Rev Dr Gordon Moyes AC was one of Australia’s most respected Christian leaders.
Ordained as a minister in the Uniting Church in Australia, he served for 27 years as the Superintendent of Wesley MissionSydney, Australia’s largest non-government welfare provider and the world’s largest city-based church.
He was also a prominent evangelist, broadcaster and elected Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council.
He became a household name in Australia many years ago when he began as host of the weekly television program Turn ‘Round Australia and radio program Sunday Night Live with Gordon Moyes.
His book How to Grow an Australian Church (1975) has served as a seminal work for the Australian evangelical movement.
Prior to becoming Superintendent of Wesley Mission in 1979 he was an ordained Churches of Christ in Australia minister, serving at Victorian churches in Ascot/Newmarket, Ararat, and Cheltenham. There was some controversy in the New South Wales Synod of the Uniting Church at the time of his transfer to Wesley Mission, and to resolve this he was re-ordained by the Uniting Church. In December 2005 he retired after 27 years at Wesley Mission and handed over to his successor, Dr Keith Garner of the United Kingdom.
Prime Minister John Howard characterised Dr Moyes 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.
Gaining election in 2002 as a cross-bench member of the New South Wales Legislative Council Dr Moyes has pursued an agenda of social justice, while drawing attention to what he sees as the moral erosion of Australian society.
Dr Moyes was generally been seen as a pro-environment Member of Parliament, speaking regularly on the need for sustainable farming practices and renewable water and energy resources. As the only member of the New South Wales Parliament with a background in social work, he is a passionate advocate for disadvantaged indigenous populations, the homeless, the disabled, and the unemployed.
He strongly fought against liberalising pornography and brothel legislation, seeing them as forms of exploitation of women and contributing to the breakdown of the family unit. He also argued in favour of the growing consensus on life issues, which includes opposition to embryonic stem cell research, abortion, and euthanasia.
In his time as a parliamentarian he has also spearheaded reform agendas for the juvenile justice system and fairer personal injury compensation.
As a Christian Member of Parliament, elected as a member of the Christian Democratic Party, he often quotes Biblical passages when arguing his stance on proposed legislation. His informed judgements draw from a foundation in the inalienable values of justice, compassion, free will, and morality as explained in the Word of God.
Over the years he has been awarded many honours including the Companion of The Order of Australia (2002), Member of the The Order of Australia (1986), Paul Harris Fellow (1978), and the New South Wales Father of the Year (1986).
Two books have been written about his life. Gordon Moyes: The Man, the Media, the Mission was published in 2000, and the autobiography Leaving a Legacy in 2005.
After battling a brief period of illness, Dr Moyes passed away peacefully on Easter Sunday 2015 surrounded by his wife of 55 years Beverley and their family. His overflowing Service of Thanksgiving was held at Wesley Chapel in Sydney where he preached for 27 years.