Passing of Lincoln University Alumnus Reverend Dr. Maurice J. Moyer, Class of 1949

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  • Category: Alumni

Rev. Dr. Maurice J. MoyerLincoln University — The Rev. Dr. Maurice J. Moyer, Lincoln University Class of 1949 passed away on Tuesday, March 6th at Christiana Hospital.  While a student at Lincoln, Rev. Moyer participated in many campus organizations including: Student Senate, Y.M.C.A. Cabinet, Dormitory Council, Glee Club and N.A.A.C.P.  During his time at Lincoln University Rev. Moyer joined the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity in 1947.  Reverend Moyer also attended Lincoln Theological Seminary and Princeton Seminary.

Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Rev. Moyer relocated to Delaware.  Rev. Moyer founded Community Presbyterian Church on Rogers Road in the early 1950s and served as pastor for 46 years before retiring in 1998.  A longtime civil rights leader and community activist Rev. Moyer participated in the historic march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery in 1965.  He was also head of the Wilmington branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1960 to 1964 and the first black moderator of the New Castle Presbytery from 1963 to 1964.

Rev. Moyer was a strong presence in the battle for civil rights in Delaware.  He participated in protests against laws that denied equal access to community life including schools and restaurants.  Rev. Moyer participated in the crusade to change the Delaware Innkeepers Law which allowed proprietors to refuse service to anyone, resulting in many racist policies.  The law was changed in 1963.

In honor of Rev. Moyer, Delaware Governor Jack Markell ordered Delaware flags to fly at half-staff in the city of Wilmington and New Castle County beginning Wednesday, March 7 until further notice.  “Few in their lives awaken as many hearts and minds, inspire as many to action or knit so strongly so many social bonds as Reverend Moyer,” Markell said.  “I’m honored to have known him.”

Reverend Moyer is survived by his beloved wife, Vivian C. Moyer; a grandson Thomas Norman Maurice Moyer; former daughter-in-law Edith Moyer and her sons Oliver and Olin Knotts; Beth Wailes, who was considered a granddaughter; sister-in-law Gwendolyn Hill; and cousin, Russell Good.  He was preceded in death by his sons, Thomas Jerome Moyer and Norman Gayraud Moyer and siblings, Charles Moyer and Flora R. Moyer Hightower.

Services will be held at St. Paul UAME Church in Wilmington on Friday, March 9.  A viewing will be held from 11:00 am to 5:30 pm at which time the Alpha Phi Alpha Service will begin.  Celebration of life service will begin at 6:00 pm.  Interment at Silverbrook Cemetery will be private.  In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to Community Day Nursery, 519 Rogers Road, New Castle, DE 19720.


Lincoln University – founded in 1854 as the nation’s first Historically Black University – combines the best elements of a liberal arts and sciences-based undergraduate core curriculum and selected graduate programs to meet the needs of those living in a highly technological and global society.  The University enrolls approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students.

Internationally recognized for preparing learners and producing world-class leaders in their fields, Lincoln has created five academic Centers of Excellence-programs of distinction. They are:  Business and Entrepreneurial Studies, Lincoln/Barnes Visual Arts, Mass Communications, Grand Research Educational Awareness, Training (GREAT) for Minority Health, Teacher Education and Urban Pedagogy.


Lincoln University, the nation’s first degree-granting Historically Black College and University (HBCU), educates and empowers students to lead their communities and change the world. Lincoln offers a rigorous liberal arts education to a diverse student body of approximately 2,200 men and women in more than 35 undergraduate and graduate programs.