Fr. Moses Berry Visits
HEAR FR. MOSES
On Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010 Fr. Moses shared his journey to Orthodoxy with us. Hear Fr. Moses share his story to Orthodoxy.
ABOUT FR. MOSES
Fr. Moses Berry, a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, lives with his family in Ash Grove, Missouri, a small town in the Ozarks, on the farm his great-grandfather built in 1871.
Because they are an African American family, the Berrys are notable in Southwest Missouri for owning and living on the same property for over 125 years. Fr. Moses has restored a family cemetery established in 1875 and dedicated to “Slaves, Indians and Paupers.” This cemetery is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Fr. Moses is also curator of the Ozarks Afro-American Heritage Museum, which opened its doors on October 5, 2002. The Museum has an extensive collection of photographs and artifacts of rural Afro-American life in the surrounding areas, preserved by the Berrys and other families over many years. It has become a treasured part of the Ash Grove community.
Fr. Moses is a contributor to An Unbroken Circle: Linking Ancient African Christianity to the African American Experience; co-founder of the annual Afro-American and Ancient Christianity Conferences, and is in demand locally as a speaker on African American history, and nationally on issues in African American spirituality and Orthodox Christian mission. He is one of the founders of the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black and currently serves as its President.
Fr. Moses has appeared on ‘Good Morning America’ and on the National Geographic channel. A documentary about his work was created by Ozarks Public Television. He was recently the subject of in an article, “Black Priest Shares Past, Enlightening White Town,” published in the January 31, 2010 issue of the New York Times.
Information about a forthcoming feature length documentary and a book project about Fr. Moses’ work can be found at www.godsgardenthefilm.com.
Fr. Moses’ parish, Theotokos “Unexpected Joy” Mission, stands close to an enormous sycamore tree--the same tree that Fr. Moses’ ancestors used as a shelter for church picnics and other celebrations for over a century.
In his speaking engagements, Fr. Moses explores various aspects African-American spirituality and cultural history, and often displays treasured heirlooms from the Museum collection, including quilts and slave chains.