We Remember Rev. James Moore

Rev. James Moore (1956 - 2000)
A Tribute

After suffering for years from severe diabetes and complications, Malaco/Savoy recording artist Rev. James Moore was received by his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ early on June 7th, 2000 in Memphis, at the age of 44. GospelFlava.com was blessed by this man of God, and by the immense musical talent that he was gifted with, and which God allowed him to share. We give him tribute, and offer thanks to God for his life here on earth.

The late Rev. James MooreRev. James Moore was noted not only for his incredible vocal talent, but for his ability to put into song his love, adoration and praise for his Lord. Powerfully-voiced with a talent for improvisation that knew no bounds, listening to him sing was simply awe-inspiring. His love for the traditional sounds of the church was legendary, yet he also appreciated contemporary talent.

Moore’s recording career began with Savoy Records in 1974, but he had loved the Gospel and Gospel music from his early days in Detroit, where he learned much from Mattie Moss Clark, Elma Hendricks, James Cleveland, Richard White and others. He also gave considerable credit to the Gospel Music Workshop of America for his training (the GMWA awarded him a scholarship in 1974). James Moore made it a habit to attend workshop each year, and could often be seen in the crowds, stopping, testifying, talking and yes, singing to everyone he met.

It didn’t take long for the Gospel nation to sit up and take notice of this great talent. Not long after his debut I Thank You Master, Moore became in great demand, and soon began appearing on other artists’ projects, including Rev. Gerald Thompson and Michael Fletcher. It was through his friendship with the great Frank Williams that Moore began a long and close relationship with The Mississippi Mass Choir, appearing on their debut project, and in many subsequent joint recordings.

James Moore CDsIn the late 80’s, Moore’s recording frequency drastically picked up its pace, with numerous albums garning acclaim from both grassroots and critics alike. Included in these were Live in Detroit, I Will Trust In The Lord and Live At Jackson State. Stellar Awards, top Billboard chartings and Grammy nominations were soon to follow.

After suffering from and surviving a bout with colon cancer in the mid-90’s, James Moore was then diagnosed with diabetes, and soon after the debilitating effects of this disease left him blind, wheelchair-bound and requiring frequent dialysis. Undeterred, Moore kept on performing and recording, and even appeared in Gospel stage plays. His most recent project was recorded in the summer of 1999, released in spring 2000, and was a return to home for him, Family and Friends, Live in Detroit, where he joined with Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Darius Twyman and his longtime collaborator, Rudolph Stanfield. (See album review)

Below are some tributes to Rev. James Moore by some in the Gospel music industry. Feel free to drop your own tribute on our dedicated message forum.


"We love you, Rev. James Moore. You are already missed, but we rejoice knowing that we will someday see you again in heaven, and hear you too!" —GospelFlava.com

"James Moore was one of the greatest vocalist of all time. He has impacted my life and ministry greatly. I thank God for allowing me the chance to know James Moore as 'Uncle James' and friend." —Bryan Wilson

"When I speak of singing with an anointed voice from on high, I must mention one name specifically. James Moore. He had one of the most anointed voices that I have heard within the Gospel music community. He consistently delivered, and I have been consistently blessed by his ministry down through the years. His perseverance and tenacity to battle through his personal challenges and circumstances has been an encouragement to all who minister the Gospel through music. We are grateful to God for sharing him. I applaud you loudly, "James, you are one of gospel music treasures. Thank you for sharing your gifts, sharing your talents, and sharing your soul with us." —Steven Ford (producer, SyRue Productions).

"I just heard the news of Rev. Moore's passing just a few hours ago, and I must say that I was stunned. I just saw James in Las Vegas about a month ago, and walked up to him and touched his arm and said hello. The moment that he heard my voice, he responded in his usual way when we would bump into each other at industry events, with a big hug and kiss. He will be sadly missed.... I respect him as being one of the greatest voices in Gospel music history, and our hearts go out to his family." —Tara Griggs-Magee (V.P./ General Manager, Verity Records).

"Rev. James Moore was a very big influence on my musical career. His effect on this industry will never be forgotten. I thank and praise God that I had the pleasure of knowing and meeting and being ministered to by him and his gift in word and song....I will miss him tremendously." —Min. Charles Woolfork.

"He was a great anointed man who blessed the music world with the powerful gift of singing. He will really be missed not only by me, but the Gospel music world at large." —Erick Matthews (aka Ematt).

"The magnitude of his talent will never be known, nor will the impact on the myriad of lives that the ministry of James Moore had touched. Uniquely gifted and anointed, the legacy of James Moore will continue to live on. I rejoice in knowing that though absent from this body, he is present with the Lord." —Jeffrey LaValley.

"It was an honor working with him, especially on the I Will Trust in the Lord project. He will be tremendously missed. God-Poppy, we love you" —Kevin Davidson (and Tonya and Kierra).

"It was heart saddening to hear of the passing of one of the greatest men of God. I thank God for allowing our paths to cross. James is, and shall always be one of the greatest singers in the world. I was honored to be apart of his last recording and through that event, an everlasting friendship was created. He will truly be missed. I am praying for his family, God bless you." —Darius "Scatman" Twyman.

— written and compiled by Stan North

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