John M. Moore was a British Baptist minister, author, and composer born in the parish and burgh of barony of Kirkintilloch, Dunbartonshire, Scotland, on September 1, 1925. His parents were a humble Scottish couple. Character and the fear of the Lord were instilled in him by his sweet Christian mother. His sixteenth year marked significant growth and maturing in his life. He began working as an engineering draftsman apprentice, came to know the Lord as his personal Saviour, and promptly joined the local Baptist Church. Moore felt great joy in serving the Lord and busied himself with open-air meetings, Sunday School work, and tract distribution. Yet, the Lord burdened his heart further for the ministry and Christian service. He then commenced receiving spiritual preparation at an exceptional evangelistic center, the Evangelical Baptist Superintendent in the Seaman's Chapel in Glasgow.
His first pastorate and superintendence were at Glasgow's famous Tent Hall, diligently serving for nine years. After moving to Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, he met the lovely Esther Marr, who later became his wife. Moore pastored in Inverness and married Esther. God gave them a son, David, and a daughter, Jane.
Moore traveled extensively throughout America and Canada preaching the Gospel and ministering in numerous Bible Conferences.
Moore went to his eternal reward on November 2, 2017. Although he wrote and composed much wholesome gospel music, none has gained such popularity as "Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary."
The story behind this beloved hymn was a fascinating experience. A young merchant seaman lay on his deathbed in a Glasgow Hospital. The secretary of a large shipping company telephoned, requesting that Moore visit the young man. The young sailor was very happy and eager to hear what Moore had to share. By "accident," the track Moore pulled from his case was based on "Pilgrim's Progress." It contained a picture of the Pilgrim going to the cross with a burden on his back. Of course, the Lord was behind this, directing every detail! Moore shared his own story with the young seaman, explaining that when he fell at the cross of Christ, his burden rolled away, as did his sin and guilt, which God removed. By now, the young sailor had tears pouring from his eyes, "Do you feel this burden on your heart today?" was Moore's question to the sailor. After receiving a nod, Moore and the dying man prayed together. Oh, the smile of complete peace and certainty that covered the man's face as his burdens were lifted! Sitting by the fire with pen and paper, only one thought ran through Moore's mind –his burden was lifted! Once his pen touched down, the words to this impactful song flowed from his heart onto the paper.
Osbeck, Kenneth W. 101 More Hymn Stories. Kregel Publications., 1985.