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April 5, 2012 - Mike Donahey
Blaine Moore of Marshalltown is on a mission. He wants people to accept Jesus as their personal savior, just as he has.
A member of Marshalltown’s First United Methodist Church, he hands out religious material to passers-by and at area churches. Moore has been a regular visitor to the Times-Republican newsroom during Lent, dropping off self-written treatises of religious views and so on. “What Must I Do to Get to Heaven?” was one article with point-blank direction. “God sent the Messiah to free mankind from sin,” he wrote. “Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus frees us from the power of sin. One must be saved and be born again."
Alcohol and drugs were part of Moore's life for many years, he admitted candidly. Suicide was considered. He selected a location and method. Despondency was caused by several issues — a disability led to a job loss, he claimed, then the family home caught fire, resulting in the death of a daughter. A divorce followed and all combined led him down the wrong path. “I had everything, a family, home, a new car every year and more ... then nothing,” he said. He became destitute and rode the rails. The former Sunday school teacher, who had been an active member at the now closed Bethany United Methodist Church had turned away from religion and faith. “I held a dying man in my arms who was bleeding to death,” he said. “The man had tried to jump aboard a moving freight train, slipped and his foot was cut off by the wheels below. I did not pray for him.” A Billy Graham television special on Oct. 22, 1983 was the turning point. “I have not touched drugs or alcohol since,” he said. “I was lost and now found,” his voice firm and quick.
I’ve known Moore for nearly six years. He’s been a subject or mentioned in several news and feature stories I’ve authored and he’s also provided leads for other stories. The skeptical journalist in me doesn’t believe everyone who says they are born again truly meets the definition. Conversely, the optimist in me, which wants to see people become as good as they can and want to be, believes Moore. Call it intuition, gleaned from interviews and conversations. Moore is born again.