The Life of Dwight Lyman Moody

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Let your vision set in motion rivers that were irrigating parched lands.

His Birth and Parents

Moody was born in Northfield, Massachusetts in North America by Erdwin Moody (his father) and Betsy Holton Moody (his mother).


Around the period when rail started in America in early 19th century. I read that the first rail was built on Connecticut River.

His Conversion

Moody gave his life in the afternoon of April, 1855 at the age of 18. After his conversion, he had a horrid temper for several years. There was a day his friends were playing checkers, he broke the board in fury, and began to pray. Presumably, the prayer was for the souls of his co-workers, not a confession of his own fury, a self-righteous temper. No spiritual maturity! Later on, may be that was the reason, Betsy Moody (his mother) told a friend in the 1870s that, “Dwight used to think himself a man when he was only a boy.” Of course at 33! Physical maturity never determines spiritual maturity! “Christianity is not an insurance ticket that provides eternal life, rather it is a personal relationship with a leader who wants you to follow him and not go your own way.”

His Love Life

Emma Charlotte Revell, born in London, England on July 5, 1843, she was six and a half years younger than Moody, her husband. They had 2 years courtship and got married on August 28, 1862.

His Spiritual Life

Moody associated with good and dedicated people. One of such was John V. Farwell. He gave $50 of his first year’s earnings ($96) in Chicago to God’s work, in First Methodist Episcopal Church. He also accused Moody of late coming to church but the latter came in after spending all the morning in getting poor children into a Mission Sunday School. What a good reason to come late to church!

Moody is a very humble man. He said to Reynolds (a man from Peorial, Illinois), “I have no education, but I love the Lord Jesus Christ, and I want to do something for Him, and I want you to pray for me.” This is true humility! And another lesson is that education is not a factor per se when it comes to working for the Lord. Whether you are a Ph. D holder or College / Secondary School Certificate holder, you can work for the Lord, though very, very important but it should not stop you.

His Preachings and Spiritual Fathers

D. L. Moody (1837 – 1899). This man is worthy to be counted among those who influenced the church history like Spurgeon, Calvin, Wesley, among many others. His preachings were so powerful that, Henry Moorhouse (born and lived in Lancashire, England) crossed the Irish Sea to hear him preach.

He was verse and strong in words because he always listened to his heroes like Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who was the Britain’s most popular preacher in the late 1850’s and George Williams Mueller who was the founder of YMCA. George was a Germany-born-university-trained expatriate to England. When Charles H. Spurgeon died in 1892, his wife gave his Bible to D. L. Moody on November 20, 1892.

His Political and Social Life

When there was a Civil War in April 12, 1861. Moody was ready to help because he had had a relative who also helped in Revolutionary War and the war of 1812. He contributed a lot through Chicago YMCA by raising five companies of 150 men each. The reason for the war was because Lincoln campaigned on a platform that promised to prohibit the extension of slavery into the territories. This led to secession of many states from USA in 1860: South Carolina voted to secede from the union in December of the same year. This happenings led to the Civil war on April 12, 1861. The war ended in 1865.

Moody greatly admired President Lincoln and was supportive when he served in the White House for 8 years. He showed only a hint of interest in politics. He was loyal to the party of Lincoln (Republican), and therefore could not support Democrat William Jennings Bryan in 1896 when he ran for president, even though the great orator from Nebraska shared his dim view of cities and his great love for God and the Bible.

His Passion

He travelled more than a million miles, addressed more than a hundred million people, and personally prayed and pleaded with 750,000 sinners. And he reduced the population of hell by a million souls.

His Favourite Bible Verses
John 3:30  and 2 Chronicle 16:9.

His Departure

Moody died on Friday, December 22, 1899. Many years before his death, he had offered what he called his “autobiography” to the public.

Keys to Moody’s Success
1. Commitment.
2. Teachability.
3. Humility
4. Vision
5. Sense of Holy Spirit
6. A high view of scripture
7. A Christ-centered life
8. A confidence in young people
9. Love for souls
10. Willingness to take risk: Abraham had to leave Ur to become the patriarch of a chosen people. Esther had to risk her life to be an instrument in saving her people. Moses had to march the people to the Red Sea before it parted. And the Virgin Mary had to risk her reputation to become the most blessed of women.

REFERENCE: The Life of Dwight Lyman Moody (A Passion for Souls) written by Lyle W. Dorset.

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Author: Peter Adewumi

Peter Adewumi is an Amazon author of "Virtues for Riches" series, "Romantic, Inspirational & Motivational Poems," "Attributes of Successful Employees," "The End Matters Most," & "A Lonely Ward in a Comely World."

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