Moody Leadership Statement
Moody leadership responds to yearbook photos, and pledges to carefully examine Moody’s past and current ministry to reflect God’s values when it comes to all racial issues.
Dear Moody Family,
Dr. Mark Jobe recently wrote a letter calling us to a focused season of prayer in light of the murder of George Floyd and the countless racial incidents that have led up to this moment in our nation’s history. Dr. Jobe, as well as Dr. Dwight Perry and Roy Patterson, also shared personal reflections on how to respond in a way that honors Jesus. As followers of Jesus Christ who believe in the immense value and dignity of all persons, we strongly condemn racism of any kind. It is a sin grounded in hatred toward people who are created in the image of God and for whom Jesus died; therefore, it is an offense to our God and must be repented of and renounced at every level.
As you were made aware of last week by Dr. Jobe, some photos were brought to our attention from our 1974 and 1984 Moody Bible Institute yearbooks that depicted two white students in blackface impersonating African Americans. Regardless of when these photos were taken, or what the intent of the students was at that time, these pictures are shocking and deeply offensive. As senior leadership of Moody Bible Institute, we come together in this letter to deeply apologize for these photos and the underlying ignorance and the racist foundation blackface represents. This behavior absolutely does not reflect how we envision our Moody community, which is grounded in God’s Word and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It also undermines the advancements we have made together in the area of diversity.
To our African American friends, both in our Moody community and those we partner with and seek to minister to, we are sorry for the insult and pain this type of intolerance and ignorance has caused in the past as well as in the present.
We are pledging today to (1) carefully examine our history in order to clearly understand our past sins and mistakes, and (2) analyze the current ministry of Moody Bible Institute in order to make sure we are reflecting God’s values when it comes to all racial issues.
Under the direction of our president, Dr. Mark Jobe, and our provost, Dr. Dwight Perry, this process has already begun. This will not be a quick process, as we want to ensure that we look and listen carefully. We will discuss these issues in more depth in the weeks to come, and updates will be provided as we move forward.
We wholeheartedly commit to continue creating with you, by God’s grace, a Moody community that reflects the call in 1 Peter 3:8–12 to be marked by unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, tenderness, and humility.
We invite you to pray with us in the days ahead as, together, we navigate these issues with prayerful humility, leaning upon the Lord’s strength and wisdom.
The Leadership of Moody Bible Institute