John Jamison Moore

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Image of John Jamison Moore, from his book, The History of the AME Zion Church in America, Founded in 1796, in the City of New York.

John Jamison Moore was an American preacher and educator that worked to spread the word of his church and to educate children on both the East and West Coasts of the United States.[1] His achievements include writing a history of his First AME Zion Church, establishing a school in San Francisco, and being an activist for African-American access to education and religion through his newspaper, The Lunar Visitor.[2]

Early Life[edit]

John Jamison Moore spent his early life in West Virginia, as a slave. At age 15, his mother was able to escape their master and provide freedom to herself and young John.[3] He quickly immersed himself in the African American Churches around him, one of which was the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Philidelphia, where he held distinguished positions and became a well-known preacher.[4] He also participated often at the same church's New York location, and wrote about it in his book, The History of The AME Zion Church in America. Founded in 1796 in the City of New York.[5][6]

Life in San Francisco[edit]

Many of Moore's accomplishments occurred when he decided to move West, to San Francisco. In one speech in 1964 by Bishop B.J. Walls of the AME Zion Church, Moore was credited with, "Planting the core tenets of freedom, as practiced by his denomination, on the Pacific Coast, in 1852".[7] Historians believe he made the move to spread his word and introduce more people to the AME Zion Church. He founded the First AME Zion Church there in 1852, and around the same time he established his own blacks-only school in the basement of the St. Cyprian AME Church, also in San Francisco, where he acted as a teacher and the principal.[3] He created the school because black children were not admitted to public schools in San Francisco at the time. Moore also founded and became head editor of his newspaper, The Lunar Visitor, which first printed in 1962.[8] According to information about Moore on The First AME Zion Church's website, the Lunar Visitor, "promoted civil rights and advocated developing institutions for educational, social and political skills useful in working toward a full participation in American Society,".[3] The newspaper was also, "The only African-American magazine in the western part of the country," during the period it was being printed, according to Thomas Segady.[8]

Later Life[edit]

Moore spent much of his later life in Salisbury, North Carolina, where he married Mrs. Francis Moore.[3] He died on December 9th, 1893, on the train home from a Western North Carolina conference that he closed with a sermon, and was 'laid to rest in Salisbury, North Carolina'.[3]


  1. ^ Coffman, Elesha. "Marching to Zion". Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  2. ^ Murphy, Larry G.; Melton, J. Gordon; Ward, Gary L. (2013-11-20). Encyclopedia of African American Religions. Routledge. pp. 504–505. ISBN 9781135513382.
  3. ^ a b c d e "About Our Founder." First A.M.E Zion Church, San Francisco. 2017. Accessed November 19, 2018.
  4. ^ Morris, John (1977). "AME Zion Celebrates 125 Years". Sun Reporter (San Francisco, Calif.).
  5. ^ Roff, Sandra (1985). "Researching The History of Blacks in New York State". Afro-Americans in New York Life and History. 9: 43.
  6. ^ Moore, John Jamison (1884). The History of The AME Zion Church in America. Founded in 1796 in the City of New York. York, Pennsylvania: Teacher's Journal Office.
  7. ^ "Ministers, Laymen Meet: Zion Bishops Council Keys Call to Freedom". New Pittsburgh Courier. January 25th, 1964. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ a b Segady, Thomas and, Berardi, Gayle (1991). "Community Identification and Cultural Formation: The Role of African-American Newspapers in the American West". The Griot. 10: 13–19.

See Also[edit]

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