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Who is Edward Kimball?

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Author/Source: Karl Bastian

Topic: Evangelism

Edward Kimball dedicated his life to the spiritual guidance of young souls. Little did he know that one of his seemingly unpromising students would later become one of the greatest evangelists in history.

In the bustling city of Boston in the mid-19th century, a relatively unknown Sunday school teacher named Edward Kimball dedicated his life to the spiritual guidance of young souls. Little did he know that one of his seemingly unpromising students, a young boy named Dwight, would later become one of the greatest evangelists in history.

Edward Kimball, a man we now know very little about, found his true calling in the Sunday school classroom. Kimball was passionate about sharing the Good News of Jesus with the children under his care, even those who rarely made it to class, like young Dwight, of which he wrote in his journal, "Of all my students, Dwight demonstrates the least potential for the kingdom of God." Little did he realize that this entry would soon be eclipsed by the transformative power of God's grace.

Dwight L. Moody, born in 1837 in Northfield, Massachusetts, had a difficult childhood marked by poverty and tragedy. He was only four years old when his father died, thrusting the family into financial hardship. Forced to work odd jobs to support his family, Moody's formal education was limited, and he found himself working in a shoe store in Boston as a teenager.

It was in this humble setting that Edward Kimball, burdened by the spiritual condition of his young student, decided to take action. Determined to share the message of salvation with Moody, Kimball went to the shoe shop where the young man worked. Finding him in the back room during his lunch break, Kimball engaged Moody in a heartfelt conversation about the love of Christ.

As they spoke, the atmosphere in the small room shifted. Kimball, driven by a deep conviction and guided by the Holy Spirit, shared the Gospel with Moody. He explained the need for repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, leading Moody to a profound realization of his own spiritual condition. In that humble space, surrounded by shoes and leather, Moody prayed the Sinner's Prayer, surrendering his life to Christ.

Little did anyone know that this seemingly unremarkable moment in a back room of a shoe store would be the catalyst for a transformative journey. Dwight L. Moody's conversion marked the beginning of a remarkable ministry that would impact millions around the world.

Moody's zeal for evangelism and his ability to connect with diverse audiences led to the establishment of the Moody Bible Institute and the Moody Church, both of which continue to thrive today. His influence extended far beyond the shores of the United States, reaching Europe and even inspiring notable figures like F.B. Meyer and Ira Sankey.

The story of Edward Kimball and Dwight L. Moody serves as a powerful reminder that God often works through the seemingly ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary. Kimball's initial perception of Moody's potential for the kingdom of God was dramatically surpassed by the reality of God's transformative grace.

As we engage in children’s ministry and share the message of Christ with children who enter our doors, let us never underestimate the impact of our efforts. The story of Edward Kimball and young Dwight reminds us that even those who appear least likely to make a significant impact can be vessels of God's grace, becoming powerful instruments in His hands. Imagine if Mr. Kimball had given up on Dwight! How many souls would have never been saved?! Let us approach our work with humility and faith, trusting that God can use even the most unexpected individuals to further His kingdom.


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