Personal Note from Our Pastor

img_1647If I were to describe my life, I must say that I have been treated better than I deserve! I was born and raised by loving parents. I am the oldest of five siblings. My father and mother raised me and my siblings in the church. In the early years, we were Southern Baptist. Then, when I was roughly middle-school-age, my parents became members of a non-denominational, charismatic church called Abundant Life Church in Richmond, Virginia. Abundant Life was an offshoot from a ministry called New Life for Youth. This served to spiritually, personally, and socially restore young men and women with drug abuse issues and criminal backgrounds. Our family was very active in this church and ministry. Later, my parents left this church to attend and become members of a flagship Assembly of God Church called West End Assembly of God in Henrico County, Richmond, Virginia. I grew up attending worship and other functions. I always loved going to Sunday School and church as a child and was very active in church in my youth.

My route to the ministry was circuitous. Though raised in the Church, I hadn’t experienced true conversion, that is to say, true faith and trust in Christ as Lord and Savior. My outward confession was Christian. My lifestyle was reasonably Christian. But saving faith, I did not possess. When I met my future wife, Rhonda, I was in the middle of a five-year hiatus from “all things religious.” Rhonda came to faith during that time, and she prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed that God would touch my heart. I eventually did come to faith. Rhonda and I were married in the wake of my spiritual awakening. God also gave us a wonderful son, Brad, who is a respectable and (more importantly) godly young man today. My wife kiddingly says, “I didn’t mean to pray so hard so that my husband would go into ministry!” With my conversion also came simultaneously a call, a call to ministry. My call first came in the form of personal and rigorous study, involvement in jail ministry and teaching Sunday School. At the time, I was a member of Trinity Assembly of God in Chesterfield, Virginia. I was preparing to be an Assembly of God (AG) minister. I was also attending Virginia Union University. While pursuing my BA full time in Philosophy and Religion and working full time in drywall construction to support my family, I came across Reformed theology through the ministry of Dr. R. C. Sproul. I began reading classical thinkers like Luther, Calvin, Edwards, etc. After struggling with Reformed thought for about a year, I had an intellectual conversion to all things Reformed, including Presbyterianism. I decided to leave the Assembly of God denomination and set aside my ministerial credentials as a certified AG minister to pursue ordination through the PCUSA. While working full time in construction and going to seminary full time, I received my four-year Master of Divinity in 2005 from Union Theological Seminary. Upon graduation, I continued to serve Rennie Memorial Presbyterian Church in Amelia County, Virginia, a church I served for a full year as a student minister. My first ordained call from 2006 to 2014 was to a yoked ministry with Timber Ridge and Fairfield Presbyterian churches in the Shenandoah Valley of Lexington, Virginia. My second call was as Pastor and Head of Staff at Conklin Presbyterian Church in Conklin, NY from 2014 to 2016. It was during my time in the Shenandoah Valley in Lexington, Virginia that I was awarded the Master of Theology in Theology and Ethics at Union Theological Seminary. Currently, I am pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in Historical and Systematic Theology with an emphasis on the intersection of Theology and Culture at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (RPTS) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I have had the honor of serving the Church in a variety of ways: chairing the Maury River Mission Community of the Shenandoah Valley, serving on the Committee on Preparation for Ministry and serving on the Committee on Church Development (CCD). I have been particularly grateful for the variety of
service to the Church that I have been permitted to render over the years in both my ordained and lay positions. As I look back on my life, I can see clearly the hand of God guiding me, and I am thankful to God for the many men and women in the Church who modeled for me what it meant to be a faithful Christian in service to Christ through the Church. My highest ideals are the doctrines of grace. My goals in ministry have been through word and deed to live out the gospel by upholding God’s Word. Through family, Church, and more importantly, Christ as my Lord and Savior, my life has been and is richly blessed. In fact, I am doing better than I deserve! One of the clearest example of this is that the Lord has blessed me greatly by calling me to serve the faithful saints at the Starkdale Evangelical Presbyterian Church as a member of the Presbytery of the Alleghenies within the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Both Starkdale Evangelical Presbyterian Church, in particular, and the larger denomination of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, in general, are faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to the infallible and inerrant Word of God. I am truly blessed!

Rev. G. Carlton

(Carl) Moore Jr.; BA, M.Div., Th.M., D.Min. (Cand.)