Maverick City’s Lead Singer Offers Conditional Apology for Racy Photo; Denounces Critics

By Julie Roys
Chandler Moore Maverick City Music
Chandler Moore and his wife, Hannah Poole, pose at their June 8, 20201, wedding in Fort Worth Texas. Another, more racy photo from the wedding has created controversy. (Source: Instagram)

Facing criticism for a racy wedding photo, Chandler Moore, the lead singer for the popular Christian worship band, Maverick City Music, yesterday offered a conditional apology that took aim at his critics.

The photo, which remains posted to Moore’s Instagram, features Moore and his wife, Hannah Moore, in what appears to be a sexual position. Moore, however, says his wife was merely dancing on him at his June 8 wedding.

The comment posted with the photo reads, “@hgracemoore knows how to twerrrrrrk. #hallelujah JEESUS.” (The controversial photo is the second of four photos posted here. The Roys Report has chosen not to publish the photo.)

In a follow-up post Friday, Moore wrote, “We weren’t doing a ‘sexual act.’ As I said in caption, she was dancing. . . . That’s all. If it offended you that I posted it, I apologize.”

Some on Moore’s timeline criticized the post for being “soft porn,” “salacious & ungodly.” Another said that as a leader, Moore should be “above reproach. Twerking and compromising positions are not for public viewing.” Someone else asked, “Would you want a picture of your future daughter and her Godly husband on the internet like this? . . . You are a man who represents Jesus for a living… that’s a big responsibility.”

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According to Chandler, some critics went so far as to predict that the couple would “struggle in the future” and have a “rough marriage.”

“No part of that is Christlike,” Chandler wrote. “The first principle of correction is… you need proximity to someone to give healthy correction. 100% of those who posted publicly or commented literally do not know me.”

Chandler added, “Shame me & post about me all you want. Don’t care lol. But to have people who call themselves CHRISTIANS speak against my wife, our marriage, and our union is super heartbreaking.”

Many responded positively to Chandler’s latest post.

“You don’t have to apologize!,” one person commented. “Ignore the naysayers and the hypocrites. . . . Your marriage is blessed and will be fruitful.”

Someone else added, “You don’t owe any over-entitled strangers any explanations for what you and your wife do. Quite frankly it’s none of our business.”

A few, however, criticized the public nature of the post.

“The twerking is NOT the issue. It’s the POSTING,” one wrote. “Once you post, you make it everyone’s business. Enjoy your marriage and keep things like this away from social media . . .”

Similarly, someone else wrote, “(Y)ou should have asked yourself before posting this, ‘how does this glorify God?’ All things are permissible but not all are beneficial.”

Worship leader Israel Houghton, who recently contributed to a Juneteenth double album with Chandler Moore and Maverick City Music, defended Moore on Moore’s initial Instagram post. And Houghton took a lot of heat, as a result.

“I’m blown away by the ‘saints’ in these comments . . . ” Houghton said. “We wonder why people don’t want to come to our churches . . . it’s because of the ‘saints.’ Stop it. Let these lovebirds live. Unfollow if you’re offended.”

Houghton added, “If you’re a Christian – please stop fighting other Christians. Thanks.”

Some responded with “Amen” and clapping emojis to Houghton’s remarks. But others took offense.

“We’re not here to lower our standards to make sinners more comfortable. If this is what you’re doing, you’re not leading worship – you’re putting on a concert,” one commented.

A few noted Houghton’s past, which includes a scandal concerning infidelity in his first marriage. Houghton is now remarried to Adrienne Bailon, a singer and talk show host.

Maverick City Music recently released an album with Elevation Worship, the music band at Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church. That album, Old Church Basement, set a new worldwide record for the most streams in its first day for a Christian and gospel album on Apple Music.

Maverick City Music also won Billboard Music’s Top Gospel Album for its April 2020 release, Maverick City Vol. 3 Part 1.

According to Maverick City Music’s website, the band exists to “break the unspoken rules” in Christian contemporary and gospel music,” and to be “a mega phone for . . . creatives that have been pushed to the margins” of church music.



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39 thoughts on “Maverick City’s Lead Singer Offers Conditional Apology for Racy Photo; Denounces Critics”

  1. Crystal L Brooks

    I can understand the criticism. Too many worship leaders and bands are really no different than secular musicians. I never heard of this guy or the group he is with. If I just saw the photo, I would have assumed that he was a secular artist. They post this kind of stuff all of the time. If we’re “acting” like the world, then how are we different? We are to be set apart. I’m trying to understand why it’s so special that his wife can “twerk on him”? Why are Christian women into doing that? Do we really believe that God is okay with that kind of behavior? I’m sure secular folks loved that he was showing his wife twerking on him. It’s interesting to me that if you call that behavior out, then it’s Christians who are the problem. Really?

    1. If they want to do that. Then can as they are man and wife. It is nobody’s concern but theirs. But please do not put it out there for others to see. It’s too private and is only for those ‘magic moments’ between man and wife as it is very sensual

    1. I was thinking the exact same thing. Such an apology really isn’t an apology at all and puts the blame of the offended party.

  2. Rhonda Merrick

    The photos (and the dance move) are undignified at best. But his comment takes it into the realm of TMI. And then he seems to casually misuse the name of Jesus? And his music group wants to “break the unspoken rules,” because they’re so, so original, and, what’s the word, Creative. Blah! This man has made one of the best cases of this century for a return to the old hymns, and chanting the psalms congregationally.

    1. I agree Rhonda. Since the eightys I see no difference in Christian Rock vs rock. Loud annoying, can barely hear the words all noise. Hymns and gentle singing needing no more than an acoustic guitar or organ. That’s making a joyful noise to the lord. Give me the old time religion. And most behave like rock stars. Except they yell Jesus every once in a while.

      1. Gordon Hackman

        Christian rock from the 80s is the reason I’m a Christian today. It’s also the reason I got interested in studying theology and culture, and eventually went to seminary. Just because you don’t like the music and can’t understand the words doesn’t mean that no one else does or can, and just because some artists are shallow doesn’t mean they all are. Be careful not to paint with too wide of a brush.

      2. Rhonda Merrick

        I tend to draw a thick line between Christian rock, especially from the 80’s, and the “worship music” industry of today. Yes, some of it is very good, and some of it is fluff, but that was true of praise choruses from the 1970’s, and also true of the sentimental hymns of the 1800’s. Each generation produces some music that doesn’t deserve to be kept around, and some truly good stuff. That said, I feel the Christian rock that was made when it was frowned upon a little and didn’t have a built-in base of support, was generally more genuine and lived out by the musicians, than now. So, I have a soft spot for the Petra songs that have left their Gospel-affirming lyrics in my memory. But I also love the 20th century English choral compositions of John Rutter, an atheist. If he hadn’t had a built-in audience for his works, he would’ve written other music, and would the church have produced other composers who believed the words they would have been setting to music? And would those works have been just as beautiful? I don’t know, in the Lord’s providence, but I’m glad we have Rutter’s music, anyway.

        All to say, perhaps my words were too harsh about this young newlywed, but this was my first impression of him. I’d have to get past my eye-rolling to give his music a chance. Just my two cents.

        formerly posting as Marmee March

        1. Gordon Hackman

          Great comment. I agree with it more or less. Petra was the band that made all the difference for me when I was 15.

  3. Jeremiah Ames

    So many alleged Christians are constantly on the lookout for what they consider “sin” in others.

    That’s the very definition of Pharisee. The Pharisees were always pointing out what they considered “sin” in Jesus.

    I guess people never change.

    There is ONLY one place to look for “sin”, and that is within oneself.


    1. Randall McIntosh

      In John 8:1-11, a women that was caught in the act of adultery is brought to Jesus by the scribes and Pharisees and wanted to stone her.
      Do you remember what Jesus said to them?
      Try reading it. We cast way too many stones.
      The word also tells us to get the log out of our own eye, before we consider trying to get someone else’s out.
      Will their eternity be based on our judgment? Will our eternity be based on the judgement from others on us? No and No, Thank God our Father that He offers grace and mercy to us.
      We should take seriously our actions for the scripture tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. We need to take it serious for ourselves. The scripture also tells us to be careful not to be a stumbling block to others. We don’t want to cause others to fall.
      Should we hold each h other accountable? Yes we should gently, with love and humble hearts. Our goal should be to restore, not to beat them down.
      The enemy wants to beat people down and render them useless for God’s kingdom, but God wants to restore us so that we can be productive and loving for His Kingdom.
      I’m definitely not perfect, so when I sin or get off course, I would rather someone come to me with love and show me the error of my way, not beat me up. The world does that enough.

  4. I am not a fan of most modern Christina worship music basically because I just don’t think its very good music.It feels like they shoe horn the lyrics and music together. That being said I think this photo is much ado about nothing.

  5. No fan of insta-culture myself but come on folks…

    With all the actual ills we could be working on what misdirected souls are dedicating their mental space to picking on a married couple getting funky?

    Priorities people!

  6. Frances Christenson

    If a man really loves his wife does he put her on display for other men to drool over? When a guy puts his wife out there like, look what I got! I am thinking he looks at her like a trophy wife and nothing more.

    Western women don’t respect themselves. They want to look hot and sexy while Asian women want to look feminine… for the most part. I don’t think it is the guy’s fault for prancing her around like that. Women today are at fault for allowing themselves to be used like this and then they consider themselves free and equal! Look at her giving a “finger” to the camera. She is very clever in getting attention. She knew she would get attention and doesn’t care if it is negative. She just craves that attention. Women are getting vainer and vainer as they slide into the gutter.

    1. I agree with that and I am a woman. Why – recently a girl got refused entry into a bar over hair because her of her bikini like top which was still very skimpy and only covered parts of her whatever.

      Im not for bars and that, but at least the bar had more standards than your son’s church nowadays and what did the silly girl do? started complaining about sexism. Anywhere that is the world but I have seen so called Christian women dressed up as if they are going clubbing and it just looks ridiculously worldly.

    2. Marin Heiskell

      @Frances “She knew she would get attention…..she just craves that attention..” Can we please avoid going into claiming we know someone else’s intentions? Only God knows our hearts…and I am willing to guess that you don’t even know this young woman to make such a definitive claim on her intentions. You are making assumptions based on a few pictures and little else.

      I still think we have WAY bigger fish to fry as believers, but I do detect some sexism in your post that should be addressed. For example, I find it interested you let the guy off the hook with “I don’t think it is the guy’s fault for prancing around her like that.” Why not? Last I checked, the way a woman dresses, behaves, or speaks does NOT give any man a “free pass” to “prance around her”. We should be teaching young men that they are not to abandon Godly standards because of another person’s attire or behavior (male or female).

      But I’ll return to my belief that we have bigger things to worry about. Furthermore, the outrage over this just feeds into the perception that church people drain the fun out of ANYTHING. Be happy they are MARRIED.

      1. Frances Christenson

        I think I did blame the guy in my opening remarks but I find it disgusting that women let other women off the hook all the bloody time! She lies and we swear to it cult has to go out the window. I am not going to stand by a gal just becasue we are in the same gender club like other women willing do. How about saying they are BOTH wrong?

        You say I don’t know but you don’t know either. You have your opinion and I have mine. I think most of us on here can fry many fishes at once easily. How about we start teaching young women a lesson or two on Godly behavior? Or is it fashionable to only teach the men a good lesson? The Bible is clear the elder women are to mentor the younger women but guess that went out the window with giving your wedding “finger” to the world in a cutesy, clever way to get attention. Yeah, I knew it was her wedding finger and I guess all women flashed their wedding band like that. NOT! Can’t recall seeing it in my life time but maybe the Christian folks I hang out with aren’t into that sort of thing. I did notice her husband didn’t flash his ring in the same manner and stick his tongue out. Someone that has all the answers can enlighten me.

        I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and see what other female gets a pass by her sisters. Most times it is for the same bloody thing a guy will get crucified for. I am all for teaching young girls that she can do what she wants without consequences. Let’s see how far that gets women in life. Let’s see who is the best female twerker in our churches. That would fill the pews! SMH. Any gimmick goes now in Christian world.

        1. Marin Heiskell

          @Frances – it’s not about letting anyone off the hook or “standing by someone because of their gender.” It’s about everyone – men and women – being taught to be responsible for themselves. If a man behaves/speaks/dresses poorly, it is NOT a “free pass” for the woman to behave/speak/dress poorly in response. And vice versa – if a woman behaves/speaks/dresses poorly, it is NOT a “free pass” for the man to behave/speak/dress poorly in response.
          IMO, this goes back to lessons I learned in kindergarten. “But he was doing/wearing/saying that!” was NOT a reason for my mother to let me off the hook for MY bad behavior. And thankfully, the same was taught to my brother.

          Yes, actions have consequences. You mention “teaching young girls that she can do what she wants without consequences.” Who said that? You are being extreme. I’m for teaching young PEOPLE – men AND women – that their actions have consequences. Not some “boys will be boys…I don’t blame them for prancing around the girls” free pass, while ONLY scolding the girls. That sends a message to girls that they are responsible for the bad behavior of boys. I remember being a young girl in the church, being made to feel A LOT of shame over my body as boys popped my bra strap and made fun of me for my figure (which was mature for my age). It was all dismissed by “elder women” as “boys will be boys”. I would practically hide by hunching over and wearing turtlenecks. In June. In the SOUTH. I was an adult before I realized that was NOT proper teaching.

          Just as elderly women are to teach younger women, elderly men are to do the for young men. I am grateful to have a Godly father who mentored all 3 of my brothers on how to be Godly men REGARDLESS of how a woman may be dressing, speaking, or behaving. I remember hearing his instructions on how to offer a woman a jacket or a ride home if she was dressed inappropriately, refusing invitations to “come over” late at night, and not raising their voices at a woman – even if she is yelling. That was not an excuse to return the behavior.

          BTW if you look at the photo, the groom is also showing off his ring finger. Let them have fun and show off their wedding bands. It’s not my style, but in this era of over half of children being born out of wedlock and “shacking up” being on the rise, I am ALL for couples showing off that they are MARRIED.

    3. Marin Heiskell

      @Frances and I meant to add the “finger” she is giving to the camera is her RING FINGER to show off that they are married. (He is doing the same thing).
      I’ve seen many couples do this in their fun reception photos….showing off their bands in a “we did it!” celebration.

  7. Brian Patrick

    Sigh. This is more of the PC police going nuts. 1: They are MARRIED. 2: I don’t see anything sexual about the pic. Get a freaking life people.

      1. Brian Patrick

        I thought it was the picture you posted. I will go look at the one in your link now, thanks for clearing that up.

        1. Frances Christenson

          You have to go to Instagram to see it. If you don’t have an account you won’t see her bending over with her bum glued to his crotch. Looks like Miley and Robin Thick! She even sticks her tongue out like Miley.

      2. Brian Patrick


        Do you mean the photo that rotates back and forth in a quarter-circle? I saw that, and it doesn’t look any worse than the still-frame you posted.

          1. Okay, I clicked the arrow and saw it. It’s edgy for sure but looks to be done for comic effect to some degree (look at the expression on his face). I will agree with Marin Heiskell and others who have posted here that there’s way, way more to be outraged about. If she consented to this post, then I don’t have many stones to throw.

  8. Stewart Sperwer

    Lol what? What’s the problem? They’re dancing, celebrating. It’s their wedding day! They’re fully clothed! And again, they’re dancing! If the photos on THEIR OWN Instagram page are what constitute racy or sexually suggestive . . . I honestly don’t understand why Christians want to call this couple out. Sad and pathetic.

    1. Frances Christenson

      Last time I saw a bride dance like that she was not a Christian and drunk as a skunk at her own wedding. Everyone tried to get her to sit down and sober up. She is still not a Christian decades later and continues to dance like this as a married woman who loves to drink. Nothing new under the sun just new people doing it but lessons go unlearned.

      1. Marin Heiskell

        So now she’s not a Christian? And she’s drunk? All of these assumptions based on something from decades ago?
        I’d love to see comments from Christians, offering prayers, discipleship, or at least PRETENDING to correct or speak truth in love (or, you know, actually celebrating a new marriage between believers). But instead, we are acting like non-Christians, with comments full of condescension, assumptions, and judgment.
        Oh the irony: accusing others of not being a Christian all while behaving as a non-Christian.

    1. I don’t think this is an issue of “prudishness” at all. We aren’t talking about what goes on in private, or even at the party itself. It was the act of posting it online for all to see. And we aren’t talking about people complaining about dresses going down to the ankles, dancing, or PDA. The “dancing” in question was twerking, which while not a sexual act, suggests one. And its more an issue of TMI here than anything. Also, we are to live our lives so that we won’t be a stumbling block to others.

  9. Not every “worship team” is for Christ. They may speak the name of Christ for gain but they are not His followers and do not submit to Him

    This last paragraph clearly states why they exist- not for the glory of God, not for Christ alone but “According to Maverick City Music’s website, the band exists to “break the unspoken rules” in Christian contemporary and gospel music,” and to be “a mega phone for . . . creatives that have been pushed to the margins” of church music.”

    Once again, another BarJesus has been exposed.

    May Christ continue to sanctify and prune His Church.

  10. Judith Elizabeth Snow

    Lord Jesus, our Salvation, you hung naked, beaten, crowned with a mocking ring of thorns, and despised on a cruel instrument of torture to bear the punishment all our sins rightly deserve. You covered our shame with your sacrifice, and delivered us from all the powers of darkness and evil that seek to destroy us because you love us. You surrendered your life so that we could be purchased from the enemy’s slave market, and reconciled to you to live with you as your bride, with beauty, dignity, and honor. You invite us to live with imputed righteousness that we don’t deserve, but that you give us freely, ever flowing from your very own body in bloody, gushing streams of sacrifice, suffering, and love. You suffered all this for the joy that was set before you, the future in heaven with your blood-purchased bride restored to you forever. Then, you rose from the grave in utter Victory over your enemy and ours and you assure us that it’s all true and we can trust you. You have overcome all that hell had to hurl at you, and you have given us your victory as our own to wear and to share. May our hearts respond to You in love.

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