Kia Moore was the first woman licensed to preach at her home church, which was founded by slaves.
In 2013, she became the youngest person to pray on the Tennessee House Floor as the guest clergy member. And, she was also the youngest person to lead National Day of Prayer for Memphis.
With that history-making backdrop, Moore is planting a church and says she likely is the first African-American millennial woman to do so.
The Church At The Well – a name taken from the fourth chapter of John account of Jesus’ encountering with a woman at the well – will usher in worshippers on Sundays at noon at White Station High School at (514 S. Perkins) beginning Oct. 28.
Asked if being “called” was part of her part of faith, Moore told The New Tri-State Defender that, callings and faith are inextricable.
“Those who believe must believe that God has a unique purpose for their lives. Discerning what that calling is takes time, mentoring and courage. My prayer is that my obedience to the call on my life encourages all people regardless of age, race or gender to pursue the things that God has created them to accomplish.”
A doctoral student at Memphis Theological Seminary, where she is studying Church Formation, Moore will be returning to her alma mater by opening the church at White Station High School.
“I have known that I was called to do this for at least five years but I wanted to be certain about the time and resources,” Moore said. “With the support of my long time mentor, pastor and #1 Billboard Gospel Artist, Bishop Jason Nelson, I began praying and fasting about launching.”
After nearly a decade of serving other ministries in the capacity of consultant, youth pastor, missions pastor, director of ministry and director of communications, Moore felt that she was equipped with the experience necessary to oversee a ministry.
“As we prayed, I was invited to join a doctoral program as the only woman for studies focused on forming churches. The doors continued to open in the direction of planting a church and so we began forming a team.”
There is a need for more ministries focused intentionally on missions, outreach and discipleship in Memphis, she said.
“Millennials in particular are turning away from the church in droves but my voice resonates with them. My multigenerational approach that speaks to all people but is sensitive to generations that churches struggle to reach is an intentional way to follow God to close the gap that allows for groups to be excluded.”
That there very likely not another millennial African-American woman in this region that has planted a church is very telling about just how far the church must go, she said.
The Church At The Well will offer one-hour services.
Moore and her congregants will be working with Story’s Safehaven, a local non-profit aiding victims and their families who have survived childhood sexual abuse. They are also working with Agape Child and Family Services in December and the State of Tennessee. True to its name, The Church at the Well will also provide clean water sources to Flint, Mich. and third world countries.
(To learn more, visit https://www.facebook.com/wemakewells/, where congregants gather weekly for online Bible Study until the official launch and website release.)