Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Melody (08/24/06)
TITLE: Melody Rings
By Glenn A. Hascall
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It was the summer of 1903 with twelve year-old Elton Menno Roth was baptized in the Wabash River in Indiana. Roth was a part of the Mennonite community in Berne and his middle name is most likely in honor of the founder of his faith community, Menno Simons.
Roth took his faith very seriously and would ultimately attend Moody Bible Institute. Elton’s love for music placed him in contact with Dr. A. Verne Westlake and Solomon Ancis from Austria where he learned an enormous appreciation for music composition. As his love for Jesus found musical voice, Roth began touring the United States as a choir director for a variety of traveling evangelists.
During those traveling years Roth spent a significant amount of time writing new music and in the summer of his 32nd year, Roth penned the words to “In My Heart There Rings a Melody” for an evening evangelistic meeting.
In recalling that introduction, Roth noted, “That evening I introduced the song by having more than 200 boys and girls sing it at the open air meeting, after which the audience joined in the singing. I was thrilled as it seemed my whole being was transformed into song.”
In my heart there rings a melody,
There rings a melody with Heaven's harmony;
In my heart there rings a melody;
There rings a melody of love!
This well-loved hymn, introduced in a time between World Wars, remains Elton Roth’s most beloved hymn composition; one which has been sung around camp fires, in youth group meetings and as a part of old fashion camp meetings for nearly a century.
The joy those children felt singing the song in 1923 is the same joy men and women feel today when they rediscover the joy in an inspired melody that has, at it’s heart a profound sense of gratitude for the one who gave His life and provided the ‘melody of love’.
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