and was going to get me a glass of Gatoraid. I got that and said, "Oh, I got to go to the mailbox." [snapping] I got ready to get up and go to the mailbox and my legs went limp like a dishrag. I said, "What is this?" I got up again, and when I got up I just fell on the floor. When I fell on the floor I broke my left hip. I said, "Oh, God, I broke my left hip." It didn't excite me; I didn't get upset or nothing.
So I crawled from the kitchen to the bedroom on my stomach; that was a hard job. I rested and pulled and got the telephone. Called the [unclear] and said, "Now I done fell and broke my hip and I'm laying on the floor. "Well, you lay real still, Mr. Moore." I

Page 12
called my neighbor, and she came running around there. I called Alicia to come and get me. They finally got me on the stretcher; there was a board they had to put me on. I done all right till we got in the emergency room and they put me on that cold, steel table. I said, "Get me off of here." So they covered me up in a blanket." The lady comes in and is taking my vital signs, testing my temp, testing my blood pressure and my heart. I said, "Look, y'all need to get me into X-Ray because my hip is broke." She said, "We don't know that." I said, "My hip is broke." "We don't know that." "My hip is broke." Finally the doctor come, and he got me from here across the hall to the x-rays. Took the x-rays, and I heard the doctors talking. [mimics doctors] Finally they come back. I say, "Can I see my x-ray? My hip is broken." "Well, we can tell you that it's broke, but we can't let you see it. Your doctor will have to see it. This was on a Saturday. [The doctor] came in and told me, "We're going to put you in the room, but at nine o'clock we're going to have to operate on you." They don't usually operate on Saturday for nobody. They had to rush me there. They done that operation, and in about three hours I came out. I said, "I'm fine." They put a pin in there; I got a steel pin in my hip. I couldn't hardly walk around or do nothing. So they put me in the bed and give me the i.v. I started making a prayer and talking to the Lord. (The Lord) said, "I think I want you to move." So I moved. In the meantime, I had to go to the [unclear] , because Dr. Daniel had cut off all of my toes, on account of I was a diabetic. They turned black like your bag. Gangrene had set in. First they took off on of the little toes. I went about a year without anything happening. Then he went and took an x-ray and (the doctor said my toes were) fractured at the bone. I said, "How in the world? I hadn't hit nothing. I hadn't dropped nothing on my toes. He said, "It's just happened." In the meantime they had to take me to the whirl pool and put me in the whirlpool.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Now the toes—when did that happen?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
First the toes, then the Devil made me fall and broke my hip. He's always trying to do something to hinder God's folk. From the beginning, God threw them out of

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heaven, he [unclear] , and it's been hell and damnation ever since. It's getting worse and worse and worse. People don't realize what's happening. God (assumes) the covenant, Devil's getting busier and busier. That's the reason the world is like it is today. It's going to get worse. You keep living, I keep living, we gonna see it. It's going to get worse and worse. It's terrible now, but it's going to be worse than it is now. We ain't going to be able to go out our doors after a while, it's going to be so bad. Anyway, that's what the Bible say. You read Revelation and go back to Daniel, go back to Genesis and it will tell you all about what's going to happen. There it is, right before your eyes. He said, "Each generation will get weaker and wilder." These young people are now doing any and everything. They're wearing clothes that you thought they would never wear. I've never known a man to have no braids in his hair—that's a sin. A woman has her glory: she's supposed to look nice and look good for you. But ain't no man supposed to have hair all long and caught down his back and all that. They don't like a natural man. They look like a woman, look like somebody out of his mind or crazy or something like that. [claps] But—this hair I got is the hair I was born with. My momma's daddy was an Indian chief; that's where I got my hair and that's why I look like I do.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Your momma's daddy was an Indian chief. Tell me about where your folks come from. Do they come from all over, or from some place in particular?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
My daddy's people lived in Atlanta, Georgia. [claps] I got great aunties down there, but I've never been down there since. One of my grandma's sisters and her husband own a great big car lot in Atlanta. My momma's people, they live in Lynchburg, South Carolina. They still living. My momma's living; she's ninety years old.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
She lives in Lynchburg?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
No, she lives here with us. She lives on 916 Alston Avenue, living with my baby sister's two girls; she's raised here. She's doing fine, still baby-sitting, still moving around and walking. She fell years and years ago and broke her hip, but she's on that cane and still doing fine.

Page 14
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
How did your mom and dad meet, if one was from Atlanta and the other was from Lynchburg?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
You know how people travel. He met my momma in South Carolina. My daddy loved to travel and get around. That's how he met mother, [claps] and they got married.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
And moved to Durham when you were five—
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yeah, they moved to Durham when I was five, and that's where we made our home.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Where were you living, when you made that first home?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
We lived at (Elrod) Lumber Company out on East Geer Street, big planer mill. A freight train would bring all the logs to the mill, and my daddy would grade them. He'd grade the logs and turn and they'd go all over his head. I'd say, "Momma, Daddy gonna get killed." She said, "Son, please hush your mouth! Don't talk to Daddy like that!" I said, "Momma, that's so dangerous." I told the Lord one day, "Don't never let me grow up doing nothing like that." And he didn't.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
How many were there in your family?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
My mother had six children. It's three living and three dead. Two girls dead, and a boy. Two boys living, and a girl living. [unclear]
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
What are some of your early memories from that time? Where did you used to play?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
We used to love to go play down in the wood and around the barn. We used to love to go get in the sawdust pile down at the planer mill. Go in under the pile like this [makes a burrowing motion]. We used to dig down there, because the more you dig the warmer it felt. But Granddaddy sat us down to talk to us, and Grandmother said, "Look, don't dig in that sawdust pile no more." See, because underneath that sawdust pile is fire burning. I didn't realize that. You go digging in there and after a while you'll hit that main blaze. We didn't do it no more. We obeyed our parents. We went a played somewhere

Page 15
else. It was a great big reservoir; they had dug out a great big place and had it built up with logs and things. Water was in there, and it boiled all the time. They had to send that lumber through there, then go to the planer mill. It'd go through the planer mill and my daddy would work with the lumber and when it come through they'd grade it out. When it went through it was wet, you know. It'd go right though the grader mill; it had a great big saw like this, you know [holding his hands about 8 inches apart]. Granddaddy used to file it; that was his job, to keep that thing up.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
So your granddaddy and your daddy worked there?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yeah, they worked there. Great mens. [claps] Sell that lumber, and that lady, she had a little farm and would build housed for the tenants, and she gave us enough lumber to build a little church on the plantation and everything. Found us a pastor, then I started going to church. That's where the Lord really anoint me and called me to preach. I had my first [unclear] right there.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Can you tell me a little bit about it?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yeah, we build that church. We build it ourselves, and we had the lamps that you pump and then they would light up—we had four of them in there. We put the windows there, then took wire and put it over the whole thing, so people could open the windows and just let the air come on through. We made the benches and everything. Wooden floors, man. Drums, tambourines, organ and piano.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
You must have been pretty handy as a young person to do all that.
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yes. This old man had one of those guitars he'd play, Deacon Tom. He'd play the guitar and we sung. We had a little choir, me and my mom and my grandmomma and granddaddy and his wife and children. Then the Lord send us Reverend Bennett and his wife. They came from North Durham over here. We was in the country, and they found us. We told him about it, and he said, "I'll be your pastor. We'll come." They came and taught us about the Lord. He became the pastor. I was a little-bitty boy; he used to tote me on his back. Look at me now and you wouldn't believe it, would you? They'd

Page 16
carry me all around, and I'd sing and pray and talk. We had a great time. But both him and his wife are dead now. But we done great work. We used to go on the Cheek Road way out—we started a little mission work out there in a house. I met some children in school and got acquainted with them. I told them, "I'm going to tell Momma and Daddy about that little church where they ain't got nowhere to go. We'll be out there Sunday." I told Bishop (Andrews) and we went. Started a nice little mission.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Did you go to school?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yeah!
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Where did you go to school?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
(Morning Grove) High School. I finished and graduated in '57.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
When you first started going to school, where did you go?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
[unclear] Grove, out on Roxboro Road. We used to go out there and turn when the auto place is; used to be a school sitting back out there. That's where I started at. Them were some rough days when we went.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
How come they were rough?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Because [Laughter] children back then didn't understand. I never did get in no fight, I never did argue, I didn't fuss with nobody. But they couldn't understand why I was like that. I got acquainted with a young lady. We got to talking; she was a Christian and I was, too. So they'd come on down to me [unclear]. [claps] We'd have recess time, lunch time, and we'd sit around and talk about the Lord. They couldn't figure out why were we doing all that and wasn't getting in their games, playing softball or boxing. I never could stand boxing.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
When you and this young woman would be sitting around talking about the Lord, how old were you when you were doing this?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
I was about 13, 14, 15.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
And they thought you weren't acting too normal—

Page 17
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yeah, they thought something was wrong with me. They thought maybe I was cracking up in my head.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
And you were already hearing the voices.
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
I was already hearing the voice of God. I was listening to what God say and I was doing fine. They were the ones that were off, not me. My parents—. My grandparents, then they raised me. [unclear] . Lot of people didn't have clothes and things to wear like that. You had to wash your clothes and wear the same thing. What I wore to school was bib overalls, plaid shirt, and [unclear] shoes. I felt fine. Knee-knockers. [Laughter] They picked at me but I said, "That's all right. [claps] I'll make it. I'll be here when some of y'all are gone." A whole lot of my school mates are dead and gone right now. I went to the funeral thing and looked at them. I'm still here. I was on the bus the other day to Duke to take these tests (for) a kidney transplant. They got me up for a kidney transplant. My niece and my nephew, they gonna give me a kidney. I'm so glad. They call me Uncle (Bubba). [mimicking voices] "Uncle Bubba, I give you one, I give you one." My pastor, her baby boy said, Mr. Bubba, I give you a kidney." He's twenty. He said, "I give a kidney, I give you a kidney…" I said, "That's all right."
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
When you were that age, what were your hopes and ambitions?—
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
[interrupting, speaking sharply] To wait for the Lord and go do what the Lord say do. Do whatever he want. Wherever he want me to go, that's where I travel. I joined the Church of God of Prophecy and became a pastor. Then I pastored in Virginia, Chapel Hill. One day they put me in (Douglasville), send me here and here and yonder. I enjoyed that. I used to work with the City. I had a full-time job with the City, and I told them: "I can't stay here long, though, because I got to work for the Lord." They're going, "What are you talking about?" [unclear] I said, "Y'all talk all you want, but I got to work for the Lord. He got another job for me. He said he'd supply my needs and takes

Page 18
care of me, and I believe what he said. He done that, brother. He really done that. I have nothing to worry about.
Then later on I got married. I got to bring that in. [claps] I went to Burlington with my brother in Christ. He was pastor there. I went there and went to his church. He said, "I got a young lady I want you to meet." I said, "Why do you want me to do that?" He said, "All the other young mens and ladies are married, and I think you would be a good match as well." I know that they was, but I wasn't quite ready for that—don't rush me. He said, "Well, I think you need to." So I kind of took him at his word, you know. [Laughter] I was twenty-two years old, and it was getting time to sort of get interested in females. I went on and everything; we got acquainted and talked. There was this convention up there. Bishop McKinley said, "I want you to preach." So I preached and I was just in the high way of preaching, anointed [unclear] . The church was full, and this young lady came in, and the Spirit said, "That's yours in a vision." I looked around, and none of the rest of them was saying nothing. I kept on, and it said, "I said, 'That's yours, yours in a vision." I said, "Yes, Lord." So after the service I talked to the Bishop—not Bishop, but Reverend Henderson. He said, "I'll introduce her to you." We get to talk a little bit, and she say, "When I came in the church and you were just preaching, the spirit spoke to me and said you was mine in a vision." I said, "Wait a minute. Those are the same identical words he spoke to me. That's why I'm talking to you." She said, "That's what it said to me." So we went on right there and the two of us, we was married. She didn't know that much about me, and I didn't know that much about her, but the Lord had spoken. I believed in God and what he said. He said, "Them who I put together let no sinner cut them apart," So I sent on and got married and got along fine. I thought—we thought we was doing fine. But as we was arranging to get married, we had to have the blood tests and all that stuff. I was working over there at Blue Light Restaurant, shift cooking—
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Over there on Erwin?—

Page 19
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
No, on Roxboro Road, out there where Walmart and all that on the corner now. It used to be a Blue Light Restaurant out there. Buses used to come out and turn around there and go back to town. All back there in Bragtown, cause they had to walk from Bragtown. So I said, "I'm going to my home doctor," which was doctor [unclear] Horton. He was the county doctor then. I went and told he said, "Wait a minute. What is wrong with you? Don't you think you're going a little bit too fast?" I said, "Doctor, I met this young lady but I'm supposed to get married; I know I'm supposed to have the blood test." He sat down and said, "I don't feel like this is right for you. I don't think you need to do this." I just kept on. He said, "Well, I'll do it." He took the blood test and he said, "It ain't going to pass. Y'all blood not going to match." I said, "I'll get back in touch with you." That next day, it came out in the paper that Dr. [unclear] had died of heart attack.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
This guy who you were talking to—
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
The doctor, the county doctor. Wasn't nothing wrong with him. I just shocked him so bad. He had a heart attack.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
That afternoon—. Deacon Williams was deacon of my church. Bless his heart, he's dead and gone, too. Him and I was living out there on the farm, and we was farming together. I told him about it, so we went to pick up the young lady, Sister Jean Banks. She said, "I'll carry you to my doctor." I said, "I'll be glad to. We'll try to get together and do what thus said the Lord." Listen, now. This is a miracle, another miracle, another miracle that happened. We got together and were going down the street, sitting there, laughing and talking, and all at once the Lord just began to speak to me. I began to listen to the Spirit. The Spirit let me know, "This is not for you."I didn't know what to say, what to do. She was sitting there and I was sitting there

Page 20
and Deacon Williams and his wife was sitting there. He said, "What's happened, Bishop?" I sat there just listening to the Spirit of God. God's just speaking with [unclear] . She said, "I don't know what's wrong with Johnny. He ain't sayed nothing to me, ain't trying to talk to me or tell me nothing. I'm just waiting here until somebody can tell me something." I said, "I'm just waiting to nobody nothing. [claps] I'm going to listen to God." Going down the road at a normal speed, [claps] almost sixty miles an hour. I said, "Deacon, look! Look at that tire going down. Somebody done lost their tire of the passenger side on the front." He said, "What in the world is that?" I said, "I don't know." We were all just looking, and all at once the car went and (started) doing like that, [makes bucking motion with his hands] and kept doing it. Then all at once it just dropped. I said, "What in the world?" The Lord said, "I done told you." Then Deacons said, "It was my tire coming by me." I knew it was something the Lord kept speaking to me, and I wasn't sure. I kept sitting there praying. Got to her doctor, and he had a whole lot of people for the same day. So when he got to us he said, "Look, you not going to match her." He came straight out and told me, "You not going to match her." I said, "What you mean, doctor?" "You not going to match her." So she went back and talked to the doctor, and soon in ten minutes he (said), "All right, y'all come in." He took my blood, took her blood, then went on back and done the tests. He said, "I'm sorry to tell you, but yours not matching hers. Your blood are supposed to match. She said, "What are you talking about?" He said, "His blood not matching yours. Y'all not a good couple. Just not. Can't do it." He kept on fumbling around and said, "Well, I'm going to go ahead and let it pass, since you so anxious." I still wasn't saying nothing; I was still hearing what the Lord says, and got to thinking, trying to figure out how I was going to get out of it. [Laughter] I went on, I went on, till we finally, finally got married. While I was at her daddy's home, waiting for her to come down the stairs and getting ready to go to Bishop McKinley, he daddy was talking to me. He said, "This ain't going to work." I kept hearing the Lord speak then. I had decided in my mind to get up and go back to the bus

Page 21
station and catch the bus back to Durham and forget all about it. By the time I got ready to get up and go out of the house, dressed and everything, I said, "O Lord." Spirit started, "I tell you to go to move." So we went on, and Bishop McKinley talking to his wife, talking, "This ain't gonna work. This ain't gonna work. You don't know. You haven't talked with Ms. Banks. You don't know what we know." So Mother McKinley said, "Let me talk to you, Bishop Moore. I need to talk to you and tell you something." I did not know that Ms. Banks, three or four weeks before, just had came from having a nervous breakdown. She really didn't know what she was doing or what she was getting into. She already had a child nine years old. Before she had that child, she tried to commit suicide and kill herself. She tried to jump off the top of the house. But for some reason the Lord didn't let nothing happen to her. When the child was born, one of her legs was kind of afflicted. I didn't know that. I met the child and I love the child. I love children. So we went on and went on and finally we got married.
I tell you brother, ooo, I went through the mill with that woman. She didn't want me to speak to nobody, didn't want me to shake peoples' hand or greet the saints. You know how in some Bibles they'll great each other with a holy kiss. [claps] You know how that is. We were doing what the Bible say do. (She'd say), "I don't want to hugging nobody." I said, "That woman don't mean a thing. You the only woman that mean anything to me." (She said), "I don't know that. Don't do that no more. Do that and I'm going to do something." I said, "Do what you want to do." I went on, went on, went on. She didn't have to work because I was working. I said, "Don't work if you don't feel that way. Just stay here and take care of the house. Send the baby to school and take care of everything you have to do."
She done that for a while, then said, "I think I might wanna work." I said, "Look in the paper and find you something. Maybe somebody might want to you do some housecleaning or something." She done that for a while, then she went all biserk. I said, "What in the world!" She just [unclear] screaming and then, then, then—next thing I know—.

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I worked at Duke and got sick one day. I went to the doctor and he said, "Mr. Moore, what's wrong?" I said, "Doctor, I can't keep nothing on my stomach. I bring my food and I can't eat. I'd go to the cafeteria. I don't understand. This is not me. I'm not supposed to be like this. He came in and test me and said, "You know what? You just recently got married?" I said, "Yes, I sure did." (He said), "Well, I'll tell you what: your wife is (in the family way.)" I said, "No, no, no, please don't tell me that." Two or three days later I went home. I sat down and I began to talk. I said, "Honey, let me tell you one thing. I been sick for two or three days. I just can't half eat. I can't hardly eat when I come home, just don't feel like nothing, vomiting [unclear] . Doctor told me to tell you that you was in the family way." (She said), "No, no, no, I can't go through that. Can't go through that. No! Not now." I said, "Well, it's there." So she finally went to Duke and they told her. Ran all kinds of tests that they run (on rabbits. Rabbit test always come out.) They said, "No, you're three months pregnant. She said, "No, no, no, I'll never have that, I'll never go through that."
She done pretty good for a while. She got about five months, I came home one day and she said, "Look at me." When you get about five months you start coming out. I said, "That's nice. Ain't that cute! That's nice." (She said), "Naw, it ain't. I don't know what you talking about. I don't like that." I said, "Come on, what's wrong, what's wrong? That's what's supposed to happen." (She said,) "Not me, not me." So I came home one day, she was laying down. I said, "Why are you laying down? You don't feel good?" (She said,) "Going the bathroom and look in that night pot." I went in there and she done had a miscarriage; everything is laying in the nightpot. I said, "What in the world has you done? What in the world has you done, girl? That's not right. You don't do stuff like that. I hadn't hit you, I hadn't beaten or done nothing to you. You haven't lifted nothing heavy or nothing." I know she loved to clean the house and turn the stuff around, but I don't see where that done it. I'll tell you this then and we'll skip that part. You know, this sap out of the root you get out of the wood—the red root, you can

Page 23
drink that. It's good for your body. When Grandma used to fix that on Sunday morning, we used to drink that when we'd eat breakfast. But that white kind will run you blind, and it will knock up babies. That's what she was drinking. I was talking to my god mother, Ms. Shaw; she lived next door and we did, too. I said, "I seen Jean going into part of that cabinet, Mother, eating something out of a little mayonnaise jar; it's white and clear." She said, "Oh, my God! Oh, my God, Bishop. I hate to tell you—. You mean to tell me she drink that white sap (after tea?)" I said, "What in the world is that?" She said, "The red kind you can drink." I said, "Grandma always fixed that for us; we enjoyed it." She said, "But that white kind will run you crazy and knock up babies." I said, "Is that what happened when she had that miscarriage in that night that I told you about?" She said, "Yes, I could have told you this, but I didn't want to, because I didn't want to hurt your feelings." I kept seeing her going and drinking that, drinking that. Every three or four months she would just drink that. O.K., the first one was a set of twins, next time it was a set of twins. That's four kids gone down the drain. Then later on she got like that again; that was one; that was a little boy. Five kids she just flushed away. The Bible tells us, "Don't take that you can't give." When you take a child's life, you can't give it back. I don't care what you do. He'll forgive you, but you done took that child's life. That could have been a teacher, preacher, bishop; it could have been a president, anything. A senator, anything. You don't do that. If God let's you conceive it, you're supposed to bring it into the world, give birth to it, give it a chance to survive and be what it ought to be. He didn't give it to you just to be giving it to you. So from that it just grew worse and worse and worse and worse. She'd run all around naked in the street, I'd get her, bring her back home, talk with her, not try to beat her, and [unclear] . They said, "That's what you're supposed to do. You're husband and wife. You got a good husband. Got married and don't nobody done nothing to nobody. That's a nice, educated man, spiritual man. You'll regret it." "I don't want that. I ain't have no children." She went up to my next god mother up the street, and (my god mother says),

Page 24
"Let me take her, pray with her, talk with her, and try to help her, let her see she done wrong." She just kept getting worse and worse. The fifth day I went up there she got mad, started fighting me. I said, "Jean, what's wrong with you?" "I don't want to see you no more. I don't want to see you no more. You ain't going to do me tonight. I ain't having no young ones for you. You ain't going to fool me (for the young). So the doctor told her, "You will conceive again, and the next time you conceive it will be triplets." She said, "No, no. I ain't having no more youngings with him. I'm leaving him. I'm going back home to Momma and Daddy." She went back home to her momma and daddy, and in about three or four weeks I got tired of being there by myself. So the Saturday I was off I went up there to talk to him again I went up there again to talk to her. Her daddy and told me, "Let me tell you one thing: I know you a good man and good person, and her momma told me, too. But my daughter is a religious fanatic." I think you kind of puzzled now, ain't you?
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
I don't understand what he meant by that.
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Well, she just got so much religion and everything, she don't believe in nothing nobody tell her. (She's) tied up with these women's and things, and just caters to these women's and everything they do, she do that? That woman told her I wasn't supposed to be her husband, I wasn't what I ought to be. She believed what that woman said. That woman separated us. She would cater to that woman, go to that woman and stay, get in the bed with her and everything, just do and carry on and do. I just couldn't understand all that. So I was staying by myself, still pastor of my church, still praying and talking to the Lord. I was asking the Lord to stay in my body, because it was flesh. He came in and blessed me. The Bible says, "Every man has his own woman, a wife, you know. So I knew I couldn't go and get married to anyone else, and I didn't try to do it. He just kept me, staying in my body. I preached and teached and talked to people, counsel folks in marriage. Yet and still, mine was broken all to pieces. [claps] He had said I had to do what God said do. He brought me out. I ain't married [unclear]

Page 25
nobody else since. Ain't thinking about it. Too far gone now to think about getting married. He's just blessed me.
And she called me one night—thunder and lightning, we were having a terrible storm in Durham. I was living right over there in the church. The church was over here on this side, and I lived in this side [gesturing to left and right]. I said, "What in the world is all this thunder and lightening and terrible raining?" I answer the telephone, "Hello? Who is this? Oh, how you doing, Jean?" "Don't ask me how I'm doing. Just letting you know I'm sending you some letters. I done been to court and filed a divorce against you." I said, "Whatever you send I'll sign; I'm not coming to court. I ain't signed no divorce and I ain't looking for no divorce." "Well, I done divorced you anyway. I ain't staying with you no more. Ain't having nothing else to do with you." [I said,] "If that's what you want, then that's it. I'll sign them and send them back to (Graham). And they sent me back the divorce, when she went to court. No children, no nothing. I called and I said, "You mean to tell me you didn't tell the court that you destroyed five kids from me? How you think that make me feel?" "I ain't thinking about all that. I ain't think about all that. I got to live, is what I'm going to do." She's in Burlington now. She was a preacher then. She was pastor and preacher of the Church of God. Whole lotta people. [claps] When she come to my home church to preach, I go over [to the pews]. She be there preaching. I sit there and listen and look, and my mind is just—you know.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
Even now she does this?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yeah. She said, "You go your way and I'll go my way. You see me, just call me Jean Banks. They still call her Sister Pastor Jean Moore. I said, "She not no Moore. She's a Banks. I don't know why y'all keep saying Moore." She goes, "I don't care about my name. I got divorce papers at home." But in the sight of God we're still married, but man part with divorce. I said, "O.K., I'll leave her up there. When she comes around to preach I sit there [unclear] . She say, "I see my husband, the other part

Page 26
of me." I look at her and say, "How in the world can she say that?" Everybody just looking at her. A whole lot of them didn't know she was my wife. So I said, "Yes, we was married. She's the one that filed for the divorce, and I signed it." When she came, she was back in her maiden name, Jean Carol Banks, and she no longer carries my name, according to law. Everybody look at me, "Well, she still your—" I said, "I know. But I still don't claim her." And I don't. [Laughter] So we'll skip that part. Thank the Lord I'm still living and going on. God going to fix that at his own due time. Bible say that the wheat and chaff grow together, and in my day I going to separate them. So I don't try to separate nothing. [claps] He'll do it. If she can live with that on her conscience, I sure can live and go on with the Lord. He ain't going to hold me fault with what I didn't do. I was a husband like I ought to, work and took care and kept the house going and everything. She didn't like that. A whole lot more things happened but we won't get into that. But that's the history of me—serving the Lord, going on and God just blessing.
Then I moved on Walker Street and Edgemont came up. Edgemont was a black spot on the map. Black folks and white folks lived down in here. They didn't want to do nothing about it, so we met at Mrs. Jones [unclear] . She became the director of Edgemont. She saw me and they got in contact with me. We had a church bus—a school bus we used for the church. We would go on trips around to Greensboro and Charlotte, where the black people in the community took the community and turned it into what they wanted to turn it into. They became the owners of it by getting houses. The government would buy the houses for a dollar, then turn it back into the community. The community owned the houses and sold them to people for little or nothing. We thought maybe we could come up with the same idea in Edgemont in Durham. Where we lived, wasn't nothing but a whole lot of black folks over there. This was a hosiery mill then, but it had went out of business and this lower part down there [points outside to where the furnace building used to stand] was a flea market. You could come in and get anything you want, cheap stuff. So got into it. Right across from the hosiery mill then, right over where the

Page 27
park is [new park located on Henderson Street], it used to be a Center there called the Edgemont Center. That's where we would meet at, have games, basketball, and play games. We would go down there on the weekends and have service, [claps] try to get the people together. We done good for a while, then across from that where these houses sit [new Habitat for Humanity houses at corner of East Main Street and Angier Ave.] was a restaurant owned by a white man. Then we had another place beside that called the Health Center where the doctors from Duke and Chapel Hill would come in the community and give us free examinations, check our teeth and blood pressure. It just worked. Everything was going good. Then all of us were sitting around on the porches one day and this car came buy, something balled up with a rag lit. They throwed it in the restaurant and into the health center. I said, "Oooohhh, my God, that thing is going to blow up." The next thing we know: BOOM! Everything's blowed up.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
You saw it happen.
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
I saw it happen, but I don't know who it was. We just got so excited we didn't get no car license or nothing. All we know is that it was a bunch of white folks.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
When did that happen?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
That was probably about the last part of the sixties, and it went until '70. The community was in full bloom, doing fine. From there, it started going down. We had to tear that down and all that stuff. We moved around the corner there where the Habitat for Humanity got them houses [corner of E. Main Street and Angier Ave.], right up above the Bull City there was another man who owned a whole lot of two story houses, antique houses. We got one of them and turned it into the health center again. That done fine, because people all in the community all around would go, like if you would go to a job and you had to get an examination and didn't have the money to pay for it. They would go there and give it to you. They done it free. Then all at once that came to a close. They didn't want that. Right across from there used to be a school sitting there. The school got blown up and burnt, too. So the Devil just worked in our community. Every time we tried

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to bring the community to the top, then we met the government. At that time—I hate to say it—but the Ku Klux Klan was terrible then. They loved to burn down things, and we always had—what you call those guys on the motorcycle?
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
The Hell's Angels?
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Yeah! They had a place right over the hill over there. They'd meet on those motorcycles and just cuss out black folk, pick at black folk, beat black folks all up and everything, break all in the houses. Anything the black folks had, they would demolish. The community was a good community. Right on the corner there we had a [unclear] drug store. They had to close that. Right on the corner there it used to be a fish mart. The other folks would run the fish mart. They stayed there, though, till they got sick and couldn't come in, these big fat ladies. Then they health got bad and they couldn't come in. They close it, and later on they tore it down. The church was still over there on Walker Street, black people moving all around. But Ms. [unclear] still worked with us, and we tried and tried and tried. All the houses was around and everything. We would go to the City Hall, like we went the other night. Hayti [Development Corporation] and Edgemont always have worked together. You know that building all the way over there? [gesturing toward Golden Belt and the intersection of S. Elm and E. Main] Hayti is trying to get the city to rezone that so they can build a store in there. It passed the other night 11 to 2 [referring to a vote at the city council]. They really don't want that. So we had talked to the Goodwill—that used to be a Colonial store. They've got a part of that store with nothing in it, and we wanted them to sell us that part. They've got a big parking lot, and we was going to put to store in there. That was fine, and all at once they decided, "Naw, we don't want to do that! We'll keep it for ourselves." Why not let somebody use it instead of letting it sit and go to waste? They go along with that probably, but they ain't going to sell that. First they said they would, then they decided they wouldn't. See, that's the trick of the Devil. So why not let somebody use it, because you can close off the part you're not using and let the store be in there and have glorious times. The senior citizens from this building and up

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there and around about could walk to the store and still be convenient instead of going across the highway there to Winn Dixie. What Hayti Development is trying to do is bring back up like it ought to be, and put a new store in there and maybe some other kind of business—barber shop, stuff like that. Maybe a small drug store. Yes, we [need a store]. Got some people don't want nothing that's good. We got a lot of people that are against anything that's right. [claps] So we working on that right now; it passed the other night.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
I read about it.
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
I was right there. I was one of the speakers. Anything come for Edgemont, I'm going to be right there. They were just meeting me and greeting me. One of the brothers came that's a deacon and said, " [unclear] ." I said, "Well, you know it's Edgemont." He said, "I know I was going to see you." I said, "Yeah, you saw me." Because they [the City] took my church away from me. The City said they were going to move me across the lot, move my building across the lot and put everything back like it was, the water back, the telephone, the lights and all that stuff, and sell it to me at a reasonable price. They said the City and the State don't work together. They don't work with religious folk. When they moved me, I said, "We ain't going to get this back." They didn't believe me. I said, "We're not going to get this back. They're gonna take it." I'll have a sign fixed, "Future church for the Faith and Hope Mission Holy Church." We were real excited and glad about it. We even had hired a contractor who said he could model the church and the house and bring it up to date, remodel it into a beautiful sanctury. Put us a basement and a bathroom in there. Then they didn't want to accept that. They wanted us to tell them how much money we had in the church treasury and everything. I said, "No, I can't do that. I'm not supposed to tell you how much money is in the church treasury. If I tell you that, then you'll know more than I know." So we didn't tell them. They said, "We can't get no information." The business manager, Mr. Clarence Gilmore, he said, "No." The founder of the church was an elder lady—she was good—Mrs. Shaw. But she said, "Y'all ain't talking to me. Y'all talk to the Bishop and to the manager of the church."

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They said, "That's who we're supposed to talk to, not to you." She said, "I'm not going to let it pass." They said, "It's already done passed to 1 percent, and if we can get that then we're going on with it." So the man, he came and talked to us, showed us the blueprint." We was glad to go along with it. Then all at once they said, "No, we can't do that." I said, "Y' all said you was going to do it. We were only going by what you said. The Bible says your word is your bond. You go back on your word, then what is it? Just like when you asked and called and I came down. I got this information last night [referring to the information on the table which we had read through earlier in the interview]. Sitting there [unclear] . The Lord said, "Get that." I looked at it, and I didn't know what this was. I brought it on; I didn't know it was the history. This right here comes from the Council for Senior Citizens. That's where you go and sit on the board and they talk, and you know everything that's going on in the city. [unclear] Dr. Brown, she's dead and gone, but she fought hard, she fought hard. She almost had the church in our hands, but she got sick. [claps] That's when they did the work.
CHRISTOPHER WEBER:
This is what I'd like to do. We've covered a lot of ground today. [Laughter] What if I come back some time, and we focus in and talk about Durham. Before when we got together we talked about Edgemont.
JOHN THOMAS MOORE:
Edgemont is fine. I'll talk about Edgemont.
END OF INTERVIEW