James Gilruth



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Gilruth is serving as Presiding Elder of the Detroit District. He informs Finley that a charter has been secured for a new Methodist seminary. However, Gilruth fears that the sectarian nature of the proposed seminary will make it difficult to purchase land for it. He then discusses the "singing question." He has been attempting to get back to orthodoxy with regard to music in the district by banning the fiddle, and asking congregations to sing unaccompanied. To that end, he has been successful with lining hymns (preacher sings a verse and congregation repeats). Gilruth is concerned about sticking to the Discipline. In his words -- "I feel we have much need to stand firm by our Discipline -- there is so much innovation of one kind or another that unless we rally round the standard and bring everything to the letter of the law there is no knowing where we shall land." He reports that several preachers in the district have gotten married. He has had concerns but has not "meddled." Abstract Number - 157

Abstract Number


Publication Date



Ann Arbor, MI


General Ministry; Detroit District; Church Music; Hymn lining; Married Circuit Riders; Orthodoxy

Letter from James Gilruth to James B. Finley