The influence of Dwight L. Moody is felt all around the world. He led revivals in the United States and the United Kingdom, and he influenced missionaries who traveled to even more countries. It would be easy to have many options where we could base a center out of to honor Moody’s legacy, so why are we at Northfield?
Dave Powell, our board member and one of Moody’s descendants, answers some of this question by saying, “To understand Dwight L. Moody, one has to understand his influence in Northfield […]. It was in Northfield that he was born, lived part of his life, and was buried. It was there he created two schools; the Northfield Seminary for Girls in 1879 and the Mt. Hermon School for Boys in 1881. It was also in Northfield where he held the Northfield summer conferences which brought people from all over the world.”
Northfield was a launching point for D.L. Moody, and it also was the place he came home to in his later years. While his revivals are the most well known aspect of his mission, the work at Northfield of carefully training and sending out devoted workers for Christ held just as much impact. Through the conferences and training, the influence of Moody’s work continued long after his death. There are many places all over the world who trace their conversions back to missionaries trained by Moody. For example, there still are groups from South Korea who visit Northfield, because they trace their faith back through missionaries sent out by Moody.
With the announcement of the new college campus and The Moody Center opening the Northfield property in 2005, there is great potential for much activity on the property. Dave Powell remarked that “with the opening of The Moody Center [now] is the time we should do all we can to rekindle the Moody spirit.”
From each visitor to the property, there is a consistent theme that they feel a sense of God’s nearness. This Northfield property is a sacred place, and The Moody Center wants to step in and bring renewed life. The quiet beauty of the setting will be a great asset to provide a refreshing place for those who come to participate, and through new programs, we hope to capture the life and energy of Moody’s conferences.
The Moody Center will make this Northfield property a place of abundance again. This is only the beginning!
(photo from The Moody Church)