Emma Dryer (1835-1925) was born and raised in upstate New York by an aunt and uncle after her parents died. Following her college graduation, she moved to Illinois and joined the staff of Knoxville Female College before beginning her teaching career at Illinois State Normal University.
In 1870, Dryer contracted typhoid fever and nearly died. As she recovered, Dryer examined her life and sensed the need for a vocational change. Moving to Chicago, she began her life of ministry serving poor women and children. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, she organized relief work for the homeless. Later Dryer became the head of Chicago’s Women’s Aid Society and then the superintendent of the Women’s Auxiliary of the YMCA (now know as the YWCA). All the while, she was well-known for her powerful Bible studies and classes. The most famous American evangelist of the time, D. L. Moody, was so impressed with Dryer that he charged her with creating a Bible worker's training institute in Chicago. In 1883, Dryer founded the May Institute. It eventually evolved into the Moody Bible Institute which continues to prepare students for full-time ministry in churches as well as urban ministries on the street.
Why this stop? The Chicago Avenue Brown Line/Purple Line stop is just a couple blocks from the Moody Bible Institute.
Photo courtesy of Moody Bible Institute