‘The Moody Center’ to acquire several Northfield campus buildings

  • “The Moody Center,” a Massachusetts nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the ideals of 19th-century evangelist Dwight L. Moody, will be given 10 buildings on the former Northfield Mount Hermon School campus in Northfield on May 2, including the auditorium.

Recorder Staff
Published: 2/7/2017 11:42:24 PM

NORTHFIELD — While the majority of the former Northfield Mount Hermon School campus is finding a new owner in Thomas Aquinas College, 10 more buildings are being given to The Moody Center.

Larry Edge, manager of the Northfield Campus LLC, the organization owned by the National Christian Foundation that currently oversees the campus property, announced in August the foundation’s plans to organize The Moody Center, a nonprofit that will promote the ideals of 19th-century evangelist Dwight L. Moody, the school’s founder.

On Tuesday, Edge and Emmitt Mitchell, a member of the National Christian Foundation Heartland’s board of directors, announced the National Christian Foundation has reached an agreement to give 10 campus buildings to The Moody Center.

The buildings, which include the Moody homestead, Revell Hall, Holton Hall, the old bookstore, Moore Cottage, Daly House, Duly House, Hibbard Hall, the auditorium and the former infirmary, will be given to The Moody Center on May 2. Mitchell said The Moody Center is also negotiating for Round Top, the hill where Moody is buried, and Moody artifacts belonging to Northfield Mount Hermon School.

The Moody Center, Edge and Mitchell said, will hold events, particularly conferences, offer ways for visitors to the campus to learn more about Moody and will have a public museum.

“This is something that the foundation is trying to pull together, because there’s really nothing there to promote Mr. Moody and his ideals,” Edge said previously. “It’s something that we’re trying to do to create some activity there originally, at least to a part of the campus.”

“Northfield was once a premier destination for Christian leaders and conferences, and through this transition of ownership, The Moody Center has the opportunity to again re-establish the property as a preeminent location for teaching and training biblical scholars,” Mitchell said in a National Christian Foundation press release. “While D.L. Moody died over 100 years ago, the legacy of Moody lives on today. The Moody Center is committed to sharing his life and message of inspiration with the next generation.”

Moody founded Northfield Mount Hermon School as two institutions: the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies in 1879 and Mount Hermon School for Boys in 1881. In 1971, the Northfield and Mount Hermon campuses became a single coeducational school.

The school consolidated to the Mount Hermon campus in Gill in September 2005 and the Northfield campus was sold in 2009 to Hobby Lobby. At the end of 2012, Hobby Lobby transferred ownership of the campus to the National Christian Foundation, which has planned to give the campus to an institution that honors Moody’s legacy. The campus has been vacant for more than 12 years.

Mitchell believes the center will complement Thomas Aquinas College, and ensure that “those parts of Moody’s life that are special to so many will be preserved.”

Mitchell said the National Christian Foundation has also offered The Moody Center a matching grant for $5 million, which, should The Moody Center be able to match the funds, could be used to refurbish the historic buildings.


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