Vale Gordon Moyes – 1938 -2015

April 30th, 2015

Gordon Moyes

Rev Dr Gordon Keith Moyes AC, MLC, B.A., LL.D., Litt.D., D.D., F.R.G.S., F.A.I.M., F.A.I.C.D., M.A.C.E..

17 November 1938 – 5 April 2015

It is with deep sadness we inform you that after a brief illness Rev Dr Gordon Moyes AC, died peacefully on Sunday 5 April 2015.

Rev Dr Gordon Moyes AC was one of Australia’s most respected Christian leaders.

Ordained in 1959 as a minister of the Churches of Christ with ministries at Newmarket, Ascot Vale, Ararat and Cheltenham he later was ordained in the Uniting Church in Australia serving for 27 years as the Superintendent of Wesley Mission Sydney. Gordon led this church to become one of Australia’s largest non-government welfare providers and a uniquely shaped multi-cultural, city-based church, passionate about sharing God’s love in both Word and Deed. This extraordinary ministry was extensive in its breadth, significant in its range and innovative in its scope. Financial counselling, refugee support, property redevelopment in the central business district, financial sustainability, employment services, child and family support, disability and mental health services, media presence, retail and conference centres – where there was a need and opportunity, Gordon saw a vision to serve.

Following Gordon’s appointment at Wesley Mission, his television work gained momentum through “Turn ‘Round Australia”, a weekly half hour program, broadcast on many television stations around the country, consistently running for over 20 years.

During Gordon Moyes’ years as Superintendent there were several ground breaking documentary series produced including The Discovering series, and specials, television series and radio programs produced such as: An Australian Christmas at Darling Harbour television across Australia for 10 years, the music video show Swordfish and Sunday Night Live hosted by Gordon which ran for nearly 18 years.

The Discovering series was recognised around the world for its innovation. The series looked at the life of Jesus and then the growth of the early Christian church and was based on three books written by Gordon. This unique video series set a new standard in Australian Christian television.

Gordon has been awarded many honours over the years including Australia’s highest honours, including the Companion of The Order of Australia in 2002, 2014 Christian Media Australia’s Lifetime Achievement, Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellow (1978), and the New South Wales Father of the Year (1986).

In 2003 he was recognised with the Commonwealth Government’s Centenary Medal for Distinguished Service to Australia following service as a member of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership Board and membership of the Prime Minister’s National Task Force on Youth Homelessness.

He was described by former Australian Prime Minister John Howard as “the epitome of effective Christian leadership” when describing the way he had grown Wesley Mission into one of the most dynamic and socially responsive church-based charities in the world. “And what I particularly salute is the way in which Dr Moyes has led the Wesley Mission to an understanding of the need for the church, in its various outreaches to the community to change and adapt whilst retaining a deep connection with the fundamentals of the Christian religion.”

Gordon was appointed by the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) to the New South Wales Legislative Council in 2002 and went on to have a career in politics serving both the CDP and Family First for the next 9 years. As a cross-bench member of the New South Wales Legislative Gordon Moyes pursued an agenda of social justice, while drawing attention to what he saw as the moral erosion of Australian society. As one of the few members of the New South Wales Parliament with a background in social work, he was a passionate advocate for disadvantaged indigenous populations, the homeless, the disabled, and the unemployed.

In his time as a parliamentarian he also spearheaded reform agendas for the juvenile justice system and fairer personal injury compensation.

As a Christian Member of Parliament, his informed judgements were drawn from a foundation in the inalienable values of justice, compassion, free will, and morality as explained in the Word of God.

Evangelism remained Gordon Moyes’ great passion through his life. “Essentially I am evangelist: I just want to tell people about Jesus Christ.”

Gordon died peacefully surrounded by what he described as the greatest joy of his life, his loving family: his wife of 55 years, Beverley and his children Jenny and Ron Schepis, Peter and Trina, David and Leisl, and Andrew and Kylie; grandchildren and great-grand-children Michael, Georgina, Adelaide, Rachel, Ethan, Cassie, Jack, Brianna, Emma, Chelsea, Tom, Indiana, Scarlett and Piper.