Moody, Dwight Lyman, 1837-1899

Alternative names
Birth 1837-02-05
Death 1899-12-22

Biographical notes:

American evangelist and publisher.

From the description of Dwight L. Moody letter to Will Owen Jones [manuscript], 1898 June 15. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 648018911

Dwight Lyman Moody was an American evangelist. Born in Massachusetts, he achieved some success in business in Chicago, where he became involved in Sunday school and later was a popular public speaker. Although not an ordained minister, he recruited Ira Sankey, and the two toured America and England, Sankey singing hymns and Moody preaching with a simple, upbeat message that proved extremely popular. The two preached before enormous crowds, and converted thousands to Christianity. His legacy lives on in several religious instututions he founded.

From the description of D.L. Moody signature, circa 1861-1899? (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 61356044

Dwight Lyman Moody was born in Northfield, Massachusetts in 1837. After organizing his own mission Sunday School in 1859, he devoted his life to evangelism, leading campaigns across the United States and Great Britain. He established two schools in Northfield: Northfield Seminary for young women and Northfield Mount Hermon School for older boys. In 1887, he founded the Chigcago Evangelization Society, which operated the Bible Training School later known as the Moody Bible Institute. Moody died on December 22, 1899 in Northfield Massachusetts.

From the description of Dwight L. Moody papers, 1852-1965 (inclusive). (Yale University). WorldCat record id: 702165163


From the description of Papers of Dwight Lyman Moody, 1864-1937 (bulk 1864-1899). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79451917

Chicago, Illinois, clergyman.

From the description of Dwight Lyman Moody letters, 1872. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34422077

Biographical Note

  • 1837, Feb. 5, 1837: Born, East Northfield, Mass.
  • 1854: Moved to Boston, Mass.
  • 1856: Moved to Chicago, Ill., and converted to evangelical Christianity
  • 1861 - 1873 : Gave up business to engage in missionary work with the YMCA; founded Moody Church
  • 1870: Teamed up with hymn writer Ira D. Sankey to conduct Christian revival tours (made extended tours of Great Britain, 1873–1875 and 1881–1884)
  • 1879: Founded Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies, Northfield, Mass.
  • 1881: Founded Mount Hermon School for Boys, Mount Hermon, Mass.
  • 1889: Founded Chicago Bible Institute (later Moody Bible Institute).
  • Dec. 22, 1899,: Died, Northfield, Mass.

From the guide to the Dwight Lyman Moody Papers, 1864-1937, (bulk 1864-1899), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

  • 1837 February 5: Born in Northfield, Massachusetts
  • 1854: Left home to work for uncle in Boston
  • 1856: Moved to Chicago
  • 1859: Organized his own mission Sunday School
  • 1860: Renounced his success in business, devoted himself to the evangelizing of Chicago
  • 1861: Married Emma C. Revell, who became the mother of his three children: Emma Reynolds, William Revell and Paul Dwight.
  • 1871: Great Chicago fire influenced Moody's decision to expand his work beyond the city of Chicago
  • 1872: Visit to Great Britain
  • 1873: Returned to Great Britain with Ira D. Sankey to conduct evangelistic campaigns
  • 1875: Returned to United States as a well-known evangelist
  • 1875 - 1899 : Using Northfield as a home base, travelled throughout United States leading evangelistic campaigns
  • 1879: Began his efforts to establish two schools in Northfield: Northfield Seminary for young women and Mt. Hermon for older boys
  • 1886 - 1888 : Annual summer conferences at the Northfield schools included special sessions for college students from which the Student Volunteer Movement arose
  • 1887: Chicago Evangelization Society founded which operated the Bible training school later known as Moody Bible Institute
  • 1899 December 22: Moody died in Northfield, Massachusetts

From the guide to the Dwight L. Moody Papers, 1854-1968, (Yale University Divinity School Library)

Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899) was an American Protestant clergyman and evangelist.

Born in Northfield, Massachusetts, Moody settled in Chicago in 1856 where he became successful in business and active in reliogious work. He withdrew from business in 1861 to devote his full energies to city missionary work. During the Civil War he acted as agent of the United States Christian Commission and was also secretary of the YMCA.

In 1867, while in England, Moody carried on evangelistic work. In 1870 he became associated with Ira D. Sankey, organist and singer. Together they made two notable tours of England (1873-1875 and 1881-1883), and held meetings in many parts of the United States. Their collections of gospel hymns were well received.

In 1879 Moody established Northfield Seminary for Young Women, the first of a chain of educational institutions of his planning. Mount Hermon School for Young Men was added in 1881, and the Bible Institute for Home and Foreign Missions in 1889. He also inaugurated the Students' Conference and the Christian Workers' Conference in Northfield.

Moody was married to Emma C. Revell, with whom he had three children: Emma Moody Fitt, William Revell Moody, and Paul Dwight Moody, who became President of Middlebury College.

From the guide to the Dwight Lyman Moody Collection, 1876-1968, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)


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  • Evangelists--United States
  • Religion and philosophy
  • Young Men's Christian associations
  • Church and clergy
  • Protestant churches--Clergy
  • Evangelistic sermons
  • Evangelists--Great Britain
  • Evangelistic work--United States
  • Sermons, American
  • College students--Religious life
  • Religion
  • Education--Massachusetts
  • Schools
  • Evangelists
  • Schools--Massachusetts


  • Clergy
  • Evangelists--United States
  • Evangelists--Great Britain
  • Evangelist


  • Georgia (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Massachusetts (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Georgia (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)