In the early stages of my journey to pastoral ministry, I was an intern in a mid-sized country church in Ontario, Canada. I don’t remember how old it was exactly, but the church was at least 100 years old and had witnessed many of the cultural changes that came to our denomination over time. One of those changes was the introduction of musical instruments.
I first heard the story of the “organ battle” from Chris, an elderly member of the congregation who told the story with a heavy helping of gentleness and grace. It wasn’t until 1955 that the General Conference of the Brethren in Christ authorized the use of instruments in the church for those that desired them. When interest in having an organ installed at the Rosebank congregation developed, the church essentially divided into two factions, those who were for it and those who were against it.