FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – Keith and Kristyn Getty performed Christ-centered Christmas music and traditional carols of the season for almost 1,700 people through “Sing! An Irish Christmas” Dec. 7 in the MacGorman Chapel and Performing Arts Center on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Christian hip-hop artist Trip Lee and worship leaders Matt Papa and Matt Boswell joined the concert in Fort Worth, the fifth stop of the 17-city tour for the internationally known artists.
Interim President David S. Dockery said it was “a genuine delight” to welcome the Gettys to campus.
“MacGorman Chapel served as a beautiful context to host this marvelous evening filled with Christmas music, readings and the special contributions of the incredibly talented musicians involved with the Getty team,” said Dockery, who has known the Gettys for more than a decade. He said he has “watched their influence continue to expand across the global evangelical world.”
Before the concert, Keith Getty met with faculty and students from the institution’s School of Church Music and Worship to answer questions about leading worship, how the Gettys met, and how he came to write his most well-known song, “In Christ Alone.”
Joseph R. Crider, dean of the school, said during the 10 years he has known the Gettys “one of their most consistent characteristics has been to intentionally pour into the next generation of artists and musicians and hymn writers,” which Keith Getty did during the private time with students.
Crider said the Gettys “are well aware of the fact that what the church sings significantly impacts what the church believes.”
“Another powerful impact of the Gettys’ ministry is that through an amazingly diverse musical vocabulary, they help foster and produce great artistic expressions that captivate our imaginations,” he said, adding: “people in our churches need more than just their minds to be engaged in worship, we need our affections arrested with expressions of the Gospel that cause us to sing.”
Crider’s observation of the Gettys’ two-fold ability to engage the mind and heart in worship was on full display during the nearly three-hour-long concert.
The concert consisted of two parts. Part 1, themed “Christmas Carol Festival,” included many traditional carols such as “What Child is This?”, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Deck the Halls,” “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World.” Other songs performed in part 1 were “Consider the Stars,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Take Shelter” and “Pass the Promise.”
“Christmas Carol Service” was the theme of part two, which was “inspired by the tradition of the King’s College Cambridge Service of Lessons and Carols” and included nine Scripture readings in between songs that told the prophecy of Christ from Genesis and Isaiah and the advent of the Lord from the gospels of Luke and John. Part two songs were “Czardas,” “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Brightest and Best,” “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery,” “Sing We the Song of Emmanuel,” “Rejoice,” “Carol of the Bells,” “In the Bleak Midwinter,” “In Christ Alone,” “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”
Dockery expressed his “deep appreciation to the many Southwestern staff and faculty members who went above and beyond the call of duty to offer support and coordination for this event.”
“Keith and Kristyn Getty provided a music feast and a night that we will all remember,” he said. “For their presence with us and their ministry to the friends and constituencies of Southwestern, we are genuinely grateful.”