Dwight Lyman Moody (February 5, 1837 - December 22, 1899), also known as D.L. Moody, was an American evangelist and publisher who founded the Moody Church, Northfield School and Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts (now the Northfield Mount Hermon School), the Moody Bible Institute and Moody Publishers.
Dwight Moody was born in Northfield, Massachusetts to a large family. His father, a small farmer and stonemason, was an alcoholic and died at the age of 41 when Dwight was only four years old. He had five older brothers and a younger sister, with an additional twin brother and sister born one month after his father's death. His mother struggled to support the family, but even with her best effort, some of her children had to be sent off to work for their room and board. Dwight too was sent off, where he went he received cornmeal porridge and milk, three times a day. He complained to his mother, but when she found out that he had all that he wanted to eat, she sent him back. Even during this time, she continued to send them to church. Together with his eight siblings he was raised in the Unitarian church. His oldest brother ran away and was not heard from by the family until many years later.
When Moody turned 17, he moved to Boston to work in his uncle's shoe store. One of his uncle's requirements was that Moody attend the Congregational Church of Mount Vernon where Dr. Edward Norris Kirk was pastor. In April 1855 Moody was then converted to evangelical Christianity when his teacher, Edward Kimball talked to him about how much God loved him. His conversion sparked the start of his career as an evangelist. However his first application for church membership, in May 1855, was rejected. He was not received as a church member until May 4, 1856. As his teacher, Mr. Edward Kimball, stated,