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Mountain Brook’s Moebes retires after 53 years comment (0)

September 1, 2011

Sixteen-year-old James D. Moebes had his life planned: He was going to be a dentist.

But God called him to become a minister. For 18 months, he fought it. “I finally gave in to God’s persistence and I haven’t looked back,” Moebes said.

Now he is about to turn 70 and will retire after more than 53 years in the ministry. Moebes described those years as “the most fulfilling work and experience to which I could ever have given my life.”

On Sept. 11, Moebes will deliver his last sermon as senior minister of Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham Baptist Association. He has held that position for more than 30 years. For six years prior to that, he was the church’s executive minister. And for a time in the 1960s, he was student minister.

He earned his bachelor of arts from Howard College (now Samford University) in Birmingham; master of divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.; and master of arts and doctor of philosophy from the University of Alabama (UA).

Moebes served as assistant director of financial aid and assistant dean of admissions and records at UA; associate dean of student affairs at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta; dean of students, assistant dean for academic affairs and assistant to the president at the University of Alabama in Huntsville; and assistant professor at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville.

In his ministry, he was on staff at Calvary Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, and pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church near Aliceville. Moebes was a pastor in Kentucky and interim pastor in Georgia and Huntsville. Moebes also has been active in national and international missions and taken dozens of Builders for Christ trips.

In addition, he served as chair of the Alabama Baptist Education Commission, on the board of directors of the Baptist Health Foundation, on the board of trustees of Trinity Medical Center in Birmingham and has been involved in various other organizations.  

Jason Harkins, Mountain Brook Baptist’s chairman of deacons, said Moebes has a friendly, fatherly manner that draws people to him. “He just has this way of connecting with people” and communicating the gospel, he said.

Moebes and his wife, Gail, have a son, David; a daughter, Stacey, and four grandchildren.

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