CORTLAND, N.Y.—At a two-day Ladies’ Advance sponsored by the Empire State Fellowship of Regular Baptist Churches, “The Music of the Heart” wasn’t a conference on music but a conference about music. A music teacher and a conductor of the handbell choir at Appalachian Bible College, Bradley, W.Va., guest speaker Rosalie Anderson took her knowledge of music and applied it to the idea that every Christian woman should produce godly “music” in her daily walk with the Lord.
Speaking from Ephesians 5:19 (“Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”), Rosalie shared three down-to-earth sessions at the Cortland campus of the State University of New York: “Speaking to Yourself,” “Giving Thanks,” and “Submitting Yourself.” She was pointed, persuasive, and practical. The 412 women thoroughly enjoyed Anderson’s humor, honesty, and heart. Her husband, Dr. Daniel Anderson (president of Appalachian Bible College), two of her married daughters, Sarah and Rebekah, and her son-in-law, Michael, complemented her messages by providing a variety of music—solos, duets, quartets, and violin numbers.
Though “Music of the Heart” was the conference theme, two of the nine workshops were about literal music, “True Worship and Music” and “Teaching Children Thru Music,” both taught by members of the Anderson family. Others dealt with such topics as cancer, words (they can help or hurt), nurturing a heart for missions, using your gift in the body of the local church (taught in a session called “Eye Need You”), a unique program in which a church provides meals during hurting times, a character study on the life of Sarah, and sharing your faith (taught by successful, soul-winning missionary Nate Watkins).
Joy filled the Fay Corey Union center as 26 ladies brought their craft items to display and sell. Shirley Golden, who has headed up the Ladies’ Advance for the past 23 years (ministering to a total of 18,153 ladies; this will be her last, since she and her husband are retiring as state representative of the ESF) believed this conference was extra special. She rejoiced in the many testimonies about the significant impact the Ladies’ Advance made on those who attended. “It might have been number 23, but to me it was number one,” Shirley says. The ladies definitely went home with music in their hearts.