D L Moody

Dwight L Moody


Dwight L Moody (1837-1899) was an Evangelical preacher who launched a Christian revival in America and in England. His trusty sidekick, Ira Sankey, wrote effusive Victorian Hymns that when collected into a book proved to be the best selling hymnal of the 19th Century.


D L Moody was an honest and industrious boy from a village in New England who moved to the big city to seek his fortune and fame as a merchant. God had other plans for him. He was transformed from an unknown Sunday School teacher in 1856 into a spiritual giant by the time of his death.


Dwight L Moody looked like a businessman. He brought middle class respectability to American revivalism. Moody was not theatrical or sensational. His message was "living truths for head and heart, illustrated by . . . thrilling anecdotes and incidents, personal experiences, touching home stories, and stories of tender pathos." He stressed the Love of God for us—and the need for us to love Him.


DWIGHT L MOODY
DWIGHT L MOODY
THE MOODY CHURCH IN CHICAGO
THE MOODY CHURCH IN CHICAGO

The Moody Church


Dwight L Moody was one of the first fundamentalists. He believed in personal holiness, Christian ethics, and that the Bible was the infallible Word of God. Moody followed the Holiness Movement and taught that what people needed was an infilling of the Holy Spirit to empower their Walk with the Lord.


D L Moody helped establish the YMCA in his adopted city of Chicago. He preached on the streets for a few years. In 1862, during the Civil War, Moody ministered to the 100,000 wounded soldiers of the horrific Battle of Shiloh. He said: "We must not let a man die . . . without telling him of Christ and Heaven."


By 1871, Dwight L Moody was well-known as the evangelical leader of Chicago, though only 34 years old. On Sunday nights he had preached at the three-thousand-seat Farwell Hall, which he had built for the Chicago YMCA a few years earlier when he was President of that organization. Outgrowing that venue, Moody founded the Illinois Street Church—The Moody Church today.


THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE (1871)
THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE (1871)
D L MOODY AND IRA SANKEY
D L MOODY AND IRA SANKEY
MOODY BIBLE INSTITUTE, CHICAGO
MOODY BIBLE INSTITUTE, CHICAGO
WILLIAM MOODY
WILLIAM MOODY

The Moody Bible Institute


The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed Farwell Hall, the Illinois Street Church, and Moody's home. All he had left was his Bible. Until that event, D L Moody had been torn between staying in Chicago and going on the road to evangelize wherever the Lord might lead him. The fire turned everything that kept him in Chicago to ashes. He went on the travel over a million miles as the greatest evangelist in the world as the 19th Century came to a close. Moody would eventually share the Gospel with more than a hundred million people.


In 1873 and 1874, Dwight L Moody preached throughout England. The 2.5 million people who came to see him preach represent the greatest British revival since the days of John Wesley. Moody would also launch great revivals in Scotland, Ireland, and Canada.


After returning to the United States, D L Moody started a non-denominational Sunday School for poor children. He always sought cordial relations with all denominations. In 1879, Moody founded a school for girls in Northfield, Massachusetts.


In 1886, Dwight L Moody founded a Christian college that he called the Chicago Evangelization Society for the "education and training of Christian workers, including teachers, ministers, missionaries and musicians who may completely and effectively proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ." It was renamed after Moody's death and is thriving today as the Moody Bible Institute—sometimes called Moody Bible College.


The son of D L Moody, William, took over leadership of the Moody Bible Institute after his father passed away. William Moody was a serious, formal, conservative man. Under his guidance, the Moody Bible Institute became the premier Bible institute in America, with 1,000 students enrolled by the 1920s. Today it has 1,400 full time students and 18,000 in distance training. Moody Bible Institute has trained more missionaries that any school in the world.


D L MOODY & IRA SANKEY HYMNAL
D L MOODY & IRA SANKEY HYMNAL
D L MOODY TEACHES SUNDAY SCHOOL
D L MOODY TEACHES SUNDAY SCHOOL
D L MOODY PREACHING ON THE STREETS OF CHICAGO
D L MOODY PREACHING ON THE STREETS OF CHICAGO
D L MOODY PREACHES IN BOSTON
D L MOODY PREACHES IN BOSTON
D L MOODY
D L MOODY

D L Moody


D L Moody believed strongly that charity and evangelism naturally go together: "I go to a poor sinner with the Bible in one hand and a loaf of bread in the other." The most compassionate care for the needy should foremost to care about their soul. Coming to Christ inevitably led to moral uplift; to taking personal responsibility for oneself and one's family; to stability in the home that is the key to resolve a multitude of social pathologies—including poverty. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things [material sustenance] shall be given to you."


Dwight L Moody delivered a simple and positive message in his sermons based on the three R's: "Ruin by sin, Redemption by Christ, Regeneration by the Holy Ghost." Moody did not preach on God's wrath or about fire and brimstone. He believed that "Terror never brought a man in yet." He did denounce evolution, atheism, the theatre, drunkenness, selling liquor, Sunday newspapers, and disregard of the Sabbath. He preached against greed, avarice, jealousy, envy, and selfishness. He also warned about "pandering the lusts of the body," "telling vile stories," and "loving worldly pleasures and amusements."


D L Moody focused on personal sins: "Whatever the sin is, make up your mind that will gain victory over it." The Christian community was there to set a good example and encourage others but ultimately it was up to the individual to accept Christ and conquer sin. The sinner stands alone before God. Sin causes personal, familial, and societal distress. It can be relieved by passionate surrender to the incredible love of Jesus.


Dwight L Moody, unlike most evangelicals who thought the world would get better and better as time marches on, believed the world would "grow worse and worse." He said: "I look upon this world as a wrecked vessel. God has given me a lifeboat and said to me, 'Moody, save all you can.'"


D L Moody avoided controversy and divisiveness like the plague. He said: "Christ's teaching was always constructive . . . His method of dealing with error was largely to ignore it, letting it melt away in the warm glow of the full intensity of truth expressed in love."


His heir apparent, Rueben Torrey saw it differently: "Christ and his immediate disciples immediately attacked, exposed and denounced error. We are constantly told in our day that we ought not to attack error but to simply teach the truth. This is the method of the coward and trimmer; it was not the method of Christ."


Torrey also rejected the notion that the Bible needed theologians to explain its truths: "In ninety-nine out of a hundred cases, the meaning that the plain man gets out of the Bible is the correct one."


D L MOODY OBITUARY
D L MOODY OBITUARY

CONCLUSION


Dwight L Moody saw Jesus face to face December 26, 1899. Moody had founded the Mount Hermon School for Boys, and it was fitting that 32 of those boys carried his casket to its final resting place. At the funeral, his son remarked that his father's face looked peaceful, reflecting the deep satisfaction the Christian experiences after leaving the streams of earth for the oceans of heaven.

It was a cloudy day but just as the service drew to a close a shaft of sunlight appeared in back of the church. The beam moved through the church, coming to rest on the face of D L Moody. His face seemed to illuminate with pure, joyful radiance. His son wrote: "The sunshine touched no other object; the face only was illumined and then . . . the sun set behind the distant hill."


My sources for this article include: The One Year Book of Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten; A History of Christianity by Paul Johnson; and Fundamentalism and American Culture by George Marsden.

More by this Author


Comments 58 comments

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

This is a wonderful review and chronicle of Mr. Moody's life. He certainly was a man on a mission. And that sunbeam on his face at the funeral was awesome. Thanks so much.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

What an enchanting story of a warrior for God. I think we need more preachers like him. That is terrific that his schools are still thriving today. Thanks for sharing this intesting bit of history!


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

I have always heard of DL Moody, but never knew his story. I think he is prophetic with his "the world would grow worse and worse."....as always James, I enjoyed this piece of work.

Chris


annaw profile image

annaw 5 years ago from North Texas

I absolutely loved this. You have again done a great job. Is an easy read and has a way of attracting attention and provoking thought. I have learned something today as everyday and I thank you for this Hub. You have a way of making the reader want to know more. I have also bookmarked this one. Voted up,interesting, beautiful and FANTASTIC!!!!


platinumOwl4 profile image

platinumOwl4 5 years ago

James A. Watkins, hello sir, and I must admit another find presentation. However, based on what I have read my preference is Reuben over D L, not taking anything away from D.L. I just believe in calling it out as did Cicero and you know the consequences of his action. However, at some point in life you must draw a line in the sand, and make a firm stand.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

Thanks, James. Great info fairly presented.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Hyphenbird— Thank you for being my first visitor! I love that funeral story, too. I surely appreciate your gracious compliments. And you are most welcome. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

tlpoague— You are quite welcome, my dear. The Moody Bible Institute is thriving today and I agree with you that this is great news. Yes, today we could surely use more men of God like D L Moody. Thanks for reading and commenting!


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Thanks for sharing the story of DL Moody....great information throughout the hub....love the parts about hte funeral and how he dealt with errors...classic...too bad more people do not do that....voted up and awesome.


einron profile image

einron 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

Thanks James for a good read. Enjoyed reading it.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

I knew DL founded the YMCA but that girls School he founded, did that become what we now know to the the YWCA? just curious because I have no idea how that came about.


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 5 years ago

This was all new to me and well worth learning about. Thanks for another good lesson.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is a wonderful story about a man who believed in God. Thank you James. God bless.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

CMerritt— Thank you, Chris, for reading my Hub. I am glad you enjoyed it. I agree that D L Moody was prophetic. I appreciate your kind comments.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

annaw— You are most welcome. I thank you for the bookmark and the voted up, as well as you hitting the beautiful and interesting buttons for me. I loved reading your comments. I am grateful to receive your accolades. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

platinumOwl4— Hello! I thought it important to include the views of Reuben Torrey as a counterbalance. I am glad to see that you appreciated that.

As always, I enjoyed reading your thoughtful comments. Thank you for visiting! :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

liftandsoar— You are welcome. Thank you for reading my work and voicing your approval of it.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Cogerson— You are welcome. Thank you for the voted up and awesome! I am glad to see that we are in agreeance. Your comments are wonderful and I appreciate this visitation from you. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

einron— You are quite welcome, my dear. Thank you ever much for reading my article. It is wonderful to hear from you again! :)


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 5 years ago from Manila

Excellent hub voted up and awesome. Thank you for sharing some excerpts from the life of the greatly revered man of God. I always admire D. L. Moody, a true servant and disciple of Christ. Hope there will be new Moody's in our time.One thing remarkable about Moody is that he is one believer who is mightily filled with the Holy Spirit. Hope you will also publish the biography of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Remain blessed always. Best regards.


RevLady profile image

RevLady 5 years ago from Lantana, Florida

A great article on the life and works of a mighty man of God, who lived and practiced what he preached. His radio broadcast is honoring his life this month.

Thank James!

Forever His


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Thanks for sharing this wonderful and beautifully written hub about DL Moody, he was truly a faithful man of God . Great job my friend !

Awesome and vote up !!!


Judy 5 years ago

Nice research, and well written.


allpurposeguru profile image

allpurposeguru 5 years ago from North Carolina

Thanks for this hub on a great man of God. Of course, it would be possible to write another just as long and not include any of the same details. I understand that as a school child, his teachers basically gave up on him learning anything. One person figured he might as well at least present Christ to this hopelessly dumb kid. I guess God showed them what *he* thought of Moody!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Spreading the word to a hundred million people in those days was an amazing accomplishment in itself. Interesting biography of Mr. Moody.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Cardisa— You asked an excellent question. D L Moody was not involved in the founding of the Young Women's Christian Association, at least to my knowledge. The Boy's School and the Girl's School that he founded in the town in which he was born—Northfield, Massachusetts—later joined together as one private school for grades 9-12. Here is an article about it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northfield_Mount_Herm...


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

sheila b.— You are welcome. I am glad you found it worthy. Thank you for the affirmation. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

always exploring— You are quite welcome. I am glad you enjoyed this article. Thank you for your comments. God Bless You!


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 5 years ago

James- Thank you for following up your last subject with such a positive article. Moody was a good man............ I haven't been to the Moody Bible Church since I was a young girl............. time to visit! This was uplifting........... you're a peach! :-D Kaie


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

cristina327— You are most welcome, my dear. I am always happy to see you have posted a comment to me. Thank you ever much for the compliments and blessings. I am glad that you enjoyed this piece and I really appreciate the voted up and awesome! :D

I hope we have some new "Moodys" in our time too, my friend. Your idea of writing about Charles Spurgeon is a good one. I'll see what I can put together. Thanks for the excellent suggestion.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

RevLady— You are welcome. What a pleasure to hear from you again. You are one of my all time favorite writers on HubPages.

I was unaware that his radio broadcast was honoring his life this month. Thank you for informing me of this. As you say, D L Moody lived and practiced what he preached. I appreciate this visitation and your fine comments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

kashmir56— You are very welcome. Thank you for the gracious compliments, as well as the voted up! I appreciate you hitting the "awesome" button for me too. D L Moody was truly a faithful man of God, as you say. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Judy— Thank you!! Thank you very much! :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

allpurposeguru— You are quite welcome. You are surely correct that the story of D L Moody would and has filled entire books. Quite a few of my recent Hubs have been really long and I consciously tried to keep the last few pithy. Thank you for telling me about his school days. I had not read about that any place.

I sincerely appreciate this visit. Your comments are excellent.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

PegCole17— I agree with you that reaching a hundred million people in those days is amazing alright. I am glad you found this little Hub interesting. It is always a pleasure to hear from you. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Kaie Arwen— You are welcome. Yes, I thought juxtaposing D L Moody with Alfred Kinsey might exercise some minds. :D

I have never been the the Moody Church but I would like to visit there.

I am always thrilled to "see" you. Your comments never fail to inspire and encourage me. Thank you!! :-)


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota

I did not know that Moody was the founder of the YMCA. Wow! have things changed.

I tend to agree with his philosophy that the world will not get better but worse and God's Word tells us such is the case that we are to be with our thoughts on "above" and not lovers of this life.

His faith and method are inspiring.

Thank you for sharing his story.


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 5 years ago from upstate, NY

JW-I heard a lot about DL Moody at a large christian resort in Speculator, NY called "camp of the woods". My grandfather was one of the founding members in 1916.

I heard from other sources that DL Moody had supernatual visitations in 1873 before God lunched him into his revival crusades. He had an experience similar to the apostle paul when he was taken up in the third heaven and saw things that he was forbidden to speak about.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

I tend to agree with Rev. Moody's thinking regarding charity and man's desire to stand up for himself. Too bad his teachings are not more widely distributed today in a time where far too many are looking for ways to get on the public dole. Good piece as always, James. WB


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Tamarajo— You are quite welcome. Thank you so much for coming by to read my article. I appreciate your thoughtful comments. I always enjoy hearing from you, as your words are full of grace.

Yes, I tend to agree with D L Moody, too. That is the opposite of all the utopians around.

Moody did not start the YMCA—it began in England. He did help launch it in Chicago.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

wba108@yahoo.com— Fascinating story about your grandfather starting camp meetings.

I believe I have also heard about Moody having supernatural visitations.

It is good to "see" you here. Thank you for the interesting remarks.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Wayne Brown— Thank you, WB, for taking the time to read this article. I appreciate your comments and I agree with you in all you wrote. I am grateful for your affirmation and encouragement, brother.

JAW


jean2011 profile image

jean2011 5 years ago from Canada

Thank you for such a well researched and written hub about one of my heroes of the faith - D.L. Moody. I have voted you hub awesome!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

jean2011— Welcome to the HubPages Community!

Thank you for voting my Hub "awesome!" I enjoyed reading your warm words. I will make it a point to read some of your writings soon. And you are quite welcome. :)


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 5 years ago from Louisiana, USA

Sounds like we need more people like Moody in the world today. Great history lesson of a great man who did a lot and helped a lot. Great work again Mr.James. I always learn something new with your hubs.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Fullerman5000— I agree with you that we can use more people such as D L Moody today. Thank you for the kind compliments. I am well pleased to be of some service. Good to hear from you again. :D


Tom T profile image

Tom T 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

Never knew that Moody founded the YMCA. Terrific story and thanks for the share. I'll go to be wiser tonight thanks (again) to reading one of your hubs.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Tom T— You are quite welcome. It is great to hear from you again. I will come over soon to see what you've been writing. I just made myself a note to do so. Otherwise I tend to forget everything!)

Thank you for reading my Hub. I very much appreciate your gracious compliments.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 5 years ago

James A Watkins, This is a wonderfully composed biography of D L Moody! I appreciate your continued efforts to provide us with well researched, informative, concise life enlightening commentary!

I embrace this insightful statement: “He believed in personal holiness, Christian ethics, and that the Bible was the infallible Word of God. Moody followed the Holiness Movement and taught that what people needed was an infilling of the Holy Spirit to empower their Walk with the Lord.: “:” AMEN! This remains as one of the foundational principles to Christianity!

What I most respect about DL Moody was that he preached Jesus Christ and the importance of his Crucifixion and Resurrection! The significance of what a difference an ongoing personal relationship with The LORD can truly make in one’s life is often overlooked today! There is more focus on the unresolved issues… I believe it should be more emphasis on the “Empowerment of The Holy Spirit!” As you stated Moody believed : “"Whatever the sin is, make up your mind that will gain victory over it." The Christian community was there to set a good example and encourage others but ultimately it was up to the individual to accept Christ and conquer sin! “ Amen! & AMEN

As D L Moody says “GOD is CALLING...” We must get better at listening!

Thank You James you have done a marvelous job showcasing the wonderful attributes of this committed man of God He truly made a difference! Thank you as always for sharing, God Bless you Professor! In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!


feenix profile image

feenix 5 years ago

Hello, James,

Thank you very much for writing and publishing this very important and educational article.

For me, this post is quite inspirational because Reverend Moody's model is certainly one that I want to follow.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

DeBorrah K. Ogans— What a joy it is to once again hear from my favorite Hubber! God Bless You Dear!

Thank you so much for your gracious accolades. They mean more to me coming from you than from anyone else I know.

I appreciate to no end your blessings, affirmation, and encouragement. These are no mere platitudes. These are expressions from my very soul to you for your lovely remarks.

Of course, I totally and wholeheartedly agree with the words you quoted by the wonderful Man of God: D L Moody. I cannot in any way measure up. But I think you come close, my dear Sister in Christ. God Bless You!

James :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

feenix— Hello! You are quite welcome. I am well pleased that you found this piece to be inspiring, educational, and important. I am grateful for your warm words. Thank you for visiting and commenting.


jloeding profile image

jloeding 5 years ago from Lafayette, LA

I have heard much about D L. Moody's ministry, but had not heard much of his history. My late husband's family was very much impacted for Christ through Moody Bible Institute. Three of his sisters graduated from there. He was truly a man of God who had a passion for the unsaved.

You wrote a very inspiring article. God Bless you for sharing.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

jloeding— Thank you for reading my article. I am well pleased that you appreciated it.

I am sorry that you lost your husband. Interesting to hear the connection of his family with the Moody Bible Institute.

As you said perfectly well, D L Moody "was truly a man of God who had a passion for the unsaved."

He was that.

Welcome to the HubPages Community!


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

I sometimes wonder if men such as D L Moody are truly great or simply men with very big egos. Alexander The Great conquered the world by the sword D L Moody's weapon of choice was the bible. This is however a testament to what anyone can achieve with perseverance, faith and single minded focus. Thank you James once again for an excellent read.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Spirit Whisperer— Based on many accounts of his life, I have no doubt whatsoever that the convictions in the heart of D L Moody were absolutely real. This is a man who, by all accounts, had a real talent for business and in America this was the path to earthly riches. Moody eschewed this path to serve the Lord.

Of course, Friedrich Nietzsche would posit that D L Moody was simply feeding his ego I suppose.

Thank you for your remarks. And you are surely welcome.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 3 years ago from Central United States of America

Have been acquainted with Mr. Moody and Mr. Sankey for most of my life, but never knew Moody's 'history' as you delightfully presented here. An interesting reciting of the great value of a dedicated gentleman, and an encouraging potrayal of a determined 'preacher'. Well done, very interesting and sublimed with that last 'illumination' description.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

frogyfish--- Thank you very much for taking the time to come over and read my Hub on DL Moody. I go to the wonderful Moody Church.

I so enjoyed your wonderfully gracious and thoughtful and insightful comments. I am well pleased that you enjoyed this article. Your kind words brought a big smile to my face. And I appreciate it.

God Bless You!

James :D

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working