Anthony Moore Led 5-Day Student Trip to AL & TN Last Fall, but Mentions of Him Removed From Cedarville Website

By Julie Roys

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.

The trip October 16-20 was part of an annual “Civil Rights Tour,” visiting historical landmarks like the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and the Lorraine Motel, in Memphis, Tennessee.

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:

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

 

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19 thoughts on “Anthony Moore Led 5-Day Student Trip to AL & TN Last Fall, but Mentions of Him Removed From Cedarville Website”

  1. If Cedarville, specifically Dr. White and the trustees, did nothing wrong by hiring Dr. Moore and creating their 5-year restoration plan, why scrub their website when his history became public?
    Makes me wonder what else they are hiding…..

  2. Our family had a member compromised once- The parents of the students should -at the least- demand his removal. It should have taken place already.

  3. It is very common when a church leader makes an error of judgement, that not only he, but his peers too try to hide what they did. According to Lev.19:17, they then share in the sin and need to repent too. Will they do so here ? I doubt it.

  4. misterjesperson

    I have been following these scandals now for about 6 years. I think that this has happened, without fail, to every single one of those scandals over that time to any organization large enough to have its own website. Hello students, teachers and alumni of this school! What is going on is common to man. I have yet to see any one actually produce fruit in keeping with true repentance. “Christian” as big business selling products to consumers in churches and school is the norm. This part of the church is fully corrupt at this moment. Time to get eyes to see that and simply walk away from all of the big $$,$$$,$$$ b.s.

    1. Fantastic, succinct piece of investigative journalism, Julie.

      Regarding scrubbing the website, I’m sure the trustees will claim that they knew nothing about that. They were likely smart enough to get someone else to do that specific piece of dirty work in a way that didn’t directly implicate anyone high up on the Cedarville food chain.

      However, in my opinion, the trustees are ultimately responsible for endangering people by trying to cover up whatever they know about Anthony Moore and other “fallen pastors” that Thomas White has likely hired as quote unqoute restoration projects, at Cedarville.

      Cedarville University claims or implies that it is a Godly Christian college that will better protect the bodies, minds, and souls of students than will secular universities.

      However, it is hard for me to imagine any secular university going out of its way to hire an admitted sexual predator, then put that person in close proximity to impressionable teenage students, and then later claim that action was justified on the general grounds that “everyone deserves a second chance.” I know that Thomas White is using the Biblical concept of “extending grace” in his wording to that effect.

      To my knowledge, the board of trustees has not repudiated White’s language regarding “extending grace” to Anthony Moore.

      Thomas White himself has directly indicated that admitted sexual predator Anthony Moore was not the only “project” on staff during White’s past and ongoing tenure at Cedarville University.

      In my opinion, no one should believe the board of trustees’ claims that they are seriously investigating anything or, more importantly, that they believe that no student has reported being abused or made to feel uncomfortable as a result of sexual advances from Anthony Moore.

      In fact, I think it might be unwise for any sexual abuse victim to interact with Thomas White,Loren Reno, or any member of Cedarville’s board of trustees.

      Instead, I hope that any Cedarville victims who might be out there will report crimes personing to anyone directly to law enforcement officials.

      Thanks again for the great article, Julie.

  5. Cedarville is investigating to ensure nothing “inappropriate” happened with students. I wonder if they will investigate if anything “inappropriate” happened with faculty or staff? Seems to me that they put the entire campus at risk, not just students. Did the staff member that roomed with Dr. Moore know his story?

    1. In the interests of fairness to all sides, CU asks a good question about the staff member who roomed with Moore. Did he fully know and understand the situation, and that he needed to stay with Dr. Moore 24/7?

  6. Embarrassed at CU

    I am a CU prof and have been following these stories very closely. First Julie, thank you for publishing these stories. I have been a prof at CU for over 20 years, and this is the first time I have legitimately been embarrassed to teach there.

    I knew Anthony Moore led the civil rights bus tour and as soon as I read your first article, I went to check for Dr Moore’s name on the website, and it was already gone.

    Don’t stop looking, there is more to come out.

  7. Why in the world would Cedarville hire a MDiv student to be in a subordinate/ vulnerable position with this man? The lack of common sense with this situation is astounding.

  8. Can anyone tell the date that Moore’s name was scrubbed from CU’s website? Was it the date Moore was fired from CU or perhaps before that (before the April 17 article on The Wartburg Watch). If it was before the story hit the internet, then someone was trying to do a big cover up knowing they were being found out.

  9. As I read this article I was struck with a certain sense of irony. This was a tour of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960’s. Had CU driven from Selma, AL through Jackson, MS (the setting for the movie The Help), they could have made a stop at Parchman – MS State Penitentiary. It’s one of the worst prisons in the U.S.

    Hundreds of Freedom Riders were tossed into this dreadful prison with nothing to wear but prison issue underwear. It was an atrocious act of intimidation to put civilians there for peacefully protesting on behalf of human rights.

    Why the irony? Because Anthony Moore could have also used that time to pay a visit to his fellow SBC Pastor, Sammy Nuckolls (LifeWay Centrifuge Kid Camps & Gateway Southlake Student Pastor), who is serving his 6th year on a 10 year sentence for doing exactly what Anthony Moore did. There was literally no difference in their horrible predatory acts, except that the pastors and their wives and the students who were violated by Nuckolls courageously agreed to help file criminal charges against Nuckolls, in order to stop him from hurting others.

    Originally, Nuckolls was only caught with the videos on his spycam, which were fewer than what Anthony Moore had on his phonecam. It was a search warrant for his laptop that he had on him that led to more videos being discovered. The predatory-pastor-friendly Olive Branch PD (greater Memphis area) gave Sammy 4 days to destroy all of his other hard drives before finally executing a full search warrant on his home.

    The fact is that this paraphilia is compulsive and most voyeurs end up with hundreds of these videos, many of which are traded or sold on pervert dark web-sites.

    TVC did the world a great disservice by not immediately calling the Police. I don’t blame the victim who had been bullied, coerced and groomed for several years. He was, no doubt, in shock. I blame the leadership who did know better. Had a search warrant been executed that day, the PD would have likely found many of these files. Moore would be a Registered Sex Offender and would have never been able to work for Cedarville. TVC not once disclosed that Anthony had committed no fewer than FOUR felony sex crimes to their flock or the public. Moore had authority over hundreds of children in overnight camp situations at TVC. Those parents should have been advised of the nature of these SEX CRIME FELONIES.

    This isn’t some game. Victims of “video rape” suffer very real trauma, especially those raised in conservative Christian homes. Two-thirds of voyeurs also end up escalating to forceable rape. TVC can still do the right thing and report this if they choose to do so. The big question is, why are they failing to do this? Why do they not want to protect more students from future harm?

    1. One question I have that hasn’t been explained yet is why Moore’s victim withdrew his complaint. More apparent abuse and coercion? I’d really like to know.

      1. JC, according to the Dayton Daily News, he decided to speak to the police in 2018 about it, and you can read his reasoning here. He says it was more out of confusion, not coercion. He is also an adult and can choose to not charge. It appears he came forward in 2018 to make sure there were no more victims: https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/local-education/accuser-cedarville-university-employee-firing-came-forward-case-there-were-other-victims/bxlBVMWqLLohh5OnXNbFKN/

    2. Amy, all excellent points. One does have to wonder why the offenders (way more than one here) keep dancing around such a boundless crime. Maybe every single one of them has something to hide. Maybe their interest in protecting themselves outweighs the love, concern and protection of countless future and past victims. The multitude of revealed common threads woven through this mystery certainly must be the key to the answer.

      1. The government does not need a victim to pursue (aka press) charges. Law enforcement has prosecutorial discretion. This is not TV.

        I am wondering why Texas chose not to pursue this.

  10. Interesting that after CU hired a PR specialist, the references to Dr. Moore on this trip were added back into the Cedarville website. Dr. Moore’s Chapel sermons still remained scrubbed.

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