FORT SMITH – Willis Trueman Moore, 90, of Fort Smith, died July 22. He was the brother of Don Moore, retired executive director of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
Moore was born in the Union Grove Community northeast of Greenwood on August 12, 1928, the fourth child of Herschel and Dessa Moore. He went to Greenwood Public Schools until the seventh grade at which time he moved with his family to Mansfield Public School from which he graduated, being the valedictorian of his graduating class. He enrolled in the University of Arkansas where he received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1951.
After teaching elementary school for a year, Moore enrolled in graduate school at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to get his Bachelor of Divinity degree. He became the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Jenny Lind while at the same time he completed his theological training. Moore married Erma Jane Bassett of Greenwood on June 14, 1953, and she accompanied him and their two children to East Pakistan to do missionary work with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Two children were born to them while they lived in East Pakistan. War brought about independence and the new nation of Bangladesh in 1971.
The nation of Pakistan would not allow the Moore’s to remain in the country any further so the Moore’s had to return to the United States where Trueman Moore became pastor of the East Side Baptist Church in Fort Smith. After a number of years of ministry, Moore enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program and received his doctorate in 1984. He continued his ministry at the East Side Baptist until retirement in 1990. During his service at East Side, he became the founder of the Fort Smith Boys Shelter.
After retirement, Moore served as interim pastor of seven churches and substituted at Southside High School for a brief period of time.
Moore is survived by his wife, Jane, a daughter, two sons, numerous grandchildren, a brother and a sister.
Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Friday, July 26, at Edwards Funeral Home Chapel in Fort Smith. A funeral service will be held at East Side Baptist Church at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 27, followed by burial at Liberty Cemetery in Greenwood.
Memorial gifts may be given to East Side Baptist Church, Fort Smith, the Boys Shelter of Fort Smith or the International Mission Board.