As the crowd streamed into the auditorium at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa, one thing was evident. The Men for Christ rally was going to be a bit different this year, organizers having invited women and children to attend as well. Four hundred people are expected to attend; perhaps there will be more walk-in guests later in the day. Event organizers refer to the family emphasis as a bit of an experiment related to theme, “Biblical Creationism in Your Local Church.”
Frank Garlock opened the 2:00 p.m. session by leading the crowd in “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place,” conducting the crowd with broad gestures. No song lyrics on the screen here. “Some of you don’t have your hymnals yet,” Garlock said. “Can the ushers pass some more out over here?” Hymnals are still important to Garlock, and he politely avoids noticing that this particular hymnal is not produced by his company, Majesty Music. Garlock, a trombonist and graduate of the Eastman School of Music, picked up his trombone on the second stanza and played with the congregation, later commenting that Homer Rodeheaver used to play the trombone while leading the Billy Sunday revivals. After the opening hymn, Garlock played “I Stand Amazed in the Presence” as a trombone solo, accompanied by his wife, Flora Jean. The congregation then continued with “All Hail the Power.” So far, no praise choruses.