A New Story About Mr. Moody
Mr. John Langston, who, as a boy, remembers Mr. Moody’s first work in Chicago, and attended the North Market Street Sunday School, gave a very interesting description of Mr. Moody’s recruiting methods. He said:
“It is something to be born again, and I found Jesus back in the Illinois Street mission through the instrumentality of my old teacher, George Roberts, who went home to Glory during this present year. I bless the day when George talked to me after school, and you teachers have a splendid opportunity, better than any pastor could have.
“I want to go back to the time when Brother Moody started the Sunday School in North Market Hall. He came on Saturday afternoon and knocked at the door, and mother answered it. He asked if she had any children, and she answered, “Two.”
“He wanted to know if she didn’t want us to come to his Sunday School the next day, so the next day my sister and I went with a bunch of children, to where the Criminal Court building now stands. In the old days there was a Market Hall there filled with stalls where meat and vegetables and fish were sold. At the northern end was the police station, and at the southern end a hall used for dances, meetings, etc.
“Brother Moody got permission to hold the school there, and he used to go early Sunday morning to clean the place up for Sunday School. He used to get men to come down there and talk to us. He got President Lincoln to stop there and speak while on his way to be inaugurated at Washington. He believed in advertising.
“The war came on, and they had to use that room, and turned it into a recruiting station, and Brother Moody went to the war and became a chaplain, and we had no place to go.
“There was a rag shop on the southwest corner of Dearborn and Monroe street, and during the war the meetings were held there, the prayer meetings, etc. When Brother Moody returned from the war he was much disturbed. He hadn’t a place, and he used to come in to pray, and mother would stop her work and they would get down on their knees and pray for a place.
“One day Brother Moody was there, and he said, “Sister Langston, we must get a church some way.” He prayed earnestly, and about an hour later he came back and said, “Sister Langston, I have five hundred dollars for the new church,” as happy as a boy.
“He was one of the most energetic fellows you ever saw. He would play games with the boys, and at the picnics he would come home either without a coat or with one so torn and tattered he could not use it again. Someone asked me what he used to do to get the boys and girls.
“Next to old Market Hall was a vacant store, and Brother Moody would get fifty to seventy-five boys gathered in there and have a fine time playing games, and then he would tell us about Jesus and talk to us. Then he would get us in line and would have paper bags, arranged for in advance, with candy, popcorn and perhaps an apple, and as we marched out each one would get a bag. I have tried that in Sunday School work, and it works every time. Try it. They would every one be there the next day. It pays to spend a little for Jesus Christ.
“I want to tell you teachers, if you get a chance to get hold of the hearts of boys and girls in the Sunday School, you do it, for it is hard to do it afterwards. There is where we lay the foundation of Christ Jesus.”