October 18, 2006 Edition

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Former Alabama chief justice
speaks at Walnut Ridge church


Derek Collins (right), senior pastor of Gethsemane Baptist Church in Walnut Ridge, welcomes Roy Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, to his church on Sunday.
TD Photo ~ John Bland

Roy Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, spoke Sunday morning in Walnut Ridge at the Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church. Moore spoke to a crowd of nearly 300 people about God being an historic part of this country.

"We are the only nation ever created on the law of God with our Declaration of Independence," Moore told The TD.

Derek Collins, senior pastor at Gethsemane, invited Moore to speak for the church's observance of God and Country Day. Collins was a bit surprised and pleased that Moore accepted his invitation to speak in Walnut Ridge, as Moore typically speaks to much larger audiences. He was flown to Walnut Ridge by private aircraft.

"He is a down to earth, good guy," Collins said. "He visited with everybody who wanted to visit with him. He had a really good time."

Moore was also guest of honor at a potluck luncheon after the service. He sold and autographed copies of his books and gave out Ten Commandments lapel pins to everyone.

"He believes government should acknowledge the sovereignty of God, not force a religion on anybody," Collins said.

Moore is known for being suspended and later removed as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing a federal court order to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments.

Collins said Moore can quote presidents and scripture, as much as a whole chapter of the Bible, by memory. Collins shared this quote from the late President Ronald Reagan, who said, "If we're not one nation under God, we'll be one nation gone under."

Moore was accompanied to Walnut Ridge by one or two staff people, as well as a bodyguard, Leonard Holyfield. Moore's bodyguard is a first cousin of the renowned boxer Evander Holyfield, Collins said.

Capt. Tony Waldrupe and the Walnut Ridge Police Department provided Moore with a police motorcade to and from the airport.

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