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Psalm 100:1

Banned from Singing

A North Carolina man was once convicted in court for disrupting church services with his horrible singing.

In 1873, William Linkhaw was hauled into county court in Robeson, N.C., by fellow Methodists who charged that his singing had disrupted church services week after week. Among his offenses to the ear, they said, was the fact that Linkhaw kept singing long after the rest of the congregation had stopped. Things got so bad that finally the minister refused to go on singing. Asked to remain silent, Linkhaw refused, protesting that church singing was part of his duty to God.

Linkhaw was found guilty of a misdemeanor and ordered to keep quiet in church. Instead, he appealed to the state supreme court, which overturned the conviction. Even if Linkhaw’s singing was as awful as charged, the court ruled, the state had no business disciplining him.

Idea submitted by Chris Kendig, Millersville, Pa.

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