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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Melody (08/24/06)

TITLE: Melody Rings
By Glenn A. Hascall
08/28/06


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“True evangelical faith cannot lie dormant. It clothes the naked, it feeds the hungry, it comforts the sorrowful, it shelters the destitute, it serves those that harm it, it binds up that which is wounded, it has become all things to all people.” – Menno Simons

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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This article has been read 1013 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth Muehlhausen09/01/06
Interesting history lesson! I love this song!
Jan Ackerson 09/01/06
I love that song--the women used to do a complicated little counter-part that just tickled me. Haven't sung it in years and years. Thanks for reminding us all.
Bonnie Derksen09/01/06
When I stepped into the family of God in 1981 this was one of the church's favorite hymns so, naturally, it is very close to my heart. Hard to sing this hymn and remain somber, especially when everyone moves into their "parts". What a joy for the author to know that God used his pen and creativity to bless and encourage so many of us. Thank you for your writing.
Lynda Lee Schab 09/05/06
My kids are the ones who started school today but I learned something too (yeah!) The piece had a clear, journalistic tone to it. Thanks for sharing. Very well done!
Ann Grover09/05/06
Thanks for sharing. Our sermon on Sunday was on the verse in your opening quote... our 'melody of love' can truly be sung and received when we ARE moving in true faith..
Debbie Sickler09/05/06
Wow. Wasn't expecting this from you, but it was a great change of pace from the typical challenge entry. Thanks for sharing the history of one of my favorite songs from childhood. It was interesting to learn more about it and you definitely have a journalistic flair to go along with your wonderful sense of humor.
Joanne Sher 09/05/06
Enjoyed the history lesson here! This was very nicely written and informative - definitely kept my interest throughout!
Shari Armstrong 09/05/06
One of my favorites :) and very cool to hear the story behind it -nicely done.
Rebecca Livermore09/05/06
Thanks so much for sharing the beautiful history behind this song. That makes the song that much more meaningful. Good job!
Donna Emery09/06/06
I am so glad that you told this story. So many know this wonderful hymn, and have been inspired by its simple beauty. A very moving story!
Marilyn Schnepp 09/07/06
Who am I to be telling a Masters writer what would do better: however, I thought the beginning was rather mundane, and could have used a lure, something to draw in the reader with a bit more intrigue...but that's just this reader's opinion. However, Nice story, and well written.