Moody, Dwight Lyman, 1837–99, American evangelist, b. Northfield, Mass. He became successful in business in Chicago, where he settled in 1856. His activities there as a Sunday-school teacher and superintendent were so successful that in 1861 he withdrew from business to devote himself to city missionary work. In 1870 he met Ira Sankey, who for a number of years thereafter was associated with him in evangelistic campaigns. They made two extended evangelical tours of Great Britain. Large crowds were also attracted to their meetings in the United States, and their collections of gospel hymns were received with great enthusiasm. Moody's preaching was simple, colorful, and direct; he stressed God's love and mercy rather than retribution and hellfire. His interest in religious education led him to found the Northfield Seminary for girls (1879) and the Mt. Hermon School for boys (1881), both in Northfield, Mass; in 1971 the two schools merged and became the Northfield Mt. Hermon School. In 1889 his Bible Institute for Home and Foreign Missions (now the Moody Bible Institute) opened in Chicago. The conferences for Christian workers that Moody inaugurated at Northfield, Mass., were annual gatherings.
See biographies by his sons, W. R. Moody (1900) and P. D. Moody (1938); G. Bradford, D. L. Moody, a Worker in Souls (1927, repr. 1972); J. C. Pollock, Moody: a Biographical Portrait (1963, repr. 1967); J. J. Findlay, Dwight L. Moody (1969).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.