A group from Cedarville University walks across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

Cedarville students take part in civil rights bus tour

by Michaela Carpenter, Public Relations Writer


Cedarville University students are learning more about the civil rights movement as they participate in the university's 13th annual civil rights tour, which began on October 18. The five-day, one-credit-hour class will travel more than 2,000 miles and visit significant historical landmarks, including a walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

Participants will visit sites in five different cities, including the Edmund Pettus Bridge, site of the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” voting march, and 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, where four young girls died in a 1963 bombing.

The trip includes a new stop in Memphis, Tennessee, where the group will visit the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

The trip brings together 10 Cedarville students and 10 members from Southgate Baptist Church in Springfield, Ohio, and First Baptist Church in London, Ohio.

“Their presence gives us local adults who have connections to Cedarville but are also are coming from different ethnicities, different backgrounds and different histories,” said Greg Dyson, Cedarville University's director of intercultural leadership. “This is the most ethnically diverse group we’ve had. We want to get these different folks in the story together.”

Dyson will lead the tour, along with Dr. Murray Murdoch, senior professor of history, and Jason Carrier, pastor of community development and outreach at Southgate Baptist Church.

Although the stops on the trip vary and each year brings a new group of people with different backgrounds and perspectives, Murdoch says the goals of each tour remain the same.

“We want to increase personal awareness of the past and its failures and its lessons,” said Murdoch. “And for all of us to have a good time of self-examination on our own perspective toward other people who are different than ourselves.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.