Building A Memorial To God's Great Servant
God has conferred upon the members of The Moody Church a wonderful privilege in giving us this sacred opportunity and responsibility. We have a priceless heritage in the church D.L. Moody left to us, in its confession of faith, its constitution and mode of government, and in Mr. Moody’s impregnable loyalty to the word of God, and his quenchless life-long passion to win men and women to Christ.
Highly as we in The Moody Church love and esteem his memory, there are thousands upon thousands of believers around the world who honor and revere his name with equal if not greater fervor than our own. In fact, so great was the impress of Mr. Moody’s life and work upon the whole Christian world that some of the strongest tributes to his greatness were voiced by the secular press, as for example when the Chicago Inter Ocean, formerly one of America’s leading daily newspapers, in an editorial printed ten years after his death, said of him:
“As time goes on it becomes clear that, measured by the work he did for mankind and the influence he was for good, the most notable citizen yet produced by Chicago was Dwight L. Moody.”
Chicago’s Greatest Citizen
This editorial reads in part as follows:
“In celebrating today the anniversary of the birth of Dwight L. Moody, the Christian people of Chicago honor not so much his memory as their city and themselves.
“For, as time goes on, it becomes clear that, measured by the work he did for mankind and the influence he was for good, the most notable citizen yet produced by Chicago was Dwight L. Moody.
“In the numbers he reached and in the change he wrought in their lives, no pleader of the Gospel cause for a century back can be compared with Moody. We have had many great preachers, skilled to open the eyes of the soul and play upon the heart-strings, but none like him.
“Dwight L. Moody was the great illustration within living memory of the power of faith so absolute that it knew not even the imagination of a wavering. He had reached a Christian conviction from which there was no turning…And his faith bred a faith that reflected his own in hundreds of thousands.
“No man has yet arisen in this city and gone out from it who has so moved the human world as Dwight L. Moody. There are proposals for monuments to his memory, in addition to the great church he founded and which continues his work locally as best it may.
“It were well that Chicago should thus visibly mark her appreciation of the position of her most notable citizen. But Dwight L. Moody’s monument is in the hearts of the thousands upon thousands of men he moved to take heed to their way and to endeavor to walk righteously; and in the memory of him that they hand down in every community of which they are a part.”
“Never Made a Serious Mistake”
At the time of Mr. Moody’s death the press of the world was filled with his praises. The Chicago Daily News declared that he differed from nearly all other great leaders in that throughout his entire career in the public eye he was never known to have made a serious mistake.
Henry Drummond, famous English scientist and scholar of Mr. Moody’s time who became intimately acquainted with him, described him as “the biggest human I ever met.”
And within the past year the American Magazine of New York City, with a circulation of more than 2,000,000, published an article by Mr. John R. Mott, distinguished leader of the Student Volunteer Movement, in which he named seven great Americans he has known, men of vision who have left the most lasting impress upon their country and the world, and of the seven he gave first place to D.L. Moody.
Truly we are honoring ourselves and our church in this great undertaking, and above all the God and Saviour who gave His humble servant of heavenly might to the world, and used him in winning the lost as perhaps none other since the days of the apostles.
Pray! And Keep On Praying!
Building the D.L. Moody Memorial Church is for us a very great project. Our devotion and trust in God must be exercised continually in earnest prayer and faithful giving, “paying our vows unto the Lord” in the matter of regularly meeting the payments on our pledges.
The church building is to be completed first, and in order to make the final payments to the contractors, which it now appears will be due about October or November this year (1925), we will require close to $380,000 more ready money than is now in sight. To borrow so large a sum, if that were possible, would load the church with an annual interest charge seemingly larger than we could bear, and of necessity we must now put forth every effort possible to secure additional gifts toward the building.
Not that those who pledged so nobly a year ago are to be further burdened, for in love and sacrificial giving that occasion doubtless reached “high water mark” of the church’s giving in all its history.
But there are about 600 of our members, many of them living outside Chicago, who for various reasons did not have a part in our pledge campaign a year ago.
It is now necessary for these friends to come to our help as God enables them, and partake with the rest of the family in the glad service of erecting this great memorial building.
Those who live in Chicago will be urged to attend the services on the Building Fund Campaign Anniversary, Sunday, January 25, 1925, when the opportunity to pledge will be presented to them by Pastor Philpott; and in the meantime the out of town friends will be addressed by mail.
When as a church, we have done all that we can, we may then rely upon it that God will raise up friends who will do the rest.
Pledges payable through the next four years now total about $345,000. This will all be required for repayment of such a loan as we are able to make; to erect the Sunday School and Young People’s building; and to pay what we still owe on trustees’ notes which were issued to clear the mortgage off our ground.
Chicago’s Debt to D.L. Moody
It remains to be said that there is an aspect to our building project altogether apart from our need of a church adequate to the requirements of our work. It is partly indicated in the world-wide extent of Mr. Moody’s service and more particularly here at home by the fact of the great debt due to him from the city of Chicago. This is now being brought to the attention of some of the city’s men of wealth, and we ask that you supplicate our Heavenly Father to open the hearts He would have opened to respond to our appeal.
In the 1860s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, D.L. Moody did more to more to make Chicago known throughout America and around the world than any other Chicago citizen, with the possible exception of the founders of the Stock Yards.
D.L. Moody secured the money which bought for the Y.M.C.A. the ground in the Loop on which the Central Y.M.C.A. building stands.
He founded not only The Moody Church but also the Moody Bible Institute, which has grown to be the greatest institution of its kind in the world.
A Strategic Location
Another important consideration is that Moody Church’s memorial to D.L. Moody is located facing Lincoln Park eastward and the widened LaSalle Boulevard westward, one of the most important locations in the city from the standpoint of the “New Chicago” vision of the Chicago Plan Commission. It is of city-wide interest that the Moody Memorial Church [building] should be just the beautiful and commanding structure that has been designed by the architects; hence it has a valid claim on the financial support of public spirited citizens as well as upon those who love our Lord and will help because of its spiritual ministry.