Interview with Mr. Marvin Rockwell - MONTEVERDE COSTA RICA - Part 1

This is an amazing interview with Mr. Marvin Rockwell, a 90 years old pioneer from the first generation of Quakers that came to Monteverde after the 2nd Worl...

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Comment by William F Rushby on 3rd mo. 5, 2014 at 2:33pm

Wait a minute!  My edit was added only to an oriental version of "impromptu preaching".  See

Comment by William F Rushby on 3rd mo. 5, 2014 at 2:29pm

Hello, Rick!


Thanks for the encouragement.


You may want to look at "Cyrus Cooper and the Free Gospel Ministry", *Quaker History*.  (Spring, 2000). Vol.89#1, 28-46.


I will also be reading a paper on "Ann Branson and Prophetic Ministry in 19th Century Quakerism" at a conference at Elizabethtown College in June.


I also read a paper on the ritual life of traditional Friends for a 2003 conference on "Anabaptist Ritual", sponsored by Mennonite Sociologists and Anthropologists.  I thought it was good, but it certainly didn't set the world on fire!  Maybe I didn't have the right audience. I am not prepared to circulate either the Branson paper or the ritual paper until I have reworked them.


I wrote an edit for the Wikipedia entry on "Impromptu Preaching".  Whoever evaluated it rejected my work as "unhelpful".  I notice now that it has been incorporated into the article. 

Also see William P. Taber, Ruth M. Pitman, “The Quietist Heritage,” .  *Quaker Religious Thought*. 18:4, #50 (1980)

Comment by Rick Massengale on 3rd mo. 5, 2014 at 1:55pm

Hi William

I look forward to anything you ay share concerning traditional Quaker worship.

Thank You


Comment by Laura Scattergood on 3rd mo. 5, 2014 at 1:55pm

Condemned, huh? wow.  I hope thee well write the book.  I really would like to hear this, done my mimickers or not.

Comment by William F Rushby on 3rd mo. 5, 2014 at 1:50pm

The Haverford recording was done by a couple mimicking the real thing.  You should be able to listen to it there.

Intoned preaching goes way back to early Friends.  Samuel Bownas condemns it in his book on Quaker ministry, published in 1750 but presumably reflecting "issues" from earlier than that.  It was routinely condemned in official Quaker documents right up to the 20th Century.  Despite this, "tones" continued and became so normative for a time that ministry offered without it was considered unlikely to be inspired!  I haven't yet figured out this set of contradictory traditions, but I do have some leads.

Sometime ere long I plan to write about traditional Quaker worship practices.

Comment by Laura Scattergood on 3rd mo. 5, 2014 at 12:44pm

I realized that I got Walter from Walter Macon that thee referred to,  this Walter fellow must have made quite an impression on me!

Comment by Laura Scattergood on 3rd mo. 5, 2014 at 12:43pm

So the Chestnut Ridge Friends still preach in this intoned pattern?  I wonder if one can access the Haverford collection by listening to it in person at the library? Yeah, I realized I got thee, William, confused with Walter.   I wonder when the intoned style started, could it date back to George Fox? Does it seem that a person must be swept up in the Spirit to speak in this manner, that is, it would be difficult to fake?  So glad for the information, thanks much.

Comment by William F Rushby on 3rd mo. 5, 2014 at 12:29pm

Walter was my father's name!  It was also Walter Macon's first name.  All it took was a few grandchildren to rework your brain waves!

The Haverford Quaker Collection has an online recording of intoned preaching, but it doesn't work.  I don't think there was a single style of intoned preaching, but I suspect that there was some uniformity in local communities of Friends.  When I hear intoned preaching from the Chestnut Ridge Friends, I can recognize where it originates very easily.

Walter Macon's preaching had more "tune" to it than that of the Ridge Friends, which is more monotone.

Comment by Laura Scattergood on 3rd mo. 5, 2014 at 11:30am

I mean thanks WILLIAM!  I am getting grandchildren ready for school and there is a great deal of fuss and bother confusing my all ready easily muddled mind! Where I got WALTER is a mystery.

Comment by Laura Scattergood on 3rd mo. 5, 2014 at 11:28am

Thanks Walter for that information on Fairhope Friends Meeting and the background story that fills out a richer understanding of the exodus to Costa Rica.  I have also always been curious about the "musical" style of preaching.  I have heard descriptions of a "sing-song" quality to this in old books.  I wonder if there are any recordings of around?

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