9. Dwight Lyman Moody: America’s Greatest Evangelist (April 21, 1855)

How a Boston shoe store clerk became America’s greatest evangelist

A native of Northfield, Massachusetts, 17-year-old D.L. Moody was converted to Christ after hearing the Gospel from a member of Tremont Temple. The young man accepted Christ in a backroom of Holton’s shoe store where he worked as a clerk. Moody later became a phenomenally successful businessman in Chicago. He made enough money to retire at a young age and enter the ministry. Moody used his business connections to raise millions of dollars for charitable organizations and Christian missions. He went on to become one of the most influential preachers in 19th century America winning thousands to Christ.

Moody conversion site plaque

In England, D.L. Moody was ridiculed by students at an evangelistic meeting at Cambridge University. However, seven students pledged their lives to Christ and became known as the “Cambridge Seven.” They networked with American students at twenty state universities and spawned the “Student Volunteer Movement.” Out of this revival came groups such as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the Student Mission Association. As a result, thousands of young people were released onto the mission field for the goal total world evangelization.

Right: A plaque commemorates the spot where Moody was converted: “D.L. Moody, Christian evangelist, friend of man, founder of the Northfield schools, was converted to God in a shoe store on this site, April 21, 1855.”

See also: The Coming Great Awakening

Below: Court Square, Boston, The site where Holton’s shoe store once stood.

Court Square

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