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June 2009: Notes Among the Words

Songbook used by missionaries Ian and Helen Anderson during their ministry, including Chinese on the right with the English translation on the left. The volume was probably used among the Chinese in Taiwan, although the Andersons also worked in China from 1934 until 1951. The Andersons continued their ministry among the Chinese in Taiwan from 1952 until their retirement in 1976. (From the papers of Ian and Helen Anderson, Collection 231, box 1, folder 32.

In the midst of all the letters, memos, reports, photographs, video and audio tapes, diaries and more in the Archives, rest the musical notes in songbooks and on song sheets. Most of these document the use of music in evangelistic or missionary ministry, whether in a evangelistic rally, street or village evangelism, or other contexts that utilized music. This medium of expressing faith and Christian doctrine speaks to both the head and the heart. As Cliff Barrows reflected in his oral history interview (Collection 463, audio tape T1):

    "I've always felt that one of the great parts of any meeting (and I think this is...there...there are good biblical foundations for this) is the worship and praise in music, which prepares the heart and offers a dimension of worship and praise to God which is beyond the spoken word. I think that it has been true historically in the life of the church. It's certainly true...the great hymn book of the Bible is the Psalms and they were sung antiphonally and otherwise. The...the...the music that God has put within the heart of man and the gift to bring it out and to express it is a gift from God to be used to bring glory and praise to His name and is one of the most effective ways of communicating spiritual and scriptural truth, as well as lifting the heart in worship and I think bring joy and gladness to the Father's heart as he listens the...the offering presented by the children that He's created through the melodies that...that He's given them and they are giving back to Him." (Read expanded transcribed excerpt of Barrows with accompanying link to audio file.)

(below) Back cover of the crusade songbook from the BGEA's 1980 crusade in Tokyo. (From the BGEA Crusade Activities Records, Collection 17, box 206, folder 4)

(below) Songbook from the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle's "Gospel Songs of the Air" radio program, broadcast in Chicago on station WJBT. Paul Rader was and primary speaker on the program and the Tabernacle's pastor. (From the Records of the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, Collection 38, box 1, folder 53)

 

(below) Songbook from Graham's 1955 Toronto Crusade. (From the records of the Navigators, Collection 7, box 4, folder 4)


The Archives also has recordings of music on wire recordings, audio reels, cassettes and video tapes. A few of these on the Archives Web site such as...


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Last Revised: 06/01/09
Expiration: indefinite

Wheaton College 2009