Billy Graham Center

The Archives Bulletin Board

This service is intended for Wheaton College students, faculty and staff; people who live in convenient driving range to campus; or people who will be visiting Wheaton's campus. Every month, this Bulletin Board will highlight a new document or set of documents that are available in the Archives. Come on over and have a look!
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March 2009: Moody Scrapbook of Urban Ministry

Photo Albums: Moody XI


In 1858, Chicago shoe salesman and active Christian layman Dwight L. Moody started a Sunday School on the north side of the city for the street urchins he saw everywhere. That Sunday School gradually grew into a church that was named after its founder. For a century and a half, Moody Church has been an active urban congregation. In Collection 330, the Archives has dozens of boxes of records and many scrapbooks telling the story of the church's life and outreach.

On this page are a few mementos from a scrapbook that document one brief era in the life of the church. In 1915 Paul Rader was pastor of the church and he was absolutely committed to taking the Gospel to people who had never heard it, not only on the Congo River but also on the Chicago River. In 1915-1916, he led Moody Church in a massive six month effort. Every night there was an evangelistic service in the Tabernacle and on many weekday afternoons there were meetings or outdoor rallies in downtown Chicago and some street corner preaching. The church used word-of-mouth, little cards that could be handed out to pedestrians, mailings, newspaper advertisements and other methods to reach people who never went to church. The items on this page and the pages linked to it are all from a scrapbook in Collection 330 that documents the effort.

The scrapbook shows not only the colorful posters and cards that the church distributed to draw people in, but has the detailed instructions that were prepared for counselors, prayer groups, ushers and others in the church that were participating. Various items show how current events, such as Pershing's 1916 invasion of Mexico to catch Pancho Villa or the outbreak of World War I in Europe, were used to catch people's interest. The newspapers not only printed advertisements from the church, but many news stories and event sermons. All in all the scrapbook is a memorial of a particularly American effort to use popular culture and the mass media to bring the Gospel to the people.

Click here to see samples of some other items from the scrapbook.

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Last Revised: 03/01/09
Expiration: indefinite

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