How Sweet The Sound: In Memoriam – Archpriest Moses Berry (1950–2024)

Cappella Romana and Kingdom Sound’s How Sweet the Sound series will be performed in memory of Archpriest Moses Berry. Father Moses was born 20 August 1950, to Charles Berry Jr. and Wanda Lee (Carlock) Berry in Lockwood, Missouri. On 7 May 1983, Father Moses and Magdalena Arkin were united in marriage and shared over 40 years together.

Archpriest Moses Berry
Archpriest Moses Berry

Father Moses grew up in Missouri but traveled and lived across the country in his youth. After a trying experience with the law, he strengthened his faith in God, joining a national non-denominational Christian community where he would eventually become a minister, and later meet his wife. As their studies deepened, many members of the community became interested in Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Father Moses would later be baptized and ordained a priest in the Orthodox Church, becoming a spiritual father to hundreds.

Father Moses was known for his impact as a spiritual leader, often combining a deep love for African American cultural heritage with a deep knowledge and commitment to Eastern Orthodox Christianity. He was a founding member of the Fellowship

of St. Moses the Black (, an organization in support of African Americans in the Eastern Orthodox Church, leading their annual conference for decades. Father Moses was instrumental in making hundreds of African Americans who were interested in Orthodoxy but concerned about inclusion feel more comfortable in pursuing the faith.

In 2002, Father Moses opened the Ozarks Afro- American Heritage Museum on Main Street in Ash Grove with more than 100 artifacts and heirlooms, many of which were saved and preserved by his own family. He was a nationally popular speaker and advisor on African American history and issues of spirituality, often using stories of his mother and grandmother’s strong faith as examples. A New York Times story once referred to Berry as a “one-man racial reconciliation committee.”

Adapted from an obituary by his daugher Dorothy.