The Moody Church Celebrates 150th Anniversary

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Chicago church founded by D.L. Moody continues legacy of service and faithfulness.

The Moody Church—one of the Chicago’s oldest institutions—celebrates its 150th anniversary this month.

"The Moody Church is a Chicago institution, through and through, and we’re thrilled to mark 150 years of serving our community," said Dr. Erwin Lutzer, Senior Pastor of The Moody Church.

Founding History

Since its official founding in 1864, The Moody Church has never missed a Sunday worship service and continues to care for the city, just as its founder did. In 1856, D.L. Moody, a traveling shoe salesman from Massachusetts who would later become one of the world’s most famous evangelists, was concerned for Chicago’s poor. To help, he began a Sunday School for children in "The Sands," an area currently located near Navy Pier, one of the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods at the time. Two years later, over 1,000 children and adults attended Moody’s Sunday School, which later became The Moody Church.

Moody went on to found the Moody Bible Institute and Moody Publishers, also in Chicago. Both are still operating today.

The Moody Church Today

The Moody Church welcomes 2,000 attenders each Sunday, hosts three radio programs, and is known worldwide as "a place where anyone can connect with God and others." Its current building, dedicated in 1925, is one of the largest Romanesque-style architecture churches in the United States and was included in the 2013 and 2014 Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago initiative.

The Moody Church has continued its founder’s legacy of aiding the poor by launching several not-for-profit ministries, including Chicago-based By The Hand Club for Kids. By The Hand Club is an after-school program that provides holistic care with an academic emphasis to approximately 1,000 children in Chicago’s high-risk, inner-city neighborhoods. The church has also partnered with many other not-for-profits and has led relief projects throughout the city of Chicago and the world including India, Africa, Dominican Republic, Brazil, and the Philippines.

"As we reflect on 150 years, we honor the past and anticipate the future," continued Lutzer. "The history of The Moody Church will continue to be written by a new generation to whom we leave a legacy of unbroken faithfulness."

Anniversary Celebration

The Moody Church’s sesquicentennial anniversary celebration will span four months and culminate in a Legacy Dinner in May. The celebration also includes a commemorative book, Celebrating the Joy of Changed Lives, which traces the history of The Moody Church and contains previously unpublished photos and correspondence.

Throughout the anniversary celebration, all Chicagoans are warmly invited to attend complimentary guided tours of the historical building on Sundays following worship services at 10am. The Moody Church is located at 1635 N. LaSalle, Chicago, IL, 60614.

Visit for more details.

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Kelly Van Tuinen
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