January 7, 2021

family music 71

Kingswood University, formerly known as Bethany Bible College, published a book to tell the story of the school. As an alumni, Dad was asked to contribute. He was involved in their ministry of music and then it became the central part of his life's work.

"...Music was a special interest to me during those early years at Bethany. My first musical instrument was a small button accordion which drove the fellows crazy in Rogers Residence. I began piano lessons with Betty Ruth Stairs as my teacher in my second year at Bethany. She thought she'd seen it all until I played a song on the black keys - courtesy of a $1.00 instruction book from Eaton's catalogue. She taught me piano for three years...

Very soon, I was ministering in weekend services at many Reformed Baptist and United Baptist churches in the area, often with fellow student Karl Gorman as speaker. Another ministry I participated in was street corner meetings on Saturday nights in Yarmouth at the corner of John and Main Street. Bethany students participated in speaking and singing. These street corner meetings were quite an attraction often packing the corner until police had to curb the crowds so traffic could flow by. I remember on one occasion, we had a gentleman in attendance who had consumed too much alcohol. He stepped to the front and requested we sing an old song for him, "Just as we are". (Just As I Am)

In 1952, I graduated from high school but returned that fall for a one year Bible course and ended up staying for the three-year program. Stewart Steeves and Stillman Cameron came to Bethany and we formed a trio, complete with accordion and guitar. Later Rev. Norman Trafton, who was President at that time, joined us as a quartet called The Ambassadors. We travelled the month of June in 1953 and 1954 to most Reformed Baptist churches and some Nazarene churches in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine..."