Let’s meet Steve Moore, an amazing teacher with a passion for Jesus and history…
Gerilyn: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Steve: I’m a history teacher, and I think it was a case of the “can’t-help-its” with the family I grew up in. It was my dad’s storytelling, I think. He was one of the Greatest Generation that grew up in the Depression. He was a veteran of World War II. Back before we had social media and ways to entertain ourselves on long car rides, he would tell us history stories. So, I grew up hearing those stories and fell in love with history. I get paid now for telling history stories.
Gerilyn: What is your favorite restaurant in Evans, and what do you love there?
Steve: In Columbia County, it’s the Taj Indian food restaurant. The first thing I love about it is how friendly the owners are. They’re just wonderful, welcoming people. Everything on the menu is delicious, but my favorite is the vindaloo curry and naan.
Gerilyn: How long have you lived, worked, or churched in Evans?
Steve: We moved here is 2003, so it’s been 16 years.
Gerilyn: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Evans? Who would you like to see nominated as a Face of Evans, Georgia?
Steve: A person that is fascinating and has been edifying to know and work with is a guy who’s on the staff at Greenbrier. He’s one of my colleagues. His name is Paul Moore, and he’s not related. He’s been at Greenbrier for a couple of years. I’ve enjoyed watching the impact he has on students and the roles that he plays at Greenbrier. He’s got a peace-giving demeanor. He’s got the ability to put someone at ease when he talks to them. He’s got a gentle spirit, a ton of integrity, and he’s just had a great and interesting life. He’s retired Army, so he traveled all over the place in his military service. Anywhere you see him plugged in at Greenbrier, he’s got adults and students benefiting from the wisdom he has. Any place is better off when he’s there. It would be great to see him featured as a Face of Evans.
Gerilyn: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
Steve: I would love to go to Europe. Carolyn and I have been fortunate to do a fair amount of traveling, but that’s one place that we haven’t gotten to yet. There are so many things I want to see there.
Gerilyn: What is your favorite movie, or what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
Steve: I would say any movie that was directed by William Wyler who was one of Hollywood’s greatest directors in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. At the beginning of World War II, he made a movie called Mrs. Miniver, which is about the strength of the everyday British people during the Blitz and the early dark days of World War II. At the end of World War II, he made a movie called The Best Years of Our Lives, which is about the veterans who came home from the war and their challenges they faced to readjust to civilian life. That movie in particular is just a beautiful movie. It’s about the strength and heroism of people who weren’t at war anymore and also how hard it was for their families, too. William Wyler also directed Ben Hur – the one that came out in the 1950s and won a bunch of Academy Awards. It’s got the great chariot racing. It’s a wonderful story of a man who came from a prominent family in Jerusalem and his struggle with a thirst for revenge that was destroying his life. He got to a place where he could learn to forgive through his contact with Jesus. As a matter of fact, the recurring image in the movie is a frame from Michelangelo’s painting in the Sistine Chapel where God’s hand is touching Adam’s hand. The image repeats itself over and over in that movie. William Wyler made some fabulous movies.
Gerilyn: What advice would you give to a crowd of people?
Steve: When Abraham Lincoln was trying to prevent civil war from breaking out at the beginning of 1861, he appealed to people in the South. The word he used was “disenthralled.” You need to disenthrall yourselves from the idea of slavery and succesion. My advice is this: today we need to disenthrall ourselves from our media culture, which is is so sick. Television, news media, entertainment media, and social media, too. So much of it is driven by appearance, the emotional fuel of outrage, materialism, and shallowness. It is not life-giving; it’s life-taking. We need to disenthrall ourselves from that and look at the world that’s around us. In other words, we could look at what we see in the news. It’s so discouraging because there are so many problems, and we’ve forgotten how to talk civilly with each other in our political culture. We can get totally corroded by the toxic atmosphere if we focus on it. Disenthralling ourselves and looking at the world can have an immediate impact. Like in Evans, Georgia. What can I do in Evans Georgia? We can actually have a positive impact. The question I ask my students all the time is, “Are you a part of the solution or a part of the problem?” If we treat with respect our colleagues, peers, the people in our circles, those we interact with in stores and restaurants, if we’re living a life of honesty and integrity, kindness, and hard work, then we’re part of the solution. The young people that I work with at Greenbrier High School are exceptional human beings. We just had a granddaughter, and the students that I taught last year are going to be thirty years old when my granddaughter starts high school. Once my granddaughter starts high school, she will be in very good hands with those thirty-year-old adults that I taught in their high school years. They’re just exceptional human beings – not just bright students, but they have their heads screwed on right. They have good hearts, good work ethics, and they’re friendly with the people around them. There is so much that should give us hope and optimism about the world. Anyway, that’s kind of my message. Disenthrall yourself from the sick and toxic media culture that we live in today. With hard work, honesty, and respect, you can be a part of the solution and the problem. Have hope because the young people that are out there now are exceptional human beings, and they’re going to do great.
Gerilyn: What is something on your bucket list?
Steve: I want to travel and get to Europe. Not just Europe, but I want to travel and get to the places in the world I haven’t seen yet. I want to see the rainforest in South America. I want to see the great rivers of the world and the waterfalls – the Zambezi River waterfall and Victoria Falls. I want to go back to the places where we’ve been like Japan, India, and also the Holy Land. I want to go back there again, but I also want to see the things I haven’t seen before.
Gerilyn: What is your favorite music or three bands you would like to see, whether dead or alive?
Steve: There’s a kind of music that you’re hearing a lot now called “roots music.” Roots music is actually a broader category that takes in some other genres. Roots music would include original country music, bluegrass, blues, and jazz music as well. A lot of times the soundtracks that are in Coen Brothers movies include roots music, like O Brother, Where Art Thou. Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder – that’s kind of bluegrass. James Cotton, blues music, Louis Armtstrong, and jazz. All of those things kind of fit into the category of roots music.
Gerilyn: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Evans?
Steve: That old store, Brown’s Feed and Seed. That place was there when there wasn’t much else around Evans except a crossroads and a lot of farmland. For years and years, they had a pond behind them with an alligator in it.
Gerilyn: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative, with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Evans would you have lunch?
Steve: I would sit down and have lunch with John Lewis, a congressman for the state of Georgia. He represents the Atlanta district, but he is one of the great heroes in the civil rights movement. He was a college student in the early sixties, and he’s almost like a version of Forrest Gump because he tended to be everywhere in every big event that happened in the 1960s. John Lewis was one of the leaders of the sit-ins and freedom rides. He was beaten numerous times, but he was a leader in non-violent civil disobedience. He spoke in Washington D.C. on the day that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. John Lewis is famous for being in Selma in 1965 on Bloody Sunday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge where there was a terrible police violence against non-violent demonstrators. John Lewis was the very first guy there. He showed so much courage and fortitude in the 1960s, and he’s committed the rest of his life to service. I have so much admiration for him. Our country is better because of him. He’s one of my heros, so I’d love to sit down and have lunch with him. Maybe we’d go to Goolsby’s because it’s good Southern food.
Gerilyn: Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?
Steve: I’ll be retired in five to ten years, and I’m trying to figure out what we’ll do. I know that Carolyn and I will be in ministry in one way or another, and I think we’ll still be here. I want to find a way to make a positive contribution to my church and my community using the gifts that God has given me. I want to be faithful and hope and pray that people can see Jesus in me.
Gerilyn: Even for friends or family, what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
Steve: This is what I want people to know about me if they don’t know me very well: I went skydiving when I was younger. I loved that experience. Once I became a husband and a father, I decided that if I pursued something with a small element of risk, it would be a selfish choice. But skydiving was so much fun. I love that kind of stuff. I love ziplining, skydiving, and rollercoasters with lots of dips in them. I love all of that.
Gerilyn: What are three words or phrases that come to mind when you think of the word “home?”
Steve: I imagine coming from outdoors and being frozen on a super cold, gray winter day. I would walk into a kitchen where the light is warm, and I can smell good cooking. There are smiles and hugs from the loved ones as I walk in the door.