Moody Bible Institute president Mark Jobe, along with other school leaders, has apologized for past yearbook photos that showed white students in blackface.
“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,” Jobe wrote of the 1974 and 1984 yearbook photos, Christianity Today reports.
“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,” the statement said. “It also undermines the advancements we have made together in the area of diversity.”
Earlier in June, Jobe asked for nationwide prayers in response to the killing of George Floyd. He is working with provost Dwight Perry, author of Breaking Down Barriers: A Black Evangelical Explains the Black Church, to review the school’s history on racial issues.
“I am most discouraged, personally, not so much by the violence I see outside, even though I am very discouraged about that,” Perry said in a video of Moody leaders discussing race. “I am most discouraged by once again the lack of the evangelical church, which I am a proud member of, not necessarily taking the lead in solving some of these very, very deep problems.”
This isn’t the first time the school has dealt with race issues and “white privilege” on campus. In 2015, an event to be hosted by a black student called “White Like Me” was met with criticism and event posters were vandalized. Then-president J. Paul Nyquist responded by saying he supported the event and said the school needed more ethnic diversity.
In 2018, black students at the college told Relevant Magazine about their experiences with racism at the school.
Photo courtesy: Son of Thunder at English Wikipedia/Public Domain
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.