Dwight L. Moody

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Dwight Lyman Moody (February 5, 1837 - December 22, 1899), also known as D.L. Moody, was an American evangelist and publisher who founded the Moody Church, Northfield School and Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts (now Northfield Mount Hermon School), the Moody Bible Institute and Moody Publishers.


Early life

Dwight Moody was born in Northfield, Massachusetts to a large family. His father, a small farmer and stonemason, died at the age of 41 praying on his knees when Dwight was only four years old. He had five older brothers and a younger sister, with an additional twin brother and sister born one month after his father's death. His mother struggled to support the family, but even with her best effort, some of her children had to be sent off to work for their room and board. Dwight too was sent off, where he went he received cornmeal porridge and milk, three times a day.[citation needed] He complained to his mother, but when she found out that he had all that he wanted to eat, she sent him back. Even during this time, she continued to send them to church. Together with his eight siblings he was raised in the Unitarian church. His oldest brother ran away and was not heard from by the family until many years later.

When Moody turned 17, he moved to Boston to (after many job rejections) work in his uncle's shoe store. One of his uncle's requirements was that Moody attend the Congregational Church of Mount Vernon where Dr. Edward Norris Kirk was pastor. In April 1855 Moody was then converted to evangelical Christianity when his Sunday school teacher, Edward Kimball talked to him about how much God loved him. His conversion sparked the start of his career as an evangelist. However his first application for church membership, in May 1855, was rejected. He was not received as a church member until May 4, 1856. As his teacher, Mr. Edward Kimball, stated:

Chicago and the Civil War

Moody moved to Chicago, Illinois in September, 1856, where he joined the Plymouth Congregational Church, and began to take an active part in the prayer meetings. In the spring of 1857, he began to minister to the welfare of the sailors in Chicago's port, then gamblers and thieves in the saloons. A contemporary witness, William Reynolds, recalled a few years later:

After the Civil War started, he was involved with the U.S. Christian Commission of the YMCA, and paid nine visits to the battle-front, being present among the Union soldiers after the conflicts of Shiloh, Pittsburgh Landing, and Murfreesboro, and ultimately entered Richmond with the army of General Grant. He married Miss Emma C. Revell, on August 28, 1862, with whom he had a daughter, Emma Reynolds Moody, and two sons, William Revell And Paul Dwight Moody.

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