In 1974, Army veteran William Moore returned to his Georgia home to find that his estranged wife had become a drug addict. Her addiction left him with little money to provide for their 4-year-old son, and in an act of desperation, Moore attempted to burglarize the home of an elderly man. But the robbery turned violent, and Moore murdered the 77-year-old.
The former soldier pled guilty to robbery and murder charges and was given the death penalty. Through the next 16 years in prison he accepted Christ and began praying with other inmates and preaching the gospel to them. He also taught inmates to read and write and assisted them in appealing their sentences. “I’d do anything to help anyone so long as I was not focusing on me,” he said.
While in prison Moore received 15 stays of execution, and his death sentence eventually was reduced to life. In 1991, he was paroled. Moore is now the only self-confessed death-row inmate in Georgia to be released. The victim’s family members, who are Christians, all spoke to the appeals board on Moore’s behalf.
Moore says his freedom is a testament to God’s grace. “The only thing that I can say is Jesus Christ, that’s the answer,” Moore told Charisma. “Beyond that, Billy Moore isn’t a special person. It’s just God’s grace.”
Moore is now an ordained minister with the Pentecostal Assemblies of God denomination and travels the country sharing his testimony and preaching the gospel.