Beulah Cox Moore
1911 – 2014
“Ninety-eight is only a stepping stone to something better,” shared Beulah Moore with a bedridden woman at her elder care facility in Buffalo, MO. “When you’re looking to God, glory is coming.”
Beulah Cox was born on September 21st, 1911 on the Four Mont Prairie, in Southwestern Missouri, settled by her grandparents James R. and Ada Cox in the 1870’s. Beulah was the eldest daughter of James E. and Josephine Cox and drawn into a love of serving others by the example of her parents and extended family in the Dallas County area. Her grandparents established the New Hope Baptist Church, spreading the teachings and message of the gospel of Christ. One of the key components of Beulah’s life was supporting others in the communities of Southwestern Missouri, whether through meals, sharing harvesting chores, canning, quilting bees, or driving students to school in her father’s 18’ wagon. Beulah loved her childhood centering on community service and her small one room school house where she played forward in Southwestern Missouri’s first girls’ high school basketball team in 1926. After a championship game and whirlwind courtship, Nelson M. Marsh of Louisburg, who’d admired her skill on the court, won Beulah’s affection and they were married on December 23, 1928. When the snow melted Nelson and Beulah moved to California where they were later blessed with two daughters, Mary in 1930 and Betty in 1935. The Moores celebrated their 60th anniversary before the Lord called Nelson home. During their life together serving others was Beulah’s trademark.
Depending on your relationship with this spunky, upbeat, outspoken Christian woman, you may know her by Miss Beulah, Bugs, Grandma, Beulah, Nanny, Mom, or Auntie Bugsy. Regardless, what you call her, what you do know is that from the age of six she has walked hand-in-glove with the Savior of the world, and makes sure everyone around knows the gift of grace Christ Jesus offers.
In 1935 after the birth of her second daughter, Beulah was told a degenerating illness would confine her to a wheelchair, if she survived an upcoming surgery. She told her doctors God had given her two girls to care for and not only would she come through the procedure, but be walking in four weeks. Though using a metal chair with welded balls for legs, Beulah was up and moving in a month.
As her recovery progress she not only cared for her girls, but took in children to make money for her medical bills. As these young mothers came, she asked them what God meant to them and if she could pray for them. The Great Depression caused many men to be parted from their families seeking work where they could find it and Beulah saw the need to encourage these single, stressed out ladies, as He had comforted her.
As these women began spending more time with Beulah they were lifted by her confidence in God, the message of hope in Christ, and the moving of the Spirit to guide them. Many pews were filled at Bethel Baptist Community Church in Saticoy as Beulah trusted God to meet the needs of these young women through the Gospel message.
When World War II began Beulah began baking for the troops. She traveled the old LA Red Line to the major Pacific theater disembarkation centers in Pomona and Pendleton. There Beulah sought out servicemen standing alone without family to see them off and gave them boxes of breads and cookies with Scripture cards and her address. She wrote down their name, and then asked to pray for them before they boarded their trains.
“I’ll pray God covers you with His hand each day. And don’t forget I’ll always have room for you if you’re ever here again,” she’d say with a good-bye wave.
During and after the war Beulah hosted many a service member in her home. Some on leave, more from Balboa Naval Hospital recovering from wounds. She kept in touch with many of the men over the years and attended weddings and christenings whenever possible; always making sure she shared the Gospel with them and their families. Two of these men and their wives still keep in contact with her every month, sixty-seven years after their first meeting.
Years rolled by as Beulah welcomed three granddaughters and two great-grandchildren into her arms. It was then that her focus then returned to the nursery. Her church and community asked her to direct these programs and God’s direction was clear. As moms dropped off their little ones Beulah challenged these young women with the Gospel, but she saw a great need to mentor these young women and began a Bible began on how to love your husbands and children.
Transitions in Beulah’s life, at 95 saw her return to her childhood home in MO. She was initially restless with the change, her inability to drive, and lack of contact with younger women and their families. I was shocked one day to hear a note of discouragement in her voice over the new situations she was facing. Beulah was not serving and became adrift.
As we prayed a peace settled over her.
“I know God has a plan and I have a feeling it is coming just around the corner.” I smiled at my grandmother’s determination and confidence in God to direct and fill her life with His purpose.
Two days later Beulah found herself in an elder care facility, wondering what God had in store. The following Sunday on the phone she bubbled the answer.
“God has no retirement plan, Child. He was just relocating me to where my new assignment was.”
We all need to feel we are worthy. We desperately yearn to be of purpose. What joy God gave me, knowing that He did have a wonderful direction for my grandmother.
Daily Beulah and her one hundred year old room mate travel the halls of her facility reading Scripture, praying, and singing old hymns. Rarely does a day pass when someone doesn’t seek her out for counsel or prayer.
Two weeks ago a woman who works at the facility approached her concerning her teenage daughter’s rebellion. Beulah simply said, “Bring the child in for a chat.” The woman did and God opened a window in the teen’s heart.
Beulah began by asking the girl what she thought of God. As their conversation progressed, a solid connection was made between these two ladies, oddly enough because they were both cheerleaders. My grandmother in 1925, this teen in 2009. Last Sunday before I said, hello, grandmother exploded, “We have a new sister in Christ!”
My eyes burned and my throat closed listening to Beulah’s joy. “Oh, to be used of Jesus. There just isn’t anything to compare to it in this life. I’m just so happy the Spirit moved and I got to be there to see it.”
I’d like to know how many little ones are in nurseries today because their moms, grandmas, and even great-grandmas heard the Gospel of Christ from Beulah. But it’s enough to know she never missed a chance to be used by the Spirit of God.
My daily prayer is that I will be a willing hand to reach out and draw others to Jesus, as I’ve seen my grandmother, do her entire life.
Christine Howard is a widow, mother, educator, administrator, and freelance author. Her published works include newspaper bylines, devotionals, educational articles, Bible studies, book reviews, short stories, and inspirational pieces. Her passion is serving women through hostessing month teas, quilting, leading a Bible study, and facilitating two book clubs. She loves to travel, do historical research, and read. Christine’s goal is to be less and have her Savior be more.