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University to Install Statue on Jess Moody Day April 5

February 22, 2011

Palm Beach Atlantic University will erect a statue of Dr. Jess Moody, the University’s founding president, as part of the grand celebration of Jess Moody Day on Tuesday, April 5.

The 7-foot-tall figure of Dr. Moody has been commissioned from Pennsylvania-based sculptor Zenos Frudakis, who has crafted the likenesses of sports, religious, military and governmental leaders.

Jess and Patrick Moody
PBA founding president Dr. Jess Moody, left, with his son Patrick Moody '76, pastor of Village Baptist Church in West Palm Beach.

The statue presentation at noon on the Rinker Green will follow Founders Day Chapel at 11 a.m. at the Greene Complex for Sports and Recreation, 1100 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach. The event is free. Founders Day is sponsored by the Palm Beach Atlantic University Alumni Association as the annual event commemorating the University’s establishment in 1968. For more information contact Breanne Fairfax, alumni associate, at (561) 803-2016.

Frudakis is perhaps best known locally as the sculptor of the bronze statue of John D. MacArthur, the founder of Palm Beach Gardens, which was installed last year at the city hall entrance. Frudakis’ previous commissions include statues of sports figures Joe DiMaggio, Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Arnold Palmer, Bobby Jones and Payne Stewart. He also has crafted statues of Mark Twain, General George C. Marshall and Frank Rizzo, former Philadelphia mayor. His works in progress include life-size or larger-than-life images of Dr. Martin Luther King, John Sevier and the Molly Maguires.

Frudakis studied on scholarship at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, completing his formal education with a bachelor's degree in fine art and a master's degree in fine art at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he studied sculpture with his brother, sculptor EvAngelos Frudakis, and oil painting with James Hanes, both winners of the Prix de Rome. Over the past two decades, Frudakis has created monumental works in public and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. His works are catalogued on his web site.

In addition to his role as PBA’s first president, Dr. Moody is best known as one of the architects of the University’s Workship program, which requires all full-time undergraduate students to volunteer at least 45 hours annually.

A graduate of Baylor University and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Moody was pastor of First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach for 15 years. During his tenure, Chapel by the Lake and the current First Baptist Church sanctuary were built. From 1968 to 1972, he served both as pastor and as president of Palm Beach Atlantic.

In 1976, he left Florida to become pastor of First Baptist Church in Van Nuys, Calif., which later moved to Porter Ranch and became Shepherd of the Hill Church. A native Texan, he retired in 1995 to become an adjunct professor of religion at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

A member of the evangelistic team with Billy Graham in the 1950s, Dr. Moody is the author of seven books on religious topics. Dr. Moody and his wife, Doris, have two children, Martha and Patrick, a 1976 Palm Beach Atlantic graduate and the pastor of Village Baptist Church in West Palm Beach. They have three grandchildren, Chris, a 2007 graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic, Sean, a 2010 graduate of the University, and Jessica.

In the mid-1960s, Dr. Moody, then pastor of First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, asked Dr. Donald Warren to help establish a Christian college in West Palm Beach to counterbalance America’s shifting moral climate. Feeling impressed by God to undertake this challenge, Dr. Warren became the founding chairman of the board of trustees and helped establish Palm Beach Atlantic College in downtown West Palm Beach in 1968.

02/2011General News


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