DL Moody and Crisis Pregnancy Centers
During the Civil War, major revivals broke out in both armies. In the Union Army, between 100,000 and 200,000 soldiers were converted; among Confederate forces, approximately 150,000 troops converted to Christ. Perhaps 10 percent of all Civil War soldiers experienced conversions during the conflict.
Dwight. L. Moody (D.L. Moody) was a great 19th Century preacher and evangelist. So much remains of the work of love achieved by the tireless efforts of Moody and the students who have been trained by his commitment to the evangelism of lost souls.
The pure beginnings of the Chicago Chapter of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) are owed to Moody. Of course, he founded the Moody Bible Institute.
That is the D.L. Moody most people know.
However, most are unaware of his work during the American Civil War. When war broke out he found himself ministering and preaching to the young soldiers of the Union Army. Many of these young men were innocent farm boys who discovered new temptations they had not encountered prior to joining the Army. With the faithful preaching of Moody, countless young men responded to his unconventional approach to immediate conversion.
As the War lingered and casualty lists lengthened, Moody felt called to personally shepherd these broken boys who had been so cheery when they left home so he became a Chaplain in the Union Army. In March of 1862, Moody found himself at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee. Among the repulsive wounds, horrific amputations and dead men, Chaplain Moody shared the urgent message that could immediately make an eternal difference by simply asking, “Are you a Christian?”
It was at Shiloh that he was assigned to a hospital ship on the Tennessee River with four hundred and fifty wounded men, most of them mortally. According to eye witnesses, Moody, “. . . would not let a man die on the boat without telling him of Christ and heaven…he would tell them of Christ as he gave them a cup of cold water.” Coming near a boy dying from shock and loss of blood, Moody gave him brandy and water in hopes he would revive long enough to speak.
A friend of the soldier was close by and told Moody they were from the same small town; that the dying boy was the only son of a widow. Knowing this mother would be anxious to receive a word from her dying son, Moody asked if his mother was a Christian. The friend acknowledged that she was. The mortally wounded soldier came to for a moment and Moody asked if he knew where he was. “I am on my way home to mother,” he said weakly. Informed the youth would die before reaching his mother, Moody shared the Gospel and encouraged the young man to commit his life to Christ. Moody sought the soldier’s last words for his mother. “Tell my mother . . . that I died . . . trusting in Christ.”
Not content to simply stay in Illinois, Moody heard God’s call to GO to the front lines of the Civil War. To GO to places where horror, brutality and death were common place. Battlefields of the American Civil War were not for the faint of heart. The weaponry was more advanced than the tactics and the gruesome carnage and human destruction that resulted left macabre scenes all over the farms, fields and small towns of America. Undeterred, Moody vowed that no man would die without hearing the Gospel and having an opportunity to commit their life to Christ.
D.L. Moody is a great example for those of us in the mission field of life affirming crisis pregnancy centers and mobile pregnancy center ministry. His unwavering commitment to serve others in the name of Christ stands as a beacon light of encouragement and a model for how to serve faithfully by imitating Christ. Like Moody, we must be willing to GO to those in need rather than wait for them. We must be willing to GO to women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion. We must GO to the places, neighborhoods and communities where most will not or cannot go so that we may be more effective. We must GO and get outside of our comfort zone; meeting women in crisis right where they are regardless of how “safe” it might be. Our mission must be to imitate Jesus, serve others in His name, save lives and share the Gospel.
D.L. Moody heard and answered the call to GO.
Is the Lord calling you to GO? Will you answer, “Here I am, send me.”
If you are a crisis pregnancy center considering mobile pregnancy center ministry, if you feel called to go to abortion minded women with a mobile ultrasound vehicle, we would love to pray with you and discuss how you can become a member of the ICU Mobile Fleet. Click to learn more or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.