Baylor University Mourns the Passing of Dr. Winfred Moore

May 9, 2015
Winfred MooreDr. Winfred Moore

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WACO, Texas (May 9, 2015) – Baylor University is mourning the passing of Texas Baptist leader and Regent Emeritus Dr. Winfred Moore, who died Friday in Amarillo at the age of 95.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, May 11, at First Baptist Church of Amarillo with Dr. Howard K. Batson officiating. A private family interment will be held at Llano Cemetery.

"Baylor University extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Dr. Winfred Moore, the multitude of pastors he inspired and the dear people of Amarillo that he and his beloved Elizabeth so faithfully served and loved until the day they were called home,” said Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr.

“We bid farewell to a giant among Baptist denominational leaders. Dr. Moore’s resonating voice, his deep knowledge of Scripture and his wise counsel were legendary hallmarks of his ministry, as was his service to Baylor University as a Trustee, Regent and Regent Chair. Even after he retired from the pastorate, Dr. Moore came to Baylor as the inaugural director of the Center for Ministry Effectiveness and also taught in the religion department, shepherding longtime pastors and students just beginning their pastoral journey. While the entire Baylor family mourns the loss of this remarkable servant leader, we give thanks for the gift of the life of Winfred Moore,” President Starr said.

A native of Humbolt, Tennessee, Moore received his education at Lambeth College, Union University and George Peabody College, and holds an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Wayland Baptist University, as well as an honorary doctor of laws degree from Baylor.

From 1959 to 1989, Dr. Moore was pastor of First Baptist Church of Amarillo, “during which he shepherded the church through 30 years of growth,” according to an article in the May 8, 2015, edition of the Amarillo Globe-News.

“I never met a person whose presence could totally still a room in a powerful yet pleasant way like Dr. Winfred Moore,” said Dr. Batson, pastor of FBC Amarillo and a former Baylor Regent and Board Chair, in the Globe-News. “He loved First Baptist Church and thought it was the greatest church on Earth, and he loved the city of Amarillo and thought it was the center of the universe.”

The article noted: “Indeed, Moore’s love and work for First Baptist Church was almost matched by his love for the city in which he and his wife Elizabeth made their home on two occasions. Moore is the only person to be twice named the Globe-News Man of the Year, first in 1976 and again in 1989.”

In addition to his 30-year pastorate at First Baptist Church of Amarillo, Moore also served Baptist congregations in Olive Branch and Tupelo, Mississippi; Borger, Texas; and Birmingham, Alabama.

A prominent denominational leader, Dr. Moore was a former president and executive committee member of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and also served as first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He became a Trustee of Baylor and later a Regent from 1981 to 1990, chairing the board from 1986 to 1990. In 1990, he was honored as a Regent Emeritus.

Also in 1990, following his retirement from FBC Amarillo, Dr. Moore joined the Baylor faculty and in 1997 was named the first director of the Center for Ministry Effectiveness. In addition, he taught ministry students in the religion department as The W. Winfred and Elizabeth Moore Visiting Distinguished Professor in Ministry Guidance.

His abiding love for students is evidenced by two endowed scholarships at Baylor that bear his name: The W. Winfred and Elizabeth C. Moore Endowed Scholarship and The W. Winfred Moore Endowed Scholarship. Baylor and The Baptist Standard also honored his ministerial legacy by presenting the Winfred Moore Award for Lifetime Achievement in Ministry to those who have given themselves in faithful ministry.

Dr. Moore was preceded in death by his wife, who passed away in 2012; his parents; three sisters; a son-in-law, Jim Preston; and a grandson-in-law, Jeff Tankersley.

He is survived by two sisters, Betty Gass and husband, Jim and Phyllis Riley and husband, Bud; a son, Fred Moore; two daughters, Anne Preston and Maria Patterson; six grandchildren, Amy Tankersley, James Preston and wife, Stacey, Trey Moore and wife, Amanda, Mollye Erickson and husband, Jeremy, Will Patterson and Christian Moore Patterson. He is also survived by eight great-grandchildren, Caroline and Beck Tankersley, J.P. and Becca Preston, Wils and Coulter Moore, William D. Patterson III and Hannah Patterson, and many nieces and nephews.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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