God created music in all its beauty and splendor and gave it to humanity. What better offering have we than to give the gift of music up to our Father.
how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind but now i see."
Former slave, Christian Convert and Songwriter
John Newton (1725-1807) was a sailor, slave trader and former slave whose famous conversion to Christianity is immortalized in the lyrics to "Amazing Grace".
John Newton's conversion happened during a storm that nearly sank the slave ship he captained. He prayed at first, and he later read Thomas a Kempis' Imitation of Christ. This was the beginning of his conversion. Newton abandoned the slave trade and became a minister. He then spent the rest of his life preaching against slavery.
Newton helped William Wilberforce end slavery in England. Newton's tombstone, at St Mary, Woolnoth, UK, reads:
JOHN NEWTON, Clerk
Once an infidel and libertine
A servant of slaves in Africa
Was, by the mercy of our Lord and Saviour
restored, pardoned and appointed to preach
the Gospel which he had long laboured to destroy.
Near sixteen years in Olney in Bucks,
And twenty eight years in this Church.
Charles Wesley (18 December 1707 – 29 March 1788) was an English leader of the Methodist movement, most widely known for writing about 6,500 hymns. Charles Wesley was raised in the Church of England, became Methodist, preached in England and came to America with his brother, John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church.
"Sometimes while riding a horse en route to preach, he felt led to scribble rhyming versions of the Biblical truths he pondered."
Christmas and Easter:
Charles’ great Christmas hymn is "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing". His Easter anthem: "Christ the Lord is Risen Today", written 275 years ago, with the familiar “Alleluia” after each phrase, is iconic. These two holiday favorite and familiar songs are sung within all denominational churches, enjoyed and resonates to this day.