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Pastor Moore leading Santa down Yosemite

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POSTED November 4, 2011 1:35 a.m.

The theme is “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” but the secular Christmas icon immortalized in song by Gene Autry won’t be leading Santa down Yosemite Avenue this year.

That honor is going to Crossroads Grace Community church Pastor Mike Moore.

Moore was picked by the Manteca Chamber of Commerce to serve as grand marshal for the oldest and longest running twilight Christmas parade in the San Joaquin Valley. It takes place Saturday, Dec. 3, at 5 p.m. in downtown Manteca. The parade route is from Library Park to Manteca High along Yosemite Avenue. Typically there are more than 8,000 people watching the parade that ends with the Manteca Fire Department driving Santa as he makes his first big appearance in Manteca.

The parade entry is $50. The deadline for entries is Nov. 18.

Moore launched Crossroads Grace in a home with 17 people in Manteca in March of 1987. By September of that year, the church has their first public worship service at the Manteca High Speech Arts Building. They remained there for four years.

The church then bought property at East Highway 120 at Comconex Road. They purchased prefab buildings and embraced on 14 years of growth in 1998, the congregation bought 33 acres in the triangle formed by the 120 Bypass, Highway 99 and Moffat Boulevard.

The church broke ground in 2005 on a 38,000-square-foot facility. The first services were held on Easter of 2006.

Moore has served two terms as the Manteca Ministerial Association president. He played a key role in establishing HOPE Ministries that operates three homeless shelters in Manteca. Moore was also instrumental in launching Love INC Ministries that helps struggling families within the community.

Moore and his wife Grace have been married 44 years. They have three daughters and eight grandchildren.

For more information on the parade call the chamber at 823-6121.

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