Bearded Gospel Men: D.L. Moody

What? You thought I was only going to feature Reformed guys? Moody was definitely not Reformed, but he was definitely a gospel man! Moody's and his 8 siblings were raised by their mother. His father died when Moody was very young, and this put a considerable strain on his mother and family. Moody grew up attending a Unitarian church, but at 17 he moved to Boston to work in his uncle's shoe store. During this time he began attending a Congregational church and heard the gospel regularly. One day his Sunday School teacher pressed him with the gospel and Moody was converted.

Moody is known as an evangelist, but his work and influence were both broad and global. He traveled the world preaching to thousands, partnering with the vocalist, Ira Sankey, who would sing at these evangelistic meetings. In 1886 Moody started the Chicago Bible Institute (later renamed after its founder as Moody Bible Inst.). He found there was a need for such a school since so few Christians were being trained in counseling "inquirers" in Scripture or even the gospel. You get his heart when he said, "One of the great purposes we have in view in the Bible Institute is to raise up men and women who will put their lives alongside the life of the poor and the laboring classes, and bring the influence of the Gospel to bear upon them."

All of Moody's accomplishments were made without the aid of any formal education. What he did he did by the power of the Holy Spirit and the preaching of the good news. God was with "Mr. Moody" and personally I am forever thankful. Shortly after my own conversion I was accepted to the Moody Bible Institute, where I would not just earn my B.A., but also find clarity concerning my calling, and meet the woman who would be my wife.

Moody and I wouldn't have been on the same page on a number of theological issues, but on the gospel we couldn't be closer.

For more on Moody check out The Life and Times of D.L. Moody at CT,  and The Life and Work of D.L. Moody by Chapman (both online for free).