Melvenia, Clarence Moore Receive T.W. Anderson Award

Post a Comment » Written on June 26th, 2008     
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GREEN LAKE, WI (June 26, 2008) – A Florida couple that has overcome racism, poverty, and the lack of education to be witnesses of Christ’s love were recipients of the T.W. Anderson Award, which was presented today during the 123rd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

President Glenn Palmberg presented the award to Melvenia and Clarence Moore, who attend Kingdom Covenant Ministries in Miami, Florida. Clarence was unable to be present to accept the award.

AndersonThe award is named in honor of the only lay president of the Covenant. It is presented during each year’s Annual Meeting and honors laypersons who evidence lives of commitment and dedication to Christ and the church, who have been members of the denomination for at least 25 years, have not served on a conference or national board, have provided outstanding service to the local church and community, and have been recognized vocationally.

The Moores have served their church and community in numerous capacities, holding leadership positions, as well as doing whatever small jobs needed to be done.

In her nominating letter, church member Doris Granberry wrote that many people had been encouraged and come to Christ through their ministry. A local organization honored Melvenia as “a jewel among us,” and she has been called “a quiet giant.”

“When you’re serving God, when you’re being obedient, you don’t know who you’re influencing,” Melvenia said. Her work in the community has included volunteering at the local rescue mission and the Agape Center for abused women.

Pastor Ed Carey wrote to the nominating committee, “Deacon Moore is one of those precious few who walk in unquestionable character and integrity and at the same time encourage others to do the same.” He added, “His faithfulness to the Lord and to the church and is tireless efforts to promote the vision of the Kingdom has been a positive attribute that we all wish to emulate.”

Granberry said of Clarence, “God brought him from the streets to the church, and he has served faithfully as a man after the heart of God.” His work outside the church has included feeding the hungry and homeless, as well as “the sure thing that he will stop to help someone when he sees them in need.”

The way each has overcome obstacles also has been a witness. In the late 1960s, Melvenia became the first black waitress in a restaurant chain that was similar to Stuckeys, she says. Her mother was a cook, and Melvenia also worked in the back.

On occasions when the restaurant became too busy, one of the white waitresses would ask Melvenia to wait on one of her favorite customers. “I liked it so much that I asked the manager if I could be a waitress,” she recalls.

“He said he would have to call the national office, and they said it was okay as long as it didn’t cost the restaurant any business,” Melvenia says. The customers kept coming.

“I won two awards for first-class service,” Melvenia says. “It was the greatest experience of my life.”

Clarence’s father left his family when Clarence was only three years old, and his stepfather left when he was 13.

Clarence, who was the eldest of eight siblings, eventually dropped out of school in order to help provide for his brothers and sister. He hunted, fished, and worked in farm fields to help make ends meet and always gave his paychecks to his mother.

Clarence has had to learn to read as an adult because of his lack of education and has benefitted from the ministry of others who Melvenia says God placed by his side. When Clarence had to obtain a commercial driver’s license to drive trucks, he was unable to read the booklet for the test.

He learned it, however, when a pastor repeatedly sang the words to him in order to help Clarence remember the requirements. The time paid off. He aced the test.

That kind of dedication has helped him advance his career. “He retired with a white collar!” Melvenia says proudly. The City Commission of Coral Gables issued a proclamation in his honor for outstanding leadership in helping lead the parks department. He also was named employee of the month.

His early struggles helped form his heart to serve others. “I just promised God that if I get to be a grown man, I would never leave my children. The love for others just grew from that.”

He never attended church until he was in his teens, when “a sanctified woman who lived near us started taking me to a small Pentecostal church. They would help us. Other people would help us, too.”

“God always surrounded me with good people,” Clarence emphasizes. “I can’t take credit for nothing I’ve done. It’s always been God. He’s always taken care of me.”

Clarence loves communicating that message to others, including the young people in his church. “I tell it to them all the time,” he says. “It’s wonderful when young people want to be around you. They love the stories I have to tell them.”

The most important stories involve Melvenia, to whom he has been married for 44 years. “She comes from a real nice family so she’s taught me how to love.” For her part, Melvenia declares, “I married a great man.”

The text of the plaque presented to the Moores reads:

Devotion to Christ and love for the church have characterized Clarence and Melvenia throughout a lifetime of faithful service.

Clarence and Melvenia are a remarkable team serving in leadership in their church. Their home has been a place of grace and hospitality. Their witness has resulted in many surrendering their lives to Christ. Together they have ministered with compassion to the neediest in their community.

Melvenia has served in many capacities: faithful teacher, choir member, women’s ministry leader, and head deaconess. In all that she does she has been a true example of a servant leader. Melvenia is a woman who prays with power, ministers with compassion, and walks with Jesus every day.

Clarence’s life is characterized by love for God, the heart of a servant, and perseverance in all things. His ready wit is a balm to weary souls and frees others to live for Christ. Clarence has served as president of the ushers, chair of the Stewardship Committee and in church maintenance. He has been described as “the life of the church.” This warm-hearted servant of God is a friend to all, especially the pastor.

Clarence and Melvenia are truly a man and a woman after God’s own heart.

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