John Andrew Moore was born on December 25, 1871, a fine Christmas present for his father and mother, Christopher Columbus Moore and Elizabeth Swanson Moore. At the time of the new baby’s birth, he had older siblings James, Hanibal and Lavada to welcome his birth. Later, four more children were born to Lum and Mary Elizabeth: Lillie, Lola, George and Arthur.
Focusing on John Andrew Moore, he met and married shortly after his eighteenth birthday (date of marriage January 5, 1890) the very young not quite fifteen-year old, Emily Estalee Teem of Rabun County, Georgia. To this couple were born Forrest Columbus (b. May 7, 1891), Gretchen Manassas (b. March 26, 1894), Gaither Grayson (b. April 17, 1897), Noel Arvis (b. February 21, 1901), Hazel Prudence (June 1, 1902), John Ferry (b. September 14, 1905), Doctor Garland (b. October 1, 1907), Prince Hodson (b. December 7, 1912), and Lady Rhea (b. May 19, 1918). It was a happy day for John Andrew and Emily Teem Moore when they moved by wagon from Rabun County, Georgia back to Towns County in 1919 where John A. could be near his aging parents at Woods Grove. For twenty-two years they were happy farming and entering into the life of the “home” community at Woods Grove. But progress (as the world terms it) moved in, and John Andrew Moore had to sell his acreage for the building of Lake Chatuge as the Tennessee Valley Authority opened a series of dams and power plants for the production of electricity.
John Andrew and Emily Teem Moore relocated to Habersham County, Georgia. There John died June 20, 1950 and Emily died February 12, 1966. They were interred in the Hazel Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, in Habersham County.
Their sixth of nine children was John Ferry Moore, born September 14, 1905 in Rabun County, Georgia. He married Esther Tatham of Towns County on November 2, 1929. She was born April 16, 1909. They lived happily in Towns County until 1941 when their land in the Woods Grove community was purchased by Tennessee Valley Authority for the building of Lake Chatuge. They relocated to a good farm purchased in Habersham County, Georgia.
Children born to John Ferry Moore and Esther Tatham Moore were son Lynn Tatham Moore (1930), Barbara Jeane Moore (1934) and Frances Esther Moore (1947). Then in 1948, after much soul-searching, John Ferry Moore surrendered to the call to gospel ministry and was ordained a Baptist preacher. Lower Hightower Baptist Church in Towns County was his very first church to serve as pastor which he accepted in June, 1949. The next ten years found him faithfully serving churches in the mountains in Towns, Rabun, Stephens and Habersham counties. He was known as a good and solid Bible preacher and one who cooperated in the work of Baptist associations in each of the counties where churches he pastored were located.
In 1959 he accepted the call to a church in Coffee County, Georgia. Then in 1966 he and Ester moved back north to Hall County, Georgia where he accepted the pastorate of Springway Baptist Church. The last three years of his ministry before retirement were spent back in south Georgia, Randolph County, at Vilulah Baptist Church.
In retirement, he and Esther moved back to Habersham County to live His previous record as a good preacher put him in line for engagements in several churches as pulpit supply and interim pastor. One of his very happy appointments was back at Lower Hightower Baptist Church in Towns County in 1981, the very first church he pastored when he began his long career as a Baptist preacher in 1949.
This five-part view of the Moore family of Union, Towns and surrounding counties barely scratches the surface of the contributions this family and its descendants have made in the building up and strengthening of the way of life that has evolved since the first Moore cabins were erected in these mountains prior to 1840. For over 170 years Moore family members have either remained here or gone out to other places to make a difference where they took up residence and plied their work.
c2011 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Mar. 3, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.