Rev. Jim Moore is a volunteer chaplain at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto in Southaven. His congregation includes the patients placed in his path.

The Rev. Jim Moore is a civil engineer by vocation and a pastor and chaplain by God's calling.

It's no wonder then that Moore put his trust in the Master Creator to guide him along His plan for Moore's life.

Moore was 51 years old and had plans to retire from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after more than 25 years if his retirement went as expected. It did.

"The Lord put me where he wanted me," said Moore from the chaplain's office at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto in Southaven. Moore is also the Sunday School Director at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Hernando.

Moore has served as a volunteer chaplain at Baptist Hospital for the past 13 years.

"My mother was up here in 2004," Moore said. "I came by here to the chaplain's office. Bob Hensley was Director of Pastoral Care at the time. I became the first volunteer chaplain in the daytime. I got started and it grew from that time on."

Moore also served as a contract chaplain from 5 p.m. Friday until 8 a.m. Monday, usually the busiest time of the week for most other pastors. Moore was also on retainer for a time.

"I did that for several years," Moore said, adding, "since then I have been here as a volunteer on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Moore said his flock is actually larger and more diverse than a typical church.

"This is my congregation," Moore said. "As chaplains, we're not speaking to people as a group. We are speaking to people one on one. A lot of our ministry is crisis situations, one on one. When family members lose someone or patients get bad news, people like to talk with you. Not everybody is cut out to be a chaplain or for pastoral care."

Chaplains especially deal with life and death situations.

"A lot of the time we try to be an encouragement to people," Moore said. "I think pastoral care is a calling just like the pulpit. You have to find people where they are. It (conversation) might start out talking about something other than a spiritual concern. Then, I am gradually able to talk to them about spiritual things. You have to form a relationship."

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.

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