Thursday, August 9, 2007

Circuit Ridin' Preachers


Before congregations were well organized, traveling evangelists would come through an area in the summertime and conduct services for a week or so. Some would carry their own tent. Reverend Ost of Minneapolis often came to Rosewood although he did not have a tent. Services would also be held in the homes.

Perhaps we can tweak this and say this may be the way that Nina Mellem met Reverend Olaf Anderson. We know he is was a circuit preacher, even after the church was built in Rosewood. Before I knew of Reverend Olaf Anderson, I knew each time his grand daughter sang this song, she would comment on him. She has a beautiful voice and with her brother, Robert, on guitar and others singing, one could hear the creak of the leather saddle. Reverend Olaf may have taken the train, yet, try to imagine him on horse back.

Here is the song:

The circuit ridin' preacher used to ride across the land,

With a rifle on his saddle and a Bible in his hand,

He told the prairie people all about the promised land,

As he went riding, singing down the trail.

CHORUS Leaning, Leaning, safe and secure from all alarms!

Leaning, Leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

The circuited ridin' preacher traveled thru the mire and mud,

Told about the fiery furnace and of Noah and the flood,

He preached the way to heaven was by water and the blood,

As he went riding, singing down the trail.

There is pow'r, pow'r, wonder working pow'r In the blood, (in the blood), of the lamb, (of the lamb).

There is pow'r, pow'r, wonder working pow'r In the precious blood of the lamb.

In an earlier post, (June 19), there is a picture of Reverend Anderson sitting at a table with an open book. There was some discussion about what the book was. Shirley, as you remember, scanned his song book to share, (June 20), stating the hymnal was smaller. We have learned that people brought their Bibles from Norway; the books were large print leather bound books. We think the book on the table is his Bible.

Is music talent passed down like brown eyes and brown hair? As a man of the gospel, certainly Olaf sang. We know Lloyd played the guitar and mandolin. He started a string band group in Rosewood. We know that Dorothy inherited the gift; she sang and played the piano. They did duets at the Mission Church. Olaf's grandson, Robert Anderson, played guitar and sang. And Paul, the son of Robert, sings A cappella with "HOOKSLIDE is a high energy mix of mind blowing vocal percussion, booming bass and screaming four-part harmony that is guaranteed to knock you out!"

What other traveling groups came through Rosewood?

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