Lowell was born in Davies County in an area outside of Jamesport, Missouri known as Hickory. His ancestors had migrated from Gerard County, Kentucky almost one century earlier. His mother's people were ministers with a long history of ministry in the Davies, Grundy, and Livingston County areas. His parents were Ernest Moore and Fina B. Harris Moore Gondringer. His father preceded him in death three days prior to his birth. He was named by his father who knew his fourth child would be a son.
Born as a member of the Greatest Generation just before the Great Depression, he was raised by a single mother of four until she remarried John Gondringer five years later and moved to Trenton.
He attended Norton Elementary in Trenton until he moved to the country in Jamesport. He resided with his mother's sister, Lydia Harris Steele and her husband, Clarence Steele until he was drafted into World War II. He left home when he was drafted into World War II when he turned 18 years old in October, 1944.
After bootcamp training, he was shipped to Luzan Island in the Phillipines for one of the last great warfronts of the War. He served as an infantry scout with another farm boy and was in active combat several months. He would later recall always praying “Lord, I hope Mom's praying for me” during the live action times. He was gifted a steel covered small New Testament by Shelbourn Baptist church before leaving for war which he always wore in his left shirt pocket through the War.
When the War ended, he served as Military Police for about one year on Luzan Island. He witnessed the historical promised return of General Douglas McArthur to the islands and had the privilege of helping to escort him through Manilla, Phillipines.
After returning home from war at the age of 21, he returned to his home in Jamesport, Missouri. He pursued his life long dream of farming, purchasing a team of horses and renting forty acres and farmed for about one year. He had a life changing salvation experience at the First Assembly of God Church, Trenton, Missouri on December 7, 1947, six years to the day of the beginning of America's entrance into WW II when Pearl Harbor was bombed.
After this experience, he felt the call of God on his life to ministry. He attended the Southwestern Assemblies of God Bible Institute in Waxahatchie, Texas on the GI bill. Several other WW II veterans were doing the same there. They were known to help each other out when they got into frequent young married financial binds! He obtained a four year Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology with a minor in missions in three years.
As a testament to what God can do for struggling learners, Lowell never excelled much in his grade school and high school years, having his mind on other interests and distractions. When he became a Christian and attended Bible School, he excelled academically and was voted President of his class. He often said he had a healing of his mind at his conversion.
Before his conversion, this young veteran and cousin Morris Walker had a rare serious discussion about life and decided they were ready to settle down and “get some good girls”. Lowell suggested the best place to find these kind of girls was at the church his mother attended-the Assembly of God in Trenton. Both boys spotted a couple of young farm girls at the church who peaked their interests. Morris chose the younger sister, a blonde, Carolyn Lee. Lowell chose the older sister, Thelma Jean.
Lowell had heard of the Trump family which had just moved into the beautiful Ream Farm off of Hwy 6 from his older brother, Paul. Paul was farming at the nearby Alexander Farm off of Hwy. 65. He reported to Lowell that this large family of 12 had two older girls who could “swing a 10 gallon can of milk up on a flatbed truck”! In this mid century rural culture, strong women who could help on the farm were at a premium.
Lowell and Thelma married on June 4, 1950 after a Sunday evening service at the First Assembly of God church in Trenton two weeks after Morris and Carolyn were married. They headed south to Waxahatchie after the wedding and Lowell completed his third and last year there.
From there, they headed to Woodward, Iowa and took their first pastorate. From there, they went on to pastor four churches in the Southern Missouri District of the Assemblies of God for over sixty years. He was bivocational until the age of 50. He worked at Missouri Public Service Utility Company in Sedalia, Missouri from 1957 until 1976. At this time, he pursued his dream of pastoring in the Ozarks of Missouri. He, Thelma, and Ramona moved to Winona, Missouri which is located in the Mark Twain National Forest area of southern Missouri. They pastored there for a total of ten years. He was known to pastor the community. His long tenure there was what he thought would be his final pastorate.
His last pastorate was in Slater, Missouri, a small cornfield community just east of Marshall, Missouri. He was 76 years young. With the help of two God sent men who attended this church, he was able to totally gut the sanctuary during his tenure there, staying seven years. Ramona now pastors this congregation. He and Thelma have faithfully attended during her pastorate.
Lowell loved his family, was a natural shepherd known for his care, compassion, humility, cand Missouri farmer's country humor in his relationships and pulpit presence. He loved encouraging young men in the ministry and fathered a few of them to help them get their ministerial start. One of these boys became one of his closest friends, Tom Canon. Tom attended church with him during his last months of life.
He and Thelma had four children. Their first, Daniel Lee was born while they were at bible school in Waxahatchie. He lived only a few hours. One year to the day, another boy came, Charles Lowell who survives and lives in Mineola, Texas. David Neal was born in 1954 and died unexpectedly in September, 2021. Ramona Carolyn survives also, of Slater, Missouri. He has been blessed with 16 grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren and counting.
He was a life long learner, taking Spanish at the community college in Sedalia in his seventies. He loved the challenges of building and remodeling the buildings and grounds of the churches he pastored. He also enjoyed helping his three children improve their homes and properties. He had the joy of taking thirteen overseas building missions trips with the MAPS (Mobilization and Placement) oversees outreach of the Assemblies of God. He did this well into his eighties. He also had rental properties in Sedalia for over thirty years. He enjoyed working on and improving buildings and grounds. He was a self taught natural carpenter, getting his beginnings at North Missouri Lumber, Trenton under the management of Mert Mahaffie who became a close friend.
Lowell always maintained his love of farming and tending the land throughout his life. Many of his sermons had threads of farming woven throughout his illustrations which sprinkled humor and down to earthness to his exhortational preaching style. The shy, sometimes stuttering country boy would blossom into a fiery preacher when the anointing of God would empower him in the pulpit.
His sons, Charles and David started hay crews in their early teens at his encouragement. He would bale the hay with his Case tractor and the entire family helped in the process of getting the hay put up for Sedalia and surrounding small town area farmers.
He loved gardening, raising large gardens, often times selling the bumper crop tomatoes he was known to have a knack for raising. As the boys were growing up, he would buy cattle which they fattened for butchering or selling. Once an observer said he might “lose his shirt” on a livestock deal. He replied, “I'm raising boys, not cattle”. He believed the responsibility, perseverance, and tenacity required for tending livestock was a great character builder for his boys. The family lived on a small acreage on the north side of Sedalia through the early 1960's up until the move to the Ozarks in the late 70's.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest Moore and Fina B. Gondringer, four siblings in order of passing: Clara Moore (at age 18), Pauline Moore McCoy, Paul Moore, and younger brother John P. Gondringer. Two sons preceded him in death, infant son Daniel Lee, son David Neal.
His prayers over his family, churches he pastored, and foreign lands he built churches overseas will remain alive and active even though he's gone to his eternal reward. His sweet presence will be sorely missed by his family, friends, and church family.
He often would say at saint's funerals he was preaching that “they had preached their funeral sermons all of their lives”. The same can be said of this husband, father, and grandfather.
Heaven has gained a saint who has given his life to the work of the Lord. His motto to his children through the years was simply, “Do the right thing”. He often said he wanted as his epitaph, “He did what he could do”.
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