By “us” we mean you, too. God is on a mission, and He wants all of His people to come along. Since the Moody Center was founded in 2016, our belief that God isn’t done with us has been confirmed many times over. Through the increase in visitors to our historic site in Northfield, Massachusetts, the feedback and support we receive from a variety of pastors and ministries in New England, and the ongoing prayer meetings at the Northfield campus, we have watched God move.
Who was D.L. Moody?
D.L. Moody was just a man from Northfield … with a profound commitment to God.
D.L. Moody grew up in Northfield, MA, came to faith in Boston, and impacted the world for Christ, reaching over 100 million people with the gospel. Though he was not an ordained minister and had only a 5th grade education, he understood God’s calling on his life and pursued it with passion. He was a man concerned with making disciples. God led him into evangelistic, social, Sunday school, pastoral support, educational, and publishing ministries. The ministry of D.L. Moody was multifaceted and influential even beyond Moody’s day. As Billy Graham noted in a personal correspondence with Moody’s daughter, Emma, “I am wondering if you all are really aware of the many movements that now exist throughout the world that flowed from the ministry of Dwight Moody.”
Why do we think God isn’t done with Moody or with us?
From the preservation of the historic Northfield campus, to the provision of the D.L. Moody Digital Archives, to the growing number of people who have shown interest in the Moody Center, we have seen God’s hand at work.
D.L. Moody established the Northfield School for Girls in 1879 and the Mt. Hermon School for Boys in 1881. The schools merged administratively in 1973, and in 2005, they consolidated all operations to the Mt. Hermon campus. The Northfield campus became vacant and stayed that way for 12 years, with little capability to preserve the Moody legacy.
In 2017, we were blessed when Emmitt Mitchell of National Christian Foundation Heartland (now the president of the Moody Center) negotiated to have Thomas Aquinas College from California accept three-fourths of the campus, leaving a quarter for the creation of the Moody Center. The part of the campus the Moody Center received included those places closest to Mr. Moody’s personal life, such as the Birthplace, the Homestead, Round Top, Witness Grove, and the Auditorium. We set out to preserve Mr. Moody’s memory in Northfield.
Tim Powell, together with his father Dave Powell (D.L. Moody’s great-grandson), suggested an important way to preserve Moody’s memory: the collection of textual archives. Tim and Dave visited Yale, Wheaton, Northfield Mount Hermon, and Moody Bible Institute to see if they would partner with the Moody Center. The goal was to preserve and make accessible letters, sermons, reports, meeting minutes, notes, and anything else bearing Moody’s signature. The D. L. Moody Digital Archives are now on-line and ready to serve the world!
We have also been blessed to see more and more people visiting the Moody Center. We’ve experienced growth to more than 15,000 visitors in the past year, and we continue to grow.
What are we doing about it?
Responding to God’s leading, the Moody Center creates opportunities for people to be inspired and prepared to follow Christ through reflection, interaction, study, and spiritual renewal, as seen in the life and ministry of D.L. Moody.
For any one organization to reproduce the span and scope of Mr. Moody’s ministry would be quite a challenge. It would also be quite unnecessary. Since Moody’s day, a number of evangelistic, educational, conference, and youth ministries have come into being that have continued and expanded on his good work—even if they don’t know it! It is not our desire to wade into areas where other ministries are already doing good work. Instead, we will help others tap into the foundational activities that made Moody available to God’s use.
Moody was more than a strategist or publisher. He was more than an influential preacher or world-class evangelist. At his core, Moody was just a man from Northfield, but he was prepared to serve God and be available for God’s use. That is the enduring legacy of D.L. Moody we seek to perpetuate and inspire in others.
Of all the things that D.L. Moody did, his best move was leaving room for the Holy Spirit. Do we have strategies? Of course. We also realize that “the best laid plans of mice and men do often go astray.” Like D.L. Moody, we want to make room for the Holy Spirit. While we offer programs, host events, and give tours, what you will ultimately experience at Moody Center is space … space to reflect, be inspired, learn, and reconnect with God as He prompts you to use the gifts He has given you to participate in His mission. He is not done with you yet. Sometimes we just need to find the space to “be still and know” that God is God. You have a unique contribution to make to the kingdom, and we would like to help you make it.
How are we taking action?
As we create opportunities inspired by the legacy of D.L. Moody, the Moody Center is focusing on five areas of action—and we would love it if you would join us!
We Pray (and invite you to join us!)
At the Moody Center, we ask you to join with us in prayer through our prayer community. As D.L. Moody once said, “He who kneels most stands best.” Prayer isn’t something we just do before we go about our work; it’s something we view as a crucial part of our work. You can join our prayer community and come to Northfield and enjoy the serene beauty of God’s creation while you tour the Moody Center’s property on our prayer walk and museum tour. We even have a virtual prayer walk if you can’t make it to Northfield (but trust us … it’s worth the trip).
We Evangelize (and empower you to do the same!)
The Moody Center makes an effort to share the gospel at every turn. D.L. Moody’s life is a story about how God uses imperfect, unqualified people to spread His word and proclaim the gospel. Seeing God in Moody’s story and in the beauty of Northfield isn’t a big stretch … God made it easy for us. With more than 2.5 million travelers and tourists interested in coming to Massachusetts to visit religious sites with historical significance, we think we have the opportunity to share the gospel with a few people. As you see the gospel through the story of D.L. Moody, we ask you to tell God’s story through your own life and to share Christ with those around you. As Mr. Moody once said,
“If any man, woman, or child by a godly life and example can win one soul to God, his life will not have been a failure. He will have outshone all the mighty men of his day, because he will have set a stream in motion that will flow on and on forever and ever.”
“If we only lead one soul to Christ we may set a stream in motion that will flow on when we are dead and gone….So if you turn one to Christ, that one turned may turn a hundred; they may turn a thousand, and so the stream, small at first, goes on broadening and deepening as it rolls toward eternity.”
We Bring God’s People Together (and invite you to be a part!)
We love to see the church unified in worship and the word. When D.L. Moody preached, he was accompanied by his friend and partner in ministry, Ira Sankey. Sankey led worship and Moody shared from the word. We make our facilities available to ministries for a variety of events and retreats. When we host music and speaking events in the D.L. Moody Auditorium, we follow Moody and Sankey’s lead. D.L. Moody and Ira Sankey’s ministry spanned denominations, ethnic groups, socio-economic groupings, and genders. Moody and Sankey wanted as many voices as they could find involved in singing God’s praise and as many ears as could hear drawn to listening to the gospel. So do we.
We Prepare (and get you ready to do the work of the kingdom!)
The Moody Center’s campus in Northfield, MA, is an ideal place for preparation. While it is tempting to jump to education when we think about preparation, God’s people need more than an intellectual understanding of God. Many of the pastors and groups we host on campus need rest … a retreat from the day-to-day challenges of ministry. They need space to reconnect with God, to pray, to be cared for, and to listen to the Holy Spirit.
Of course, there is also a need for ongoing discussion and learning among the faithful. The Moody Center partners with a variety of other ministries to provide training. We are also the home of ongoing research on D.L. Moody and various themes of his ministry. Our goal and the goal of our partner ministries is to strengthen the local church and be a catalyst for spiritual renewal, in New England and beyond.
We Influence (and ask you to help us start the Next Great Awakening!)
D.L. Moody had an impressive ministry, sharing the gospel with over 100 million people without viral videos, podcasting, or his own personal blog site. He used the media at his disposal and built some along the way (he was one of the main catalysts for Christian publishing), all in service to the gospel. At the Moody Center, we think that much of what D.L. Moody did, thought, and said has tremendous relevance to the church today. We are dedicated to helping God’s people see that D.L. Moody’s uncomplicated message and profound commitment to God will never go out of style.
What is the Moody Center’s long-term vision?
We believe that the Moody Center will become a destination for believers and unbelievers alike.
Our desire is to convey the legacy of transformation established by God in the life and ministry of D.L. Moody, to be a light for the gospel, and to be a resource for the church. Our central concern is to make disciples through the local church, to inspire men and women to commit to following Christ across a lifetime, and to be a hub where God’s people can come together to pray, worship, learn, fellowship, and rest. For more specifics on how we will accomplish our long-term vision (and how you can help) click here.
So, who makes the Moody Center work?
We have a number of people to thank for what the Moody Center is today. We are truly grateful for the contributions of:
- Our leadership
- Our staff
- Our ministry partners
- The town of Northfield
- Our donors – become a donor!
The Generosity Journey
Pastor Chip Ingram says, “Generosity is the gateway to intimacy with God.” Moody Center’s vision to be a catalyst for spiritual transformation in New England and beyond is a big vision.