WEST PALM BEACH (PBA)—Palm Beach Atlantic University will erect a statue of Jess Moody, the University’s founding president, as part of the grand celebration of Jess Moody Day on Tuesday, April 5. The 7-foot-tall figure of Moody has been commissioned from Pennsylvania-based sculptor, Zenos Frudakis, who has crafted the likenesses of sports, religious, military and governmental leaders.
The statue presentation at Noon on the Rinker Green will follow Founders Day Chapel at 11 a.m. at the Greene Complex for Sports and Recreation, 1100 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach. The event is free. Founders Day is sponsored by the Palm Beach Atlantic University Alumni Association as the annual event commemorating the university’s establishment in 1968. For more information contact Breanne Fairfax, alumni associate, at 561-803-2016.
In addition to his role as PBA’s first president, Moody is best known as one of the architects of the University’s Workship program, which requires all full-time undergraduate students to volunteer at least 45 hours annually.
A graduate of Baylor University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Moody was pastor of First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach for 15 years. During his tenure, Chapel by the Lake and the current First Baptist Church sanctuary were built. He served both as pastor and as president of Palm Beach Atlantic 1968-1972.
In 1976, Moody left Florida to become pastor of First Baptist Church in Van Nuys, Calif., which later moved to Porter Ranch and became Shepherd of the Hill Church. A native Texan, he retired in 1995 to become an adjunct professor of religion at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
A member of the evangelistic team with Billy Graham in the 1950s, Moody is the author of seven books on religious topics. Moody and his wife, Doris, have two children, Martha and Patrick, a 1976 Palm Beach Atlantic graduate and the pastor of Village Baptist Church in West Palm Beach. They have three grandchildren, Chris, a 2007 graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic, Sean, a 2010 graduate of the University, and Jessica.
In the mid-1960s, Jess Moody, then pastor of First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, asked Donald Warren to help establish a Christian college in West Palm Beach to counterbalance America’s shifting moral climate. Feeling impressed by God to undertake this challenge, Warren became the founding chairman of the board of trustees and helped establish Palm Beach Atlantic College in downtown West Palm Beach in 1968.
Palm Beach Atlantic University is a private, independent university offering undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees, with campuses in West Palm Beach, Orlando and Wellington. The University is dedicated to the integration of Christian principles to prepare students for lifelong learning and leadership. For additional information, go to http://www.pba.edu.
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