Maurice "Mo" Wimbish, a man who used his engaging personality to reach fellow Christians from the North Hills to Homewood, died Thursday from complications of a blood infection. The Ross resident was 53.
Orchard Hill Church in Franklin Park is giant and routinely attracts 2,000 parishioners every weekend. Someone has to be in charge of identifying new people when they come through the doors, and getting them involved in Bible studies and other church activities. At Orchard Hill, that man was Mo.
After he became the evangelical church's director of small group development in 2010, churchgoers adopted a term for his great talent to draw people in: being "Mowed."
"He had this ability to look at someone and see when they were in need," his wife, Heather, said. "He could pick you out of a crowd as someone distressed, or in trouble or alone, whatever it was, and reach out to you."
Mr. Wimbish was raised in Homewood and attended Lutheran Church and Catholic schools. Later he would talk openly about his addiction to drugs, straying from his faith, and the day he went clean on May 13, 1990, with the help of Bible study and rededication to the church. He began attending Orchard Hill in 2004, when he and Heather were married.
Mr. Wimbish ran the church's Eleos Pittsburgh outreach program, which included regular visits to the Light of Life Rescue Mission in the North Side, and for two years ran a 6 a.m. Saturday Bible study and men's ministry in Homewood. Working with former Homewood Salvation Army Capt. James Jones, he also would pass out cookies and sandwiches late at night in the struggling neighborhood.
He was "a loving man, a caring man, and wanted everyone to be healthy and inspired to follow Christ," Capt. Jones said.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Wimbish is survived by sons Maurice Brown of Cincinnati and Alvin Brown of Carnegie, and a sister, Estelle Wimbish of Mount Washington.
Services were held Sunday. Memorial donations may be made to Eleos Pittsburgh, Orchard Hill Church, 2551 Brandt School Road, Franklin Park, PA 15090.
Tim McNulty: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1581.