D. L. Moody

 

It was July 1, 1885 when Edward Kimble felt the tugging of the Spirit to share his faith with a young shoe salesman he knew. At first Kimble vacillated, unsure if he should talk to the man. But he finally mustered his courage and went into the shoe store. There Kimble found the salesman in the back room stocking shoes, and he began to share his faith with him. As a result, the young shoe salesman prayed and received Jesus Christ that day. That shoe salesman's name was Dwight L. Moody, and he became the greatest evangelist of his generation.

 

But the story doesn't end there. Several years later a pastor and well-known author by the name of Frederick B. Meyer heard Moody preach. Meyer was so deeply stirred by Moody's preaching that he himself embarked on a far-reaching evangelistic ministry. Once when Meyer was preaching, a college student named Wilbur Chapman accepted Christ as a result of his presentation of the gospel. Chapman later employed a baseball player to help him prepare to conduct an evangelistic crusade. That ballplayer, who later became a powerful evangelist himself, was Billy Sunday.

 

In 1924 a group of businessmen invited Billy Sunday to hold an evangelistic campaign in Charlotte, North Carolina, which resulted in many people coming to Christ.  Out of that revival meeting a group of men formed a men's prayer group to pray for the world. They prayed for Charlotte to have another great revival.  God sent another evangelist named Mordecai Hamm. Hamm went to Charlotte in 1934 to hold a crusade. Ham's crusade went well, even though it did not have many converts. On one of the last nights under the big tent one tall, lanky young man walked up the aisle to receive Christ. That man's name was Billy Graham.

 

Talk about a chain of events! And it all started with an ordinary Christian named Edward Kimble, who reached D.L. Moody, who reached Wilbur Chapman, who reached Billy Sunday, who reached Mordecai Ham, who reached Billy Graham. Look at what God has done over these many years because of the faithfulness of one person.

 

Moody's Testimony of His Death

 

“Someday you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody of East Northfield is dead.  Don’t you believe a word of it!  At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now; I shall have gone up higher, that is all, out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal – a body that death cannot touch, that sin cannot taint; a body fashioned like unto His glorious body. I was born of the flesh in 1837.  I was born of the Spirit in 1856.  That which is born of the flesh may die.  That which is born of the Spirit will live forever.”

 

Occasionally there emerges a man of whom it may be said, "After God made him, He broke the mold."  If anyone ever appeared to be less qualified and the most unlikely to be a great evangelist and preacher, it was Dwight L. Moody.  He only completed the 6th grade in school, and then quit.  He was very unseemly in appearance (he was short and heavy, weighing over 300 lbs.), a very common place man without attractive looks or charisma; he was very unpolished in grammar as words would rush from his beard in fast, short sentences; and his pronunciation was poor.  Charles Spurgeon said, after hearing Moody preach, "He is the only man I ever heard who said, 'Mesopotamia' in ONE syllable." His sermons lasted only about 1/2 hour and were very simple in expressing God's love for the sinner, and God used this man's desire to see people saved to win many people to the Lord. Of Moody, one is compelled to confess: "He was an evangelist sent from God, for no man could have done the ministry he accomplished, except God was with him."