Pardoned convict working to make a difference

Tod Moore is a Louisville native who believes he can be part of the solution because he intimately understands the problem.
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 8:08 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Murder, theft, carjacking, narcotics, assault, guns in schools and our community has been in the grip of crime like we’ve never seen before and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

You hear the question daily, “What do we do to end the violence in our streets and stop the crime?”

Tod Moore is a Louisville native who believes he can be part of the solution because he intimately understands the problem.

He does not shy away from his criminal past.

If you ask him he will tell you about his past with the law and incarceration.

He also does not waver about the vision he has to break the cycle of gangs, drugs, and violence in the city. His journey has taken him from a prison cell to creating support groups, youth programs and a school working to raise millions of dollars.

“Drugs was part of my life since I came out of my mother’s womb,” Tod Moore founder of New Day Ministries, Love Overcomes Violence and its Effects Walks and Dream Center Christian Academy said. “I was on one prison yard with five cousins. We were all drug dealers. It’s a generational curse.”

Moore could see no further than the curse that had held his family hostage for generations.

Even after graduating and being selected most likely to succeed at Western high School and moving on to the University of Louisville as a College student and walk on Cardinal football player.

“My Grandfather, my father, my mother, my uncles,” he named off one by one. “Dealing drugs is what we did. This is how we lived. This is how we paid the bills.”

Moore learned to make big money fast and live life hard not thinking much of the consequences.

“When you’re black, brown growing up in poverty you behind the 8 ball,” Moore said. “You’ve have one foot in the prison yard and one foot in the grave yard automatically.”

Moore stepped right into prison with a life sentence, no parole.

For three counts of murder, capital kidnapping,” Moore said. “Tried for the death penalty. Never supposed to see the light of day.”

“One year later Moore said he did see the light, the light of Christ,” Moore said after a visit from his mother. The same mother who taught him how to peddle dope.

“The Lord used her to come to me in a maximum security cell and let me know Baby Boy I taught you wrong,” Moore said. “You need to change. You need Christ in your life. For 26 1/2 years in prison not ever knowing if I’m going to be released that’s what I sought out to do.”

Moore began to help other inmates and started New Day Ministries in his prison cell. That work continued non-stop. January 2, 2018, Tod More was released from prison.

“When I got out of prison 2018 I was supposed to be on parole the rest of my life,” Moore said.

Former Governor Matt Bevin granted hundreds of pardons and commutations as his last act as governor. Bevin officially pardoned Moore, 23 months after he was released from prison.

“It set me free,” Moore said. “I couldn’t go outside Jefferson County. Now I can go around the world.”

The pardons did not come without a lot of controversy, anger and even an investigation by the FBI.

Now pardoned and free, Moore worked even harder.

With homicide counts reaching triple-digits for the third year in a row and drugs, gangs, addictions, and overdoses bringing the city to its breaking point he believes he may have some answers to heal and help the community.

“We’re doing something wrong, right?” Moore said. “Don’t follow in my footsteps. You don’t have to go thru what I went through.”

Moore continued New Day Ministries after leaving prison, a program that addresses the problems of Communities blighted by poverty, crime, gangs, and broken families giving them hope and opportunity.

You can also find him in crime ridden neighborhoods with Love Overcomes Violence and its Effects Walks or LOVE walks stopping and talking to anyone who will give him an ear.

He provides summer enrichment programs for youth. He provides after school programs for youth and one of Moore’s biggest accomplishments, he founded Dream Center Academy Christian School for middle and high school students.

“This is what I do every day,” Moore said. “This is all I want to do because I know the other side.”

Moore has a following of supporters from every side of the city ready to back him with time, talent and treasure.

“Help me Lord so I can change the culture and break the cycle,” Moore said.”I let em know I’m not giving up on you and anybody that’s with me they’re not gonna invest in your life the rest of your life and you’re gonna be the one to change this culture and break the cycle.”

Moore believes society often gives up too easy. Those most in need often will not ask for help.

“People don’t want to know what you know until they first know that you care,” Moore said. “We must educate, elevate their lives and show them that they matter first to God himself then to us. We can’t give up. Giving up is not an option.”

Moore invites anyone to learn more about his efforts. There are several ways to volunteer and get involved.

For more on New Day Ministries, click or tap here.

For more on Dream Center Academy Christian School, click or tap here.