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‘Community Hymn Sing’ draws hundreds to Southern Seminary

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–For years, Southern Baptists have worshiped God through the congregational singing of hymns. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., showed its commitment to that tradition at its third annual “Community Hymn Sing” Feb. 9.
Southern Seminary also preserved the event by strategically placing microphones throughout Alumni Chapel and recording the hymn sing.
Hundreds of worshipers of all ages from Louisville-area churches joined voices to sing the theologically rich texts and age-old tunes that Baptists have come to love with hymns like “Just As I Am, Without One Plea” and “Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound.”
It was indeed music to the ears of Carl Daw, executive director of the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada: “Nothing pleases us more than to see a gathering like this of God’s people praising him through hymns.” Daw, a noted hymn writer himself, also led the crowd in a hymn of his own composition, “God, Our Author and Creator.”
Daw called the hymn sing “a marvelous tradition” that is evidence of the vitality of the Hymn Society’s Louisville chapter at Southern Seminary — one he dubs a model for other chapters throughout North America: “I wish all our chapters were this vigorous.”
The annual event was begun “to join congregations across Louisville,” said Esther Rothenbusch, assistant professor of church music, who also is the faculty sponsor of the Louisville’s Hymn Society chapter. She hopes churches will follow the example and reclaim congregational hymn singing because it is “one of the most participatory forms of worship.”
A recording of the hymn sing will be released by the end of April cassette and compact disc. To purchase a copy, contact LifeWay Christian Resources’ bookstore at Southern Seminary at (502) 897-4506.