Several months ago, Judy Powell, a graduate of Oneida Baptist Institute, contacted me requesting that I offer edits to her forthcoming book on the life of Barkley Moore. When I agreed to do so and later shared my delight over The Offering, she invited me to write an endorsement for the book cover. I am sharing that endorsement with you, along with my recommendation that you pick up a copy of The Offering and learn more about the history of one of Kentucky Baptists’ fine institutions and esteemed leaders. The book is available from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other retailers.
My endorsement follows:
In The Offering, Judy Powell tells the story of Barkley Moore, one of God’s choice servants. In so doing, she records the remarkable history of Oneida Baptist Institute and a significant part of the mission work of the people known as Kentucky Baptists.
Barkley Moore was a father-figure to thousands of children, many of whom had no father. One paragraph from Powell’s book, lifted from Moore’s recounting of a conversation with one of his students, sufficiently illustrates what Moore meant to many of the children he served:
“Mr. Moore you are the nearest to a father I’ve had.” I am a little startled. The boy goes on to relate to me a conversation that he had with me once in the laundry room as he washed his clothes. I don’t remember that particular conversation, but the boy said, “You’ll never know just how much that meant to me.” I don’t tell him that I don’t remember. He cries some more. We never know when we are saying something that sticks with someone a lifetime.
Thanks to Judy Powell, many of Moore’s words will now stick with me for a lifetime. More importantly, Moore’s life dedicated to humbly serving Christ and preparing the next generation to serve Christ, can challenge and inspire generations to come.
I am praying the Lord will use The Offering to stir us to make of our lives the kind of fragrant offering to Christ that surely was the life of Barkley Moore.
Though Barkley Moore passed away two decades ago, the work of OBI continues to flourish under the leadership of President Larry Gritton. Enrollment is up and plans are in the works for upgrading and expanding the campus. Founded in 1899, OBI has a rich history of ministry to children in the mountains that has grown into a school boasting students and graduates from around the world.
My prayer is that this ministry of Kentucky Baptists will continue to shape the lives of children to the glory of God and those children will, like Judy Powell, tell us the story of what God is doing at OBI.