Music in the Church
21 October 2008
Dwight Moody was born in Northfield, Massachusetts to a large family. His father, a small farmer and stone mason, was an alcoholic and died at the age of 41 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 doing her best, 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. 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 brothers and sisters he was raised in the Unitarian church. His oldest brother ran away and was not heard from by the family for years.
When Moody turned 17, he moved to Boston to work in his uncle's shoe store. One of his uncle's deals was that Moody attends the Congregational Church of Mount Vernon where Dr. Edward Norris Kirk was pastor. In April 1855 Moody accepted Jesus Christ as his savior when his teacher, Edward Kimball talked to him about how much God loved him. His conversion marked the start of his career as an evangelist. He did not fill out an application to become a member of his first church until May 1855, was rejected. He was not received as a church member until May 4, 1856.
His work in Chicago led to the largest Sunday School of his time, as a result of his work, in a year the average attendance at his school was 650, while 60 volunteers from churches in Chicago served as teachers. It became so popular that the just-elected President Lincoln visited and spoke at a Sunday School meeting on November 25, 1860.
After the Civil War started, he volunteered with the U.S. Christian Commission of the YMCA, and went to...