In regard to DL Moody, Earnest Trice Thompson says in his book "Changing Emphasis in American Preaching":
* Charles G. Finney, the most important evangelist in the opening half of the nineteenth century, marks a turning point in the history of American revivalism...Finney revolted against Old School of Calvinism...because, like Lyman Beecher and many others, he felt that it cut the nerve of human effort -- denying man's ability, and therefore his responsibility to turn onto the Lord... He popularized...the 'protracted meeting' and was responsible for the widespread use of the anxious seat. He prayed for conversion of sinners by name and allowed women to pray as freely as men.
* Moody, who followed in (Finney's) footsteps, inaugurated evangelistic campaigns, in which the Churches of a city would unite in a series of meetings to win men to Christ.
* It was the business genius of B. Fay Mills, however, which more than anything else is responsible for the revivalism... His careful preparation, thorough organization, and high pressure methods gave it business efficiency and promoted mass conversion, which sometimes resembled mass production. Mills's disciple was J. Wilbur Chapman, and he in turn, passed the new system onto William A. Sunday, who brought it to its ultimate 'perfection'.
* The great growth in knowledge through public education, the enormously increased facilities for communication, the very struggle and competition of modern life, especially in the great centers have developed in the average man an intelligence, a self-control, a power of rational inhibition, that makes him far less suggestible, less nervously unstable, less imitative, less liable to be swept away by great gusts of passion or emotion. He is in many respects less of a primitive and more of a highly civilized man, and over him the old revival method has correspondingly lost its power.
* Some conclude that the day of mass evangelism is gone forever. For the future, they think we must look to educational evangelism or to what is called clinical evangelism, an evangelism carried on through individual contacts. Whether or not this is the case, we must have methods different from the ones used by Finney, Moody, and Bill Sunday,
* Some facts on DL Moody:
1. He was born on Feb. 5, 1837.
2, His father was a mason, who died when Moody was 4 years old, leaving his widow and nine children nothing but a little house encumbered with debt.
3. Moody grew up in an atmosphere of grinding poverty.
4. His mother was a Unitarian. (Unitarism believes that God is one person, not three.)
5. At the age of 17 he left home for Boston, secured a position in his uncle's shoe store, and won almost instant success as a salesman.
6. Two years later he went to Chicago.
7. By the time he reached the age 24 he had saved $7,000 and was making over $5,000 a year. He was well on his say to success when suddenly he gave up his position to devote himself entirely to religious work, with no assured compensation whatsoever.
8. [His sudden decision to devote himself to the religious work] was due largely to three individuals (while he was in Boston):
1) First, to his Uncle Samuel, who made regular church attendance one of the conditions for holding his position (as a shoe salesperson) at his shoe store.
2) Second, to Uncle Samuel's wife, Typhonia. On one occasion Moody said to her, "I like the pastor, Mr. Kimball, but the rich and pious folks at Mt. Vernon make me sick and tired." She replied, "Never mind, Dwight, the church is the bride of Christ." Moody then complained, "Is that Christianity?" She replied, "Lad, we are to fight the good fight of faith. Do you love the Church?" "Well, I guess I do," replied Moody. "Then forget the rest," she replied.
3) The third person responsible for his conversion was his Sunday school teacher, Mr. Kimball. Once he visited the store where Moody was working. He found Dwight in the back of the store, wrapping up shoes. As Mr. Kimball told the story later: "I went up to him at once, and putting my hand on his shoulder...told him of Christ's love for him, and the love Christ wanted in return, And Moody gave his heart to Jesus. Thereafter, as usual, Dwight went to Aunt Typhonia, with the burden on his heart. "Do you love Christ"? she asked. "Well I guess I do," was his response. "Then don't worry, lad, over how you talk," she replied. "Just try to tell the people what He has done for your soul, and He'll do the rest."
9. When he went to Chicago he joined a wealthy Church and rented a pew which he undertook to fill every Sunday with boys and young men from the boarding houses and off the streets. Before long he was filling four pews instead of one.
10. Very early in his own life Moody formed the resolution never to let a day go by without speaking to someone about Christ. "Are you a Christian?" he once asked a man just arriving in Chicago. "It is none of your business," was the reply. "But it is my business," was the answer. "Then," said the stranger, "you must be D. L. Moody."
11. Moody once said, "I was born of the flesh in 1837. I was born of the Spirit in 1856."
12. "If God has given you a message, go and give it to the people as [it is]. It is a stupid thing to try to be eloquent."
13. Moody believed in advertising his evangelistic meetings.
14. Moody was an old-fashioned premillennialist (not a modern dispensationalist.) He believed in the return of Christ at any moment.