(August 5, 2015) “Look, Clarence!” said his wife Ruby, as she showed him the $25 Christmas gift from the small congregation he pastored. “Now you can buy that overcoat you so desperately need!” It was 1938 and times were hard, but Clarence Moore didn’t hesitate. “The coat can wait. I think God wants me to use the money to go to Chicago. I know Christmas is tomorrow, but I’ll be leaving right away.” He drove through a heavy snowstorm directly to the home of the only person he knew in Chicago, his friend John Meredith. When the door opened, Clarence greeted him: “Hello, John; here I am. Can you tell me why I’m here?”
“God must have sent you, Clarence. I have a missionary here in real trouble.” With a desire to send the gospel to distant lands, Clarence Jones of HCJB World Radio had come from Ecuador to buy a shortwave radio transmitter. But he didn’t know if the unit he was considering was any good. Although Moore was a radio amateur, he had studied radio extensively and experimented widely. He examined the unit for sale and found it unusable.
Later Jones hired Moore, and within six months, Moore had built a new transmitter with twice the power, creating most of the parts himself. When he paired it with his revolutionary new antenna design, the cubical quad antenna, HCJB’s signal beamed farther and clearer than was believed possible. And thus began Moore’s lifelong relationship with HCJB World Radio and his passion for radio as a ministry tool.
When a missionary explained his need for a reliable compact tape recorder for evangelism, Moore began assembling innovative units to meet the need. Demand came from other markets and gradually, with no capital but an implicit trust in God and a brilliant mind that effervesced ideas, Moore assembled a team of dedicated employees who built a successful business—Crown International—creating audio equipment that transformed the industry.
Failures and setbacks didn’t stop Moore, not even a fire that leveled his manufacturing plant in 1971. He received the tragic news with a calmness forged by a life of trust in the Lord. Quoting from the book of Job he said, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Believing in God’s goodness and trusting in God’s enablement, Moore and his faithful employees had product rolling out the door of a rented building in six weeks, and in less than a year, Crown was manufacturing in a new building—stronger than ever!
Nearly everything Moore did was motivated by his love for God and his passion for the lost. In order to bring the gospel to his home community of Elkhart County, Indiana, he built two Christian radio stations, an AM in 1956 and an FM in 1963. Later his son Edwin expanded these to a network of 22 Christian stations covering 31 counties.
Clarence Moore’s life impacted millions by means of his consultation service. He helped birth hundreds of gospel broadcasting ministries by traveling the globe to offer his vast radio expertise without fee.
More than once, Moore offered HCJB World Radio engineers space in Crown facilities to build their improved and more powerful transmitter designs. In 1986, eight years after his death, Crown gave the mission 10,000 sq. ft. in their new building to establish the HCJB World Radio Engineering Center. Transmitters, antennas, and other tools for the propagation of the gospel were designed and built at the center and used by the mission and its ministry partners to establish hundreds of Christian radio stations worldwide.
Today, in a building donated by Crown International and the Moore family, the center is an independent mission organization called SonSet Solutions and is continuing Moore’s legacy of providing technology-based solutions to advance the gospel worldwide.
“Dad was a luminary,” explained his daughter Kay. “He delighted in inspiring and facilitating others to accomplish great things for God, never feeling the need to take credit. Dad demonstrated what God can do when ordinary people trust Him implicitly, obey Him immediately and completely, and care about what He cares about. Dad would want to be remembered as an ordinary man with a very big God.”
By Marla Bender