Published February 1, 2020
A giant of a man he was, not only in his build; His desire to see lost people saved was never to be stilled.
Born August 8th in '41 in a city called Detroit, At working hard and witnessing, he was tremendously adroit.
Despite being born in Michigan, and around the world he'd go, The tiny village of Oneida was the place that he called home.
A more humble, giving, selfless man, you'd be hard-pressed to find. From an early age, with OBI his life would be intertwined.
Destined, he thought, for a career in the law, he sought such an education, Only to be shown another field, toward which to funnel his life's dedication.
Six years, four months he'd serve in Iran as a member of the Peace Corp. For him to show the love of the one true God was like being a kid in a candy store.
Then one day there came the call from back home — his beloved OBI was in need … Of a person with character and conviction deep, to take the helm and to lead.
And so, he returned to Oneida, for what he thought was an interim run … Of the Baptist school beside Goose Creek, he'd attended when he was quite young.
He carried the load through good times and bad, with the help of a dedicated staff, For he well understood that all that he did, he did on our Lord's behalf.
An example he set in word and in deed, always knowing that others were watching. One could often observe him picking up trash as on campus he would be walking.
His tours of the campus, for the new kids' folks, these quickly became legendary. Keeping up was a challenge, while information he shared made him seem like a walking library.
If he ever grew weary, and we know that he did, he took such great pains not to show it. His earnest belief was that we need only ask for more strength for the Lord to bestow it.
Many were the nights when he could be found, meeting OBI vans just returning. His kids coming back from a game or a meet, to see that all were back safe was his yearning.
Then there came a cold morning, near the end of January, in the year nineteen ninety and four, When the Father decided that his servant was finished, and sent His angel to fetch Barkley Moore.
I can close my eyes now and almost hear his soft plea "But, there is so much more left here to do …" The angel replying, "Your work here is done, the Father is waiting to thank you.
You have selected hard-working folks to help you in this most worthy cause, And now it falls upon you to trust them, to carry on this work without pause."
And thus an era was ended, and a new one had begun. And though many for this man would grieve at length, they knew that his battle was won.
What initially was thought would be an interim term, became more than 21 years, Of service to God and ministry to youth, into which he poured much sweat and tears.
His impact remains in this place to this day, those who knew him simply cannot deny it. Make your need known to God, I can still hear him say, for HE stands ready now to supply it.
Brian Presley is a former Oneida Baptist Institute student and now an OBI staff member.
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