Moody, Dwight L(yman)
- Harry Eskew
- , revised by Mel R. Wilhoit
(b Northfield, MA, Feb 5, 1837; d Northfield, MA, Dec 22, 1899). American evangelist and popularizer of gospel hymnody. He moved to Chicago in 1856, where he ministered to the spiritual and material needs of inner-city children and adults through newly formed Sunday schools and evangelistic work. With a desire to reach businessmen, he became president of the Chicago YMCA in 1866, for which he erected the first YMCA building in the country. In 1870 he met the singer ira d. Sankey at the organization’s national convention in Indianapolis and invited him to become his musical associate. The two men went to England to conduct evangelistic services in June 1873, gaining an international reputation and remaining there until August 1875. After Moody had returned to the United States, he held extended revival meetings with Sankey in America’s largest cities. He also returned to England for additional meetings.
Music was highly regarded by Moody for its mass appeal, and he loosely presided over a small cadre of evangelists and their somewhat interchangeable musical assistants, the most prominent being Philip P. Bliss, George C. Stebbins, James McGranahan, and Daniel Brink Towner. The practice of an evangelist and musical associate holding mass meetings became a model for more than a century and reflected the central role of music in revivalism....