Rev. Olin P. Moyd, 75, Baptist pastor, religious author


The Rev. Olin Preston Moyd, a religious author and longtime pastor at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church, died of bone cancer Sunday at Sinai Hospital. The longtime Ashburton resident was 75.

Dr. Moyd was born and raised in Jamestown, S.C., the son of a Baptist minister. He moved to Baltimore when he was in his early 20s and earned his General Education Development diploma while serving in the Army from 1953 to 1955.

After being discharged as a corporal, he returned to Baltimore and enrolled at the Cortez W. Peters Business School. He graduated in 1957.

Dr. Moyd held a series of jobs, working for a home building contractor, the Maryland Slag Co. and as a firefighter for the Baltimore City Fire Department from 1956 to 1964, before becoming a full-time pastor.

In 1963, he earned a bachelor's degree in theology through a correspondence course from Temple Theological College of Jesus Christ of New York City. He was assistant pastor for three years of Mount Lebanon Baptist Church in Mondawmin before he was named pastor in 1964.

Dr. Moyd earned another bachelor's degree in sociology in 1968 from what is now Morgan State University. He earned a master's degree in divinity, graduating cum laude, from Howard University School of Divinity in 1972. He also earned a doctorate in divinity from St. Mary's Seminary and University on Roland Avenue.

"He went from a G.E.D. to a Ph.D. and proved that it's never too late, and the only roadblocks to such accomplishments are those we erect ourselves. That's what he taught us during his 40 years at Mount Lebanon," said the Rev. Franklin Lance, who last year succeeded Dr. Moyd, who was named senior pastor. "He definitely left us a legacy that complacency isn't good enough, that we should always aim high."

During his four-decade tenure at the 400-member church, Dr. Moyd established the Mount Lebanon Federal Credit Union and The Open Line to the Good News, a radio ministry broadcast for 20 years over WEAA-FM. He also established the Mount Lebanon Culinary Arts Ministry, a full-service catering ministry that provided food and staffing for events, and the Mount Lebanon Outreach Ministry.

"He fed the hungry, helped people whose utilities had been turned off or been evicted. He was very concerned about people in the community," said Sarah L. Matthews, an administrator with the city Department of Social Services.

In 1988, he led a $2.2 million fund-raising effort that resulted in the construction of a 900-seat church in the 2800 block of Reisterstown Road, five blocks from the former church.

Deloris Mack, church secretary and a friend of 34 years, described him as an "intelligent, down-to-earth and kind person" whose "personality was so conducive to everyone he met - no matter what level they were on."

He was known for preaching powerful and positive sermons from his pulpit.

"He knew the art of convicting the mind by tinkling the heart. He was a textual narrative preacher who dealt with the Bible text by telling a story," said Mr. Lance. "He came along during the civil rights era and focused his sermons on its gospel such as social, political and educational conditions."

"He could get somewhat animated when in the spirit. And when he lifted and kicked his leg, you knew he was making a point," said Mrs. Mack.

Dr. Moyd was also politically active. In 1966, he ran for a seat in the House of Delegates from the 2nd District. He also came within 56 votes of winning a 4th District house seat in 1978.

"He held forums and made it possible for the community to find out what the issues were so they could have a voice," Ms. Matthews said.

Dr. Moyd wrote extensively on religious issues and was the author of five books: Holiness, Health and Wealth; Turn Right and Go Straight; Redemption and Black Theology; I Feel Good: 21 Scriptural Reasons Why I Feel Good and You Ought to Feel Good Too; and The Sacred Art: Preaching and Theology in the African-American Tradition. He was a co-author of From One Brother to Another: Voices of African-American Men.

He also served in many capacities in the National Baptist Convention USA Inc. and was a past director of the ministers' division of the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education.

Dr. Moyd was married for 50 years to the former Marie E. Whiting, who died earlier this year. His first marriage, to the former Ruth Brown, ended in divorce.

He enjoyed travel and fishing.

Services for Dr. Moyd will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at his church, 2812 Reisterstown Road.

Dr. Moyd is survived by a son, Alton Moyd of Baltimore; six daughters, Gloria Jane Moyd-Henderson, Olivia Moyd-Havell and Anita Moyd, all of Baltimore; Marlene E. Harris of Baltimore, Angeline Moyd-Johnson of District Heights and Olinda Moyd of Upper Marlboro; two brothers, Warren Moyd of Baltimore and George E. Moyd of Fayetteville, N.C.; a sister, Tennie Catherine Scott of Fayetteville; 17 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.

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