A Legacy of Transformation
A Word From Moody Center President Emmitt Mitchell
Since 1878, Northfield, Massachusetts, has had a significant role in the growth of Christianity in New England, the United States and the world. Born and raised in Northfield, Dwight Lyman Moody returned from Chicago, started two preparatory schools to train Christian workers and missionaries, and held summer conferences where prominent Christian leaders were guest speakers. The impact of Mr. Moody and the campus is difficult to overestimate. For example, Billy Graham was heavily influenced by the life and ministry of Dwight L. Moody and patterned his crusades after those of Moody 100 years earlier.
However, in recent decades the spiritual impact of Christianity in New England has waned. Yet, there remains a vital Christian community. Working alongside embattled, faithful believers in New England and beyond, Moody Center’s aim is to be the catalyst for spiritual renewal in and through the church in New England and beyond. By bringing the church together for encouragement, growth and equipping, Moody Center will build on the legacy of D. L. Moody for transformation through discipleship and evangelism.
Of the top 20 cities identified as those which have rejected a traditional Christian worldview in America, 14 are within 200 miles of Northfield, MA.
56% of individuals living in Boston, MA, are post-Christian.
Source: Barna Group
The Moody Center’s Northfield property is the ideal place for God’s people to hear the voice of God and for nonbelievers to marvel at God’s creation as they encounter the gospel through Moody Center’s events, prayer walk, and legacy experience. The Northfield property is already becoming a venue for conferences and gatherings, with 15,000+ visitors attending events or touring the property in 2019 alone.
This property was built for to do God’s work. We believe God is not yet done with Moody, with Northfield, or with us. With only a fifth-grade education, Dwight L. Moody, America’s greatest evangelist, reached more than 100 million people with the gospel. He personally engaged and discipled thousands of Christian leaders. He sponsored the studies of many students at Northfield Seminary and Mt. Hermon School who went on to have a great impact on the world for the gospel. God gave D.L. Moody an outstanding ministry … we are praying that he would use Moody Center to add to those numbers.
“We are bubbling to a new revival season. We’re not there yet, but there is anticipation and excitement in the air for something bigger than what we see right now.”
— a local New England pastor
We feel a deep sense of responsibility to pursue this mission of continuing Moody’s legacy of transformation with zeal and excellence. We are confident that God will ordain and call God’s people to come alongside us … to participate with us in this effort. I would like to personally invite you to come to visit us at the Northfield campus and to contribute to the Moody Center mission of inspiring and preparing the church to carry on the legacy of D.L. Moody. I would also invite you to connect with us online, to join with us in prayer, and to learn with us as we rediscover the simple faith and profound insights of Dwight L. Moody, a man from Northfield.
Moody Center’s Vision
Moody Center desires to be the leading catalyst for spiritual transformation in New England and beyond.
In keeping with Dwight L. Moody’s influential legacy, Moody Center seeks to work in concert with local congregations and to participate with God as He ushers in the next Great Awakening. Moody Center has chosen to serve as a catalyst because of our conviction that discipleship happens best within the context of the local church. Our desire is to be known as an organization that is for the local congregations in New England and beyond. We strive to be an organization that does not diminish local congregations, but holds up and enhances the work of the local church by supporting pastors and Christian leaders, hosting individual and group retreats and forums, making our facilities available for worship and the preaching of the word, and fostering a community of prayer.
Moody Center’s Mission
Moody Center exists to provide a space for people to be inspired and prepared to follow Christ through reflection, interaction, learning, and spiritual renewal as in the life and ministry of D.L. Moody.
Moody Center has been given the gift of a beautiful, historic property. It is a property at which God has done amazing work through the life and ministry of D.L. Moody. As Moody Center surveys the landscape of New England and Christian ministries more broadly, we see the need for a space apart. The embattled Christian workers in New England and in other parts of the country need time to engage in the urgent activities of prayer, study and reflection, conversation with other Christian workers, solitude and rest. As Dwight Moody once told a group of pastors who attended a meeting in Northfield,
“Don’t think of your homes, your families, your work, or your churches now. Don’t pray for anything or anybody but yourself. Attend now to your own heart only.”
Those who have been given the task to serve in the ministry must also be given the space to sustain the sort of character that will allow them to carry out faithfully the task they have been given.
Like D.L. Moody, we recognize that our mission is multifaceted. As an historic site situated in New England, we also have a unique opportunity to create a context saturated with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Our desire is not only to serve those who already know Christ, but to proclaim the gospel by telling the story of God’s work in and through the life and ministry of D.L. Moody and those who followed in his footsteps. Moody Center will become a destination where those with a desire to explore the history and heritage of New England, rural sightseeing, and outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and camping. Regardless of why people come to Moody Center, they will hear and see the gospel message and be challenged to dedicate their lives to Christ.
New England and Moody Center
Steeped in history and heritage, it is difficult to visit New England without running across sites of religious significance where Christian women and men sought to advance the gospel. To be sure, the history of Christianity in America is not without blemish, yet, as we look back, it is important to recognize the faithful moments and movements that sought to honor God by preaching Christ to those who needed to hear the gospel.
New England continues to be the home of a number of significant educational institutions and political groups. While the church in New England continues to stand firm amidst a culture that has less and less room for God, there is a need for the whole church to take notice of what is happening in the Northeast. We, as the body of Christ, should consider not only the distinct, Christian heritage of New England, but also the deep influence of New England’s educational and political thought leaders. Moody Center believes there is a great opportunity for the church to come together as one body in order to demonstrate what it means to live for Christ in a world in need of redemption.
In seeking to inspire and prepare the church to witness, Moody Center longs to see the people of God united despite our differences. As Moody once said,
“There used to be a period when the people came up to meeting bringing their candles with them. The first one, perhaps wouldn’t make a great illumination; but when two or three got there, there would be more light. If the people of this city should do that now, if each one should come here with your candle, don’t you think there would be a little light?”
Our prayer is that all of God’s people would come together on behalf of the embattled yet faithful churches in New England and beyond so that together we might shine brightly for the sake of God and the gospel.