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The Rev. J. E. Moak

The Rev. J. E. Moak, 84, of Moultrie, Ga., died Sunday, June 21,2009, at Colquitt Regional Medical Center.

The funeral service will be 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 24, atFirst Baptist Church in Moultrie.

A private graveside service will follow at Pinecrest MemoryGardens. The pallbearers will be Daniel Moak, Reid Smith, WesleySmith, Jack C. Smith Jr., Kyle Conger, Richard Moak, Michael Cowartand Richard Rutherford. The honorary pallbearers will be thedeacons of Moultrie First Baptist Church, fellow ministers,Moultrie Kiwanis Club, Roger Benton and Sam Stephens.

He was born Aug. 29, 1924, at Mt. Pleasant in Lincoln County,Miss., where he spent his childhood years. In 1942, he entered theUnited States Navy earning the rank of petty officer first class.After a tour in the South Pacific, he was stationed in Hollywood,Fla., where he taught radar and met his future wife, RobertaRutherford. After the war, he graduated from Mississippi Collegeand New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Having felt the call to ministry from childhood, the Rev. Moakwas ordained in his home church, Mt. Pleasant Baptist, in 1948.From 1950-56, he pastored several churches in Mississippi includingTopisaw (Lincoln County), Mt. Zion (Meadville), and New Palestine(Picayune). In 1957, the family moved to Ft. Pierce, Fla., where hehelped start St. Lucie Mission. In 1959, he received the call toserve at First Baptist Church in Slidell, La., where he preacheduntil coming to Moultrie and First Baptist in 1963. After 26 yearsof service to the congregation in Moultrie, he retired from thechurch and full-time ministry in 1989 but his ministry did not endthere.

From 1990-2003, he served as interim pastor at nine Georgiachurches including Ray City, FBC Valdosta, FBC Fitzgerald,Autreyville, Omega, FBC Tifton, FBC Ty Ty, Lakeview and FBC Cairo.Additionally, for 18 years he served as chaplain for ColquittRegional Medical Center, retiring last February.

The Rev. Moak also participated in several denominationalorganizations outside the local church. He was active in theMoultrie Ministerial Association, serving as president. He chairedseveral committees of the Georgia Baptist Convention (including theadministrative committee, executive committee, cooperative programbudget committee, state missions budget committee, order ofbusiness committee and credentials committee). He was a trustee ofNorman Baptist College, Georgia Baptist Children’s Home and NewOrleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Rev. Moak believed in serving the community at large, whichseems evidenced by his volunteering in and recognition by variousorganizations including the YMCA (board of directors), MentalHealth Council (treasurer), American Red Cross Blood Services,advisory council of Moultrie High School Home Economics Dept.,Kiwanis, Civitan Citizen of the Year, Moultrie Chamber of Commerce(Service Award 1971), and Hospice.

“He was the epitome of the complete Christian minister,excellently combining gifts and skills of preaching, pastoral care,spirit of service and organizational leadership, all with a senseof humor and love of people,” his family said of him.

He is predeceased by his parents, Jacob and Lucy Moak; cherishedmother-in-law, Ada Rutherford Bixler; father-in-law, John AlfredRutherford; siblings, Larkin Moak (Ruby), Evelyn Reeves (Jewel),Jemmye Stringfellow (Ollie), and Katie Ruth Cowart (Rankin); andnephews, Don Stringfellow and Jay Montgomery.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Roberta Moak ofMoultrie; son, Mark (Rhett) of Billings, Mont.; daughter, Mary AnnSmith (Jerry) of Moultrie; grandchildren, Leah Moak of Montana,Laura Conger (Kyle) of Valdosta, Reid Smith of Athens, Ga., DanielMoak of Montana, Ellen Moak of Billings, Mont., and Wesley Smith ofMoultrie; brothers, Sherman Moak of Bogue Chitto, and Joe Moak(Bettye) of Abilene, Texas; sister-in-law, Virginia Montgomery ofFt. Lauderdale, Fla.; brother-in-law, Richard Rutherford (Jan) ofOrlando, Fla.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 5 until 7 p.m., today, June23, at Harrell-Faircloth Funeral Home.

Donations may be made to First Baptist Church, Moultrie, Ga., orthe Georgia Baptist Children’s Home, 505 Waterworks Rd., Palmetto,Ga.

Harrell-Faircloth Funeral Home in Moultrie is in charge ofarrangements.