Faith Temple Church Bishop Carlis L. Moody, Sr.  was famous for his travels around the world, carrying his ministry to close to 40 countries.

Starting Jan. 17, visitors are expected to travel to Evanston in a celebration of life services for Bishop Moody, the founder and pastor of Faith Temple since 1957.

In January of that year, Mr. Moody and his wife, Mary  Alice, came to Evanston and organized Faith Temple originally at 1916 Dodge Ave., with six people in a living room, Bishop Moody recalled in a video, celebrating his first 40 years.

Correction – “six people and a dog,” Bishop Moody recalled, a mischievous smile lighting up his face, “because the dog attended every service.

“His name was Rex,” he recalled. “So Rex and six folks got the church started.”

The Faith Temple Congregation, now located at 1932 Dewey Ave., comprises more than 200 families, with a sanctuary that can seat 450, according to Bishop Moody’s biography on the Faith Temple web site.

Bishop Moody was born Dec.  16, 1934, to  Mr. Booker T.  and Geneva Moody in Tifton,  Ga., the church biography noted.

He began his missionary work outside the United States in 1970 after he attended the Moody Bible Institute.

“All of my life, since, I was a kid, I loved people,” he told his interviewer. “And so I think this is what really led me into missions. Missions are my life.”

Bishop Moody served as Vice President of the Black Ministers Alliance for two years in Evanston. He also served as a member of the Curriculum Council for Evanston Township High School for one year, according to the church biography.

In January, 1996, a portion of Dewey Avenue was given the honorary name of Bishop Carlis L. Moody. Moody was the first minister honored under the then new program.

At the Monday, Jan. 14 regular Evanston City Council  meeting, Mayor Stephen Hagerty passed on the sad news of Bishop Moody’s death.

Bishop Moody, through his drug rehabilitation work, was instrumental in changing the lives of men and women, Mayor Hagerty noted.

“He had a significant, significant impact on the lives of many, many people throughout his life,” the Mayor said.

Ald. Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, expressed was among those paying tribute to Bishop Moody’s impact.

He called Bishop Moody just “an amazing human being and example of someone who lived a very purpose-driven life.”

Alderman Robin Rue Simmons,  in whose Fifth Ward  Faith  Temple is located,  asked that community members keep the entire  Moody family and Faith  Church in their prayers, paying homage to the life of  “a really outstanding  man.”

“I don’t even have words to describe how special he was,” said Ald. Simmons, who attended the church’s academy while in grade school and is a church member. 

In the community, Bishop Moody “served us for 64 years, having planted in the Fifth Ward and being committed, never leaving the neighborhood,” she said.

 His service extended throughout the world, she said, touching as many as 80 countries.

Bishop Moody has been succeeded as the Faith Temple’s leader by his son, Bishop Carlis Moody, Jr. The church has planned a number of services. A viewing will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Jan. 17 at the church, 1932 Dewey Ave., with services planned for 6 p.m.

A pre-past and international service will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. on Jan. 18 at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster Ave., just across from the church.

Bob Seidenberg is an award-winning reporter covering issues in Evanston for more than 30 years. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.