Fr. Moses Berry, a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, lives with his wife, Magdalena, 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 135 years. Fr. Moses has restored a family cemetery established in 1875 and dedicated to “Slaves, Indians and Paupers.” This cemetery is now on the Greene County Register of Historic Sites and the National Register as well. Fr. Moses was also founder and curator of the Ozarks Afro-American Heritage Museum. After 10 years in a small storefront, the museum collection is now available on line at http://oaahm.omeka.net. It 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.
Fr. Moses is a contributor to An Unbroken Circle: Linking Ancient African Christianity to the African American Experience, a ground-breaking collection of essays. He is, along with Fr. Alexii Altschul and others founded the annual Afro-American and Ancient Christianity Conferences sponsored by the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black. He is in demand locally as a speaker on African American history and nationally on issues in African American spirituality and Orthodox Christian mission. In addition to being the subject of numerous articles, Fr. Moses has appeared on “Good Morning America” and on the National Geographic channel.
Fr. Moses’ parish, Theotokos “Unexpected Joy” Church, 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.
This blog is a collection of Fr. Moses’ observations and reports on significant events. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Orthodox Church in America.
8 thoughts on “About”
I just stumbled onto the story about Father Moses. I was blessed to hear about him and his family story and his work as a priest. I just wanted to say hello and God bless to him and his family. Keep the story alive please.
Wonderful intro Father and m. Magdalena- even though I know and have heard and seen parts and pieces – still fresh and inviting to stay tuned. I look forward to follow along. God bless you both in these gifts to us all
I watch your Facebook page and appreciate all you share. I read that you were going in for surgery. I’ve been thinking of you and hope you are healing well. I just wanted to send you love. God bless and heal you.
I’m a Lutheran pastor who was just rereading Father Berry’s testimony in a 1994 issue of Again magazine I had saved these past decades. So pleased to find this site, and to explore now some of my good brother’s reflections.
I wrote a while ago on the wish of my Metropolitan Nipphon Kiggundu reconnecting with his friend Moses Berry.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you, Father, for documenting and sharing your treasury of stories and wisdom. We all need them, as do our children, grandchildren and all future generations. We love you dearly.
Thank you Father Moses for sharing your stories. They are a blessing for us all. God bless you.