A new sheriff in town


Renewing a Blount County tradition of family swearing-in ceremonies, Mark Moon is sworn in as Sheriff Mark Moon by his father Delane Moon with wife Kelly Moon holding the Bible. The crowd for the Sunday afternoon ceremony was estimated at 225. -Ron Gholson

Renewing a Blount County tradition of family swearing-in ceremonies, Mark Moon is sworn in as Sheriff Mark Moon by his father Delane Moon with wife Kelly Moon holding the Bible. The crowd for the Sunday afternoon ceremony was estimated at 225. -Ron Gholson

There is a new sheriff in town, literally. Mark Moon was inaugurated as Blount County Sheriff before a standing room only crowd Sunday afternoon. The oath of office was administered by Moon’s father, Delane Moon. The elder Moon had served as a law enforcement officer in Blount County and was Cleveland’s chief of police for a number of years.

Moon came out on top in a crowded Republican primary last summer, but still needed a runoff election, which he handily won, to secure the position. He had no opposition in the general election.

Moon sat down with The Blount Countian a few days before his inauguration to introduce himself to those who do not already know him. Moon was born and raised in Cleveland. He and his wife, Kelly, have three children – Collin, Jon Caden, and Mollie. Kelly teaches elementary school at Oneonta. An invitation to read to a young group of children once a week in a creative writing class when he was in high school inspired Moon to major in early childhood education at UAB.

Teaching, at least in public schools, did not materialize, but Moon found another way to work with children. “God put a calling in my life when I was 18. He called me to preach.” Moon eventually became the youth pastor at Brooksville Baptist Church. Later he became pastor of that church and, today, serves as pastor of County Line Baptist Church where he has been for more than two years. The Bible used at his inauguration was given to him by his wife the day he was ordained. Moon said that as a pastor and a law enforcement officer, he is afforded the opportunity to help youth. “Young people can fall into traps. They can get lost. There are so many things out there they face. Children are dear to me. I try to show them a happy, healthy lifestyle.”

Moon is a first sergeant in the Alabama National Guard where he serves in a military police unit based in Fairhope. He has been called multiple times to active duty to serve tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Moon became interested in law enforcement and, in December of 2006, he was hired by the Blount County Sheriff’s Office. During his tenure there, he has served as a road deputy, a school resource officer, and a narcotics investigator. When former Sheriff Lloyd Arrington decided not to run for re-election last year, Moon said he thought about running, but then decided not to. “I put up walls with reasons not to run and every time God would knock down those walls.” He said he and his wife prayed about it. A passage from the Bible helped them to understand what they should do, he said. “…and who knoweth whether thou are come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). Even after they made the decision to run, Moon said he waited about two weeks before he told his church family. He said they were ecstatic and very supportive.

To the people of Blount County Moon said, “I have a heart for this county. I never had thoughts like ‘I can’t wait to grow up and leave this county.’” As for members of the BCSO, Moon said he wants to give them the tools they need to be effective. “There are things we can improve on, and I know we can do it.” Talking about law enforcement officers, he said, “There has to be a calling and desire to serve. They all want to protect Blount County.”

Moon said, “I want to do everything I can do to please God,” getting his inspiration to do so from Colossians 3:23, which reads, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the LORD, and not unto men.”