Did you know D.L. Moody was a farmer?

corn field

When people think of Mr. Moody, most immediately picture him in Chicago at Moody Church or traveling around the world preaching to massive crowds.  While these are accurate images, when you read his letters, another Mr. Moody emerges – Mr. Moody the gentleman farmer.

Here is letter from our archives to his brother George. He is writing, instructing George about the property around his home in Northfield.

Letter from D.L. Moody

New Haven
May 4/78

My dear George

I shall send up on Monday 100 sweet potato plant – 50 asparagus roots they want to be planted in rotten manure very rich in hills 2 feet apart in one way & 3 feet in a nother the Potatoes 3 feet each way I think you had better have the ground fixed up at once so nothin will be lost in getting them started I send 12 tomato plants & the vines & Roses you can leave in the pots untill I get there.

Earlier that year, Moody had written George about telling him he was sending him a “rooster” because he wanted to have a different breed of chickens.

One of the most interesting things about reading through Mr. Moody’s letters is being reminded that he was in many ways just like us. Moody read his Bible, prayed, and preached, but he also cared about the simple things of everyday life.

Serving the Lord is not just doing “spiritual” things. It is also making sure asparagus and sweet potatoes are being planted!

Discover more correspondence from D.L. Moody in the Moody Digital Archives

GREG QUIGGLE is the D.L. Moody professor of Historical Theology at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He holds a PhD from the Open University in the United Kingdom, an MA in Historical Theology from Marquette University, an MA in Church History from Wheaton College, and a BA in Psychology from Wheaton College. He has lectured and written on Dwight Moody and the history of Moody Bible Institute.

Photo credit: Alejandro Barrón