Rev. John V. Moore Oral History

→ Transcript of John V. Moore’s interview.


The Rev. John V. Moore, who is a nonagenarian, grew up in Long Beach, California and attended public schools there. He enrolled at Stanford University and graduated in 1941. He studied one year at Berkeley Baptist Divinity School and graduated Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1944. He was active in the First Baptist Church, a Northern Baptist Church, in Long Beach and in the Palo Alto Baptist Church when he attended college. He served a Baptist church in Ohio and California before the California-Nevada Annual Conference of The Methodist Church recognized his orders in 1949. He served as a pastor, campus minister and district superintendent in Northern California and Reno.

Pastor in Reno in late 1970sMoore was appointed as pastor of Glide Memorial U.M. Church in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco in 1962. At the time Glide was a small congregation with a significant endowment fund in an urban neighborhood of great need. The Glide Foundation hired the Rev. Lew Durham that same year to lead a newly-formed Glide Urban Ministry Center. Durham brought in other young, impassioned clergy to work and intern at the Center. The outreach of the Rev. Ted McIlvenna to the lesbian and gay community led to the creation of the Council on Religion and the Homosexual at Glide in 1964. In January of 1965, Moore preached a ground-breaking three-part sermon series on Christian perspectives on sexuality, including advocating a more open attitude toward homosexual persons. This sermon series was reported in The San Francisco Chronicle and other news media.

Visiting Rome, Italy, in 2005Moore’s concern about fairness as a child evolved into a life-long commitment to social justice. He registered in the first draft in 1940 as a conscientious objector. He served eight years as a member of The Methodist Church’s Board of Church and Society. He was a part-time legislative advocate in Sacramento for United Ministries in Higher Education during his first year as campus minister. He was active in the GLBT struggle for civil rights in San Francisco and the United Methodist Church. In retirement, he worked as an interim pastor at several United Methodist churches in crisis, and directed a residence for men who were ill with AIDS. He currently is active in a small inner-city Episcopal Church, teaching adults and preaching frequently.

John moved to the Village at the Harbour in San Juan Islands of Washington on 2015.  He died peacefully on July 27, 2019, six weeks shy of this 100th birthday. 

(This biographical statement written by Mark Bowman from information provided by John Moore.)

Biography Date: February, 2014

Additional Resources

Obituary of John V. Moore from The Journal of the San Juan Islands.


Archival Collections:


Methodist (UMC, United Methodist Church) | Barnett, Jeanne | Council on Religion and the Homosexual | Glide Memorial United Methodist Church | Ally | Clergy Activist | Marriage Equality | California | San Francisco | Moore, John V.


“Rev. John V. Moore | Oral History”, LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, accessed July 21, 2024, https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/oral-histories/john-v-moore.