Modesto Bee, Wednesday, February 28, 2001; page B-4
Mooneyham, 85, founded local church
Modesto pastor was active in the ministry for 55 years.
Ceres - Village Chapel free Will Baptist church is expecting a big crowd Monday for the funeral of its founding pastor, the Rev. Joe L Mooneyham.
Rev. Mooneyham, 85, died Saturday in a fire that consumed his home at las Casitas mobile home park on Fowler road. Rev Mooneyham's wife, Mae Mooneyham, discovered the flames at 10 am when she returned from the store.
"It was quite a shock," said the Rev. Adrian Condit, who also served as pastor at the Chapel and has known "Brother Joe" for 30 years. "He was a great guy and very compassionate towards people".
The Rev. Brown, state director of ministries of the Free Will Baptist Church, will lead funeral service scheduled for 10 am.
Rev Mooneyham sounded Village Chapel in 1957 and served 10 years before resigning because of health from related to muscular dystrophy. A church building, Mooneyham Hall, was named after him.
Rev. Mooneyham next worked briefly as a cook at the California Bible Institute in Fresno before returning to Modesto in 1969 to serve as visitation Minister at Prescott Bible Church in Modesto (now Prescott Evangelical Free Church.)
He led a Spanish-language congregation at one point and did missionary work in Central America.
Rev. Mooneyham and his wife, Mae Mooneyham of Ceres, rejoined Village Chapel about 20 years ago and were members from then on. Rev. Mooneyham often called members who were absent from Sunday services to see how they were doing, Condit said.
Rev. Mooneyham remains active despite his health problems, said his grandson, Greg Bettencourt. Although Rev. Mooneyham spent much of his time in a wheelchair, he attended Sunday school and church faithfully each week. He was also an avid gardener.
He and may Mooneyham, is now living with their grandson, Bettencourt, were married for 62 years.
Rev. Mooneyham was born June 28, 1915, in Mississippi and lived in Oklahoma. He led churches in Visalia and Tulare befor moving Stanislaus County. Family members say he served in the ministry 55 years.
Besides his wife, rev. Mooneyham is survived by a daughter, Billie Fleming of San Jose; brother, Tulane Mooneyham of Georgia; sister Marie Aland of Chula Vista; and six grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.
There will not be a public visitation. The Colonial Chapel of Franklin and Downs is in charge of arrangements.
I asked Franklin and Downs, and they said when a cemetery is not listed, the family did not want it known. The lady was too polite to say so out right, but she wasn't going to tell anyone where he is buried. I called Lakewood Memorial Park in Hughson, the largest cemetery in Stanislaus County, and they do not have him.
Some things I try to copy at the bottom of every obit I post:
1) I'm not related and didn't know the person. I do this to repay a number of people who did lookups for me, in a general way. They almost never need a lookup in Stanislaus County, but others do. If you would like to return the favor, in the same general way, I suggest the GenForum site for your county. There are usually unanswered obit requests.
2) Iíll send you the paper copy of the microfilm if you send me your address via my profile. This is a limited time offer, since I've been doing this for a while and the ones no one wants clutter up my genealogy cubbyhole. If I don't hear from you in 30 days or so, out it goes.
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