Last fall, admitted sex abuser Anthony Moore led a group of 28 Cedarville University students and staff on a five-day trip through Alabama and Tennessee. Yet, one wouldn’t know that from visiting Cedarville’s website. Mentions of Moore’s involvement on the trip have been removed.
In a press release dated October 16, 2019, Cedarville Executive Director of Public Relations Mark Weinstein writes:
Dr. Anthony Moore, Cedarville University’s director of intercultural leadership, will lead the trip, along with (Dr. Matt) Bennett, Dr. Murray Murdoch, senior professor of history and Dr. John Mark Yeats, church historian and theology professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Moore’s involvement on the trip is also noted in an old Facebook post by Cedarville’s History and Government Department. It reads: “Dr. Murdoch and Dr. Moore along with about 28 others from Cedarville are leaving today to embark on a Civil Rights Bus Tour! . . .” Moore also appears in several subsequent posts with pictures from the tour.
Yet on Cedarville’s website, there is a conspicuous omission. On a page about the tour, Weinstein’s press release appears verbatim, except the sentence mentioning Moore has been changed. It instead reads:
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Bennett, Dr. Murray Murdoch, senior professor of history and Dr. John Mark Yeats, church historian and theology professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, are slated to lead the trip.
Similarly, the Civil Rights Tour is mentioned on an events page for parents at Cedarville’s website. Once again, Moore’s name appears to have been removed. The page reads:
Led by Dr. Matt Bennett, and Dr. Murray Murdoch, the group will travel by tour bus to Memphis, Montgomery, Selma, and Atlanta and visit museums, churches, and other important sites where history was made.
However, the original tour description is cached and appeared when I searched “Anthony Moore” on Cedarville’s website. By the link leading to the events page about the tour, it reads: “Led by Dr. Anthony Moore, Dr. Matt Bennett . . .”
I emailed and texted Mark Weinstein, asking him about the apparent scrubbing of the website and details about Moore’s involvement on the bus tour, but he did not respond. I also reached out to Dr. Murdoch and Dr. Bennett to ask about the tour, but they did not respond either.
Dr. White Failed to Mention Civil Rights Trip
Cedarville fired Dr. Moore about two weeks ago as news of Moore’s prior sexual abuse was becoming public. Prior to Moore’s firing, I had an extensive interview with Cedarville President Dr. Thomas White and asked about another student trip Moore reportedly had led. I didn’t ask about the civil rights trip because I didn’t know about it. (A parent of a Cedarville student told me about the civil rights trip this morning.) However, Dr. White didn’t volunteer any information about the civil rights trip either, even though it clearly was relevant to the conversation.
In the interview, I specifically asked White about a student trip to Boston that Moore had chaperoned in February 2019. (I had been tipped off to Moore’s involvement on that trip from a pastor in Boston.)
White responded by email the same day, saying that Moore had taken his family with him on the Boston trip. White added that the trip to Boston “was not really a sanctioned trip” by Cedarville, but “came at the invitation of a pastor.”
However, the Civil Rights Bus Tour clearly was a sanctioned Cedarville trip. And, unlike Boston, Moore did not bring his family on the bus tour.
According to Dr. Yeats of Midwestern Baptist Seminary, who responded to an email I sent this morning, the group stayed in hotels and Moore roomed with another Cedarville staff member. Yeats added that he never observed anything “out of the ordinary with Moore,” nor did he see Moore alone with any students. However, Yeats said he was present for only a portion of the tour and left before it was over.
Currently, President White is on administrative leave, pending results of an internal investigation into his handling of Moore’s hiring and firing. When I emailed White for comment earlier this week, I received an email saying that White is not planning to read or respond to emails.
UPDATE: Since publishing, I have learned that Cedarville employed an M. Div. student at Cedarville as an assistant for Anthony Moore and that this student accompanied Moore on the civil rights bus tour. On LinkedIn, the man says that he worked as an administrative assistant for the Office of Kingdom Diversity at Cedarville from August 2019 to April 2020. I have reached out to the man to ask if Cedarville informed him of Moore’s past before he took the job, but have not heard back.
I also heard from a former Cedarville staff member who went on the civil rights bus tour. This staff member said he was under the impression that Moore roomed alone on the trip.
Original Press Release about Civil Rights Bus Tour:Civil Rights Bus Tour Press Release