Winter Quarter Midterms End for Worship-Centered Students

As of last Friday, the 2022-2023 winter quarter midterms have come to an end for students at this school known for its focus on worship-centered education. This particular quarter is comprised mostly of theoretical classes, requiring students to grapple with textbooks more than practical skills. Core subjects related to worship, in particular, are of great importance to both students’ graduation and the school’s educational goals to cultivate Christian musicians centered on worship.

Students aspire to utilize their musical talents for worship, evangelism, and God’s kingdom, beyond merely enjoying and being skilled at music. Regardless of their grades, they affirm that the theoretical subjects have provided them with an accurate understanding of worship and ministry fields. This has led them to appreciate the significance of music ministry, and to stand humbly before God.

With approximately one month left in the quarter, students are hopeful that they will become more mature as Christian music ministers. By the end of the quater, they aspire to have a better grasp on their role as worship leaders and use their skills to serve God and His people.

President’s Day: Honoring the Legacies of America’s Leaders

President’s Day is a federal holiday celebrated annually on the third Monday in February in the United States. It was originally established to honor the first President of the United States, George Washington, and was known as “Washington’s Birthday.” However, over time, it has come to honor all American presidents, past and present, and is now commonly referred to as “President’s Day.”

The history of President’s Day dates back to the late 1800s when Washington’s Birthday was first recognized as a federal holiday. The day was celebrated on February 22, the actual date of Washington’s birth, but it wasn’t until 1971 that the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed, which moved the holiday to the third Monday in February. This act was designed to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers and to provide a boost to the country’s retail sector.

In addition to honoring George Washington, President’s Day also pays tribute to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. Lincoln’s birthday falls on February 12, and many states have chosen to celebrate his birthday as a separate holiday. However, in most states, the two holidays have been combined into one, and the day now serves as a time to reflect on the legacies of both Washington and Lincoln.

While President’s Day is primarily a time to celebrate the contributions of American presidents, it has also become a time to reflect on the state of the country and the responsibilities that come with being a citizen. Many Americans use the day to participate in community service projects, attend patriotic parades and ceremonies, or simply spend time with their loved ones.

President’s Day is also a popular time for retailers to hold sales, and it has become one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Many stores offer steep discounts on items ranging from clothing and electronics to home appliances and furniture. While some people may view this as a distraction from the true meaning of the holiday, others see it as an opportunity to support the country’s economy and take advantage of the savings.

Overall, President’s Day is a time for Americans to come together to honor the legacies of their nation’s leaders and to reflect on the responsibilities that come with being a citizen. While the holiday has evolved over time, its meaning and importance remain unchanged. From the sacrifices of George Washington to the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, the contributions of America’s presidents have shaped the nation into what it is today, and President’s Day provides a fitting tribute to their legacy.

Interim Assessment of Academic Satisfaction for the Winter Quarter of 2023

The class of the 2023 winter quarter is already one week ahead of the midterm period.

The academic satisfaction evaluation, which was only at the end of each quarter, will be conducted twice every quarter from this year, before the midterm exam and before the final exam.

This is to match the optimal teaching method for each subject as various teaching methods have appeared after Covid-19.

This week, one week before the midterm exam, the first academic satisfaction evaluation of 2023 will be conducted.

We hope that students will actively participate in the future and development of the school.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Martin Luther King Jr. was a scholar and minister who led the civil rights movement. After his assassination, he was memorialized by Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Who Was Martin Luther King Jr?

Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist who had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s. 

Among his many efforts, King headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Through his activism and inspirational speeches, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African American citizens in the United States, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors. He continues to be remembered as one of the most influential and inspirational African American leaders in history.

Early Life

Born as Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. was the middle child of Michael King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. 

The King and Williams families had roots in rural Georgia. Martin Jr.’s grandfather, A.D. Williams, was a rural minister for years and then moved to Atlanta in 1893. 

He took over the small, struggling Ebenezer Baptist church with around 13 members and made it into a forceful congregation. He married Jennie Celeste Parks and they had one child that survived, Alberta. 

Martin Sr. came from a family of sharecroppers in a poor farming community. He married Alberta in 1926 after an eight-year courtship. The newlyweds moved to A.D.’s home in Atlanta.

Martin Sr. stepped in as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church upon the death of his father-in-law in 1931. He too became a successful minister and adopted the name Martin Luther King Sr. in honor of the German Protestant religious leader Martin Luther. In due time, Michael Jr. would follow his father’s lead and adopt the name himself.

King had an older sister, Willie Christine, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King. The King children grew up in a secure and loving environment. Martin Sr. was more the disciplinarian, while his wife’s gentleness easily balanced out the father’s strict hand. 

Though they undoubtedly tried, King’s parents couldn’t shield him completely from racism. Martin Sr. fought against racial prejudice, not just because his race suffered, but because he considered racism and segregation to be an affront to God’s will. He strongly discouraged any sense of class superiority in his children which left a lasting impression on Martin Jr.

Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, King entered public school at age five. In May 1936 he was baptized, but the event made little impression on him. 

In May 1941, King was 12 years old when his grandmother, Jennie, died of a heart attack. The event was traumatic for King, more so because he was out watching a parade against his parents’ wishes when she died. Distraught at the news, young King jumped from a second-story window at the family home, allegedly attempting suicide.

King attended Booker T. Washington High School, where he was said to be a precocious student. He skipped both the ninth and eleventh grades, and entered Morehouse College in Atlanta at age 15, in 1944. He was a popular student, especially with his female classmates, but an unmotivated student who floated through his first two years. 

Although his family was deeply involved in the church and worship, King questioned religion in general and felt uncomfortable with overly emotional displays of religious worship. This discomfort continued through much of his adolescence, initially leading him to decide against entering the ministry, much to his father’s dismay. 

But in his junior year, King took a Bible class, renewed his faith and began to envision a career in the ministry. In the fall of his senior year, he told his father of his decision.

Education and Spiritual Growth

In 1948, King earned a sociology degree from Morehouse College and attended the liberal Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. He thrived in all his studies, and was valedictorian of his class in 1951, and elected student body president. He also earned a fellowship for graduate study. 

But King also rebelled against his father’s more conservative influence by drinking beer and playing pool while at college. He became involved with a white woman and went through a difficult time before he could break off the affair.

During his last year in seminary, King came under the guidance of Morehouse College President Benjamin E. Mays who influenced King’s spiritual development. Mays was an outspoken advocate for racial equality and encouraged King to view Christianity as a potential force for social change. After being accepted at several colleges for his doctoral study, King enrolled at Boston University.

During the work on his doctorate, King met Coretta Scott, an aspiring singer and musician at the New England Conservatory school in Boston. They were married in June 1953 and had four children, Yolanda, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott and Bernice

In 1954, while still working on his dissertation, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church of Montgomery, Alabama. He completed his Ph.D. and earned his degree in 1955. King was only 25 years old.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

On March 2, 1955, a 15-year-old girl refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery city bus in violation of local law. Teenager Claudette Colvin was then arrested and taken to jail. 

At first, the local chapter of the NAACP felt they had an excellent test case to challenge Montgomery’s segregated bus policy. But then it was revealed that Colvin was pregnant and civil rights leaders feared this would scandalize the deeply religious Black community and make Colvin (and, thus the group’s efforts) less credible in the eyes of sympathetic white people.

On December 1, 1955, they got another chance to make their case. That evening, 42-year-old Rosa Parks boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus to go home after an exhausting day at work. She sat in the first row of the “colored” section in the middle of the bus. As the bus traveled its route, all the seats in the white section filled up, then several more white passengers boarded the bus. 

The bus driver noted that there were several white men standing and demanded that Parks and several other African Americans give up their seats. Three other African American passengers reluctantly gave up their places, but Parks remained seated. 

The driver asked her again to give up her seat and again she refused. Parks was arrested and booked for violating the Montgomery City Code. At her trial a week later, in a 30-minute hearing, Parks was found guilty and fined $10 and assessed $4 court fee.

On the night that Parks was arrested, E.D. Nixon, head of the local NAACP chapter met with King and other local civil rights leaders to plan a Montgomery Bus Boycott. King was elected to lead the boycott because he was young, well-trained with solid family connections and had professional standing. But he was also new to the community and had few enemies, so it was felt he would have strong credibility with the Black community.

In his first speech as the group’s president, King declared, “We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.”

King’s skillful rhetoric put new energy into the civil rights struggle in Alabama. The bus boycott involved 382 days of walking to work, harassment, violence, and intimidation for Montgomery’s African American community. Both King’s and Nixon’s homes were attacked. 

But the African American community also took legal action against the city ordinance arguing that it was unconstitutional based on the Supreme Court’s “separate is never equal” decision in Brown v. Board of Education. After being defeated in several lower court rulings and suffering large financial losses, the city of Montgomery lifted the law mandating segregated public transportation.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Flush with victory, African American civil rights leaders recognized the need for a national organization to help coordinate their efforts. In January 1957, King, Ralph Abernathy and 60 ministers and civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to harness the moral authority and organizing power of Black churches. They would help conduct non-violent protests to promote civil rights reform. 

King’s participation in the organization gave him a base of operation throughout the South, as well as a national platform. The organization felt the best place to start to give African Americans a voice was to enfranchise them in the voting process. In February 1958, the SCLC sponsored more than 20 mass meetings in key southern cities to register Black voters in the South. King met with religious and civil rights leaders and lectured all over the country on race-related issues.

In 1959, with the help of the American Friends Service Committee, and inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s success with non-violent activism, King visited Gandhi’s birthplace in India. The trip affected him in a profound way, increasing his commitment to America’s civil rights struggle. 

African American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who had studied Gandhi’s teachings, became one of King’s associates and counseled him to dedicate himself to the principles of nonviolence. Rustin served as King’s mentor and advisor throughout his early activism and was the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. 

But Rustin was also a controversial figure at the time, being a homosexual with alleged ties to the Communist Party. Though his counsel was invaluable to King, many of his other supporters urged him to distance himself from Rustin.

Greensboro Sit-In

In February 1960, a group of African American students in North Carolina began what became known as the Greensboro sit-in movement

The students would sit at racially segregated lunch counters in the city’s stores. When asked to leave or sit in the colored section, they just remained seated, subjecting themselves to verbal and sometimes physical abuse. 

The movement quickly gained traction in several other cities. In April 1960, the SCLC held a conference at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina with local sit-in leaders. King encouraged students to continue to use nonviolent methods during their protests. 

Out of this meeting, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee formed and for a time, worked closely with the SCLC. By August of 1960, the sit-ins had been successful in ending segregation at lunch counters in 27 southern cities.

By 1960, King was gaining national exposure. He returned to Atlanta to become co-pastor with his father at Ebenezer Baptist Church but also continued his civil rights efforts. 

On October 19, 1960, King and 75 students entered a local department store and requested lunch-counter service but were denied. When they refused to leave the counter area, King and 36 others were arrested. 

Realizing the incident would hurt the city’s reputation, Atlanta’s mayor negotiated a truce and charges were eventually dropped. But soon after, King was imprisoned for violating his probation on a traffic conviction. 

The news of his imprisonment entered the 1960 presidential campaign when candidate John F. Kennedy made a phone call to Coretta Scott King. Kennedy expressed his concern for King’s harsh treatment for the traffic ticket and political pressure was quickly set in motion. King was soon released.

Letter from Birmingham Jail

In the spring of 1963, King organized a demonstration in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. With entire families in attendance, city police turned dogs and fire hoses on demonstrators. 

King was jailed along with large numbers of his supporters, but the event drew nationwide attention. However, King was personally criticized by Black and white clergy alike for taking risks and endangering the children who attended the demonstration. 

In his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, King eloquently spelled out his theory of non-violence: “Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community, which has constantly refused to negotiate, is forced to confront the issue.”

‘I Have a Dream’ Speech

By the end of the Birmingham campaign, King and his supporters were making plans for a massive demonstration on the nation’s capital composed of multiple organizations, all asking for peaceful change. 

On August 28, 1963, the historic March on Washington drew more than 200,000 people in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. It was here that King made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, emphasizing his belief that someday all men could be brothers

The rising tide of civil rights agitation produced a strong effect on public opinion. Many people in cities not experiencing racial tension began to question the nation’s Jim Crow laws and the near-century of second-class treatment of African American citizens. 

Nobel Peace Prize

This resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, authorizing the federal government to enforce desegregation of public accommodations and outlawing discrimination in publicly owned facilities. This also led to King receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

King’s struggle continued throughout the 1960s. Often, it seemed as though the pattern of progress was two steps forward and one step back. 

On March 7, 1965, a civil rights march, planned from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama’s capital, turned violent as police with nightsticks and tear gas met the demonstrators as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. 

King was not in the march, however, the attack was televised showing horrifying images of marchers being bloodied and severely injured. Seventeen demonstrators were hospitalized in a day that would be called “Bloody Sunday.” 

A second march was canceled due to a restraining order to prevent the march from taking place. A third march was planned and this time King made sure he was part of it. Not wanting to alienate southern judges by violating the restraining order, a different approach was taken. 

On March 9, 1965, a procession of 2,500 marchers, both Black and white, set out once again to cross the Pettus Bridge and confronted barricades and state troopers. Instead of forcing a confrontation, King led his followers to kneel in prayer and they then turned back. 

Alabama governor George Wallace continued to try to prevent another march until President Lyndon B. Johnson pledged his support and ordered U.S. Army troops and the Alabama National Guard to protect the protestors. 

On March 21, approximately 2,000 people began a march from Selma to Montgomery, the state capitol. On March 25, the number of marchers, which had grown to an estimated 25,000, gathered in front of the state capitol where King delivered a televised speech. Five months after the historic peaceful protest, President Johnson signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act. 

From late 1965 through 1967, King expanded his civil rights efforts into other larger American cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles. But he met with increasing criticism and public challenges from young Black power leaders. 

King’s patient, non-violent approach and appeal to white middle-class citizens alienated many Black militants who considered his methods too weak, too late and ineffective. 

To address this criticism, King began making a link between discrimination and poverty, and he began to speak out against the Vietnam War. He felt that America’s involvement in Vietnam was politically untenable and the government’s conduct in the war discriminatory to the poor. He sought to broaden his base by forming a multi-racial coalition to address the economic and unemployment problems of all disadvantaged people.

Who Killed Martin Luther King Jr.?

By 1968, the years of demonstrations and confrontations were beginning to wear on King. He had grown tired of marches, going to jail, and living under the constant threat of death. He was becoming discouraged at the slow progress of civil rights in America and the increasing criticism from other African American leaders. 

Plans were in the works for another march on Washington to revive his movement and bring attention to a widening range of issues. In the spring of 1968, a labor strike by Memphis sanitation workers drew King to one last crusade. 

On April 3, he gave his final and what proved to be an eerily prophetic speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” in which he told supporters at the Mason Temple in Memphis, “I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.” 

The next day, while standing on a balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel, Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by a sniper’s bullet. The shooter, a malcontent drifter and former convict named James Earl Ray, was eventually apprehended after a two-month, international manhunt. 

The assassination sparked riots and demonstrations in more than 100 cities across the country. In 1969, Ray pleaded guilty to assassinating King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He died in prison on April 23, 1998.


King’s life had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States. Years after his death, he is the most widely known African American leader of his era. 

His life and work have been honored with a national holiday, schools and public buildings named after him, and a memorial on Independence Mall in Washington, D.C. 

But his life remains controversial as well. In the 1970s, FBI files, released under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that he was under government surveillance, and suggested his involvement in adulterous relationships and communist influences. 

Over the years, extensive archival studies have led to a more balanced and comprehensive assessment of his life, portraying him as a complex figure: flawed, fallible and limited in his control over the mass movements with which he was associated, yet a visionary leader who was deeply committed to achieving social justice through nonviolent means.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed into law a bill creating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday honoring the legacy of the slain civil rights leader. 

from “

School maintenance news

Last week, there was a major maintenance at the school. Jubilee School completely replaced the roof, which was nearing its end of life, this time, checked the heating system in preparation for the winter, and replaced the old system.

The first class starts after the fall break

After about 2 weeks of fall break, classes start again from today.

The Student Affairs Office said in an interview: “Students have had enough rest and review time after midterm exams during the break period this fall, so they are currently in very good academic condition. There will be almost no academic gap due to the break.”

The break period this year was much longer than the previous year. The students’ academic balance could have been broken if they were wrong, but this did not happen due to the careful consideration of the professors.

The reason this break lasted longer than the previous year is that the annual Global Christian Education Summit was held in South Korea this year. Most of the school’s faculty and staff attend this meeting. And especially this year, students also participated as staff.

In addition, since the school development seminar was held immediately after that, a sufficient break period was needed compared to the previous year.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said, ‘All schedules up to the seminar went smoothly, and a progressive agenda and measures were adopted during this period.’

The 2023 Jubilee School agenda and plans will be announced soon.

Fall Break begins

Fall break starts about 2 weeks from today.

The annual ‘Global Christian Education Summit’ is scheduled to be held in South Korea this year, so this fall break is much longer than the previous year.

Students who have just completed the midterm exam are able to rest and reorganize themselves during this period, expressing considerable anticipation for this fall break.

From the point of view of the school’s management, this period is very important. During this period, the school seeks and decides on the agenda and development plan of next year’s Jubilee School according to the direction and plan determined by the ‘GCES’.

Jubilee School wishes students, professors, and all employees a fall break this year full of the Lord’s blessings and peace.

2022 Fall Quarter Orientation

On September 9th, the final exam period began at the same time as all classes in the summer quarter ended. Faculty and students gave thanks and glory to God for the successful completion of this summer quarter with one mind through the closing worship service.

Also, the Fall Quarter Orientation was held today on the 12th. Following the opening service, introductions of courses and faculty followed. And finally, there was a brief briefing on the school life of the student council.

Jubilee School dedicates the first hour of the fall quarter to God, praying for abundant academic achievement in the Lord.

Dancing Before the Lord with Wild Abandonment

Contributed by A. Merril Smoak, Jr., Dean of the Jubilee School

If you Google the adjective “abandoned” you will find two definitions:

  1. having been deserted or cast off – “an abandoned car”
  2. unrestrained; uninhibited – “a wild, abandoned dance”

This article will reflect on the second definition as it relates to the Old Testament story of King David recorded in 2 Samuel, chapter 6.

The phrase “a wild, abandoned dance” immediately reminds us of the story of King David dancing before the Lord as the Ark of the Covenant is brought into the ancient city of Jerusalem. His dancing before the Lord can certainly be described as “unrestrained” and “uninhibited.” This celebration event is recorded in chapter 6 of 2 Samuel. Here are the key verses:

5 David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, …

14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, 15 while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

16 As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.

21 David said to Michal, “… I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.”

This was a joyous event that demanded a huge celebration. The Ark of God, the box overlaid with gold that contained the original Ten Commandment stone tablets, was being brought into David’s city Jerusalem. King David led the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the celebration by dancing before the Lord “with all his might.” This phrase “with all his might” suggests that the King was “unrestrained” and “uninhibited” in his dance before the Lord. It was a “wild, abandoned dance.”

That David was not intimidated or worried about what others thought of his dancing is reflected in his response to the criticism by Saul’s daughter Michal. Notice his twofold response to Michal’s criticism:

  1. “It was before the Lord” and “I will celebrate before the Lord”
  2. “I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.”

His dancing was worship directed to God during this time of celebration. He was not concerned with what others thought about his worship actions. Reflecting on this story worship leader Matt Redman shares these thoughts:

Going back to that day in Jerusalem, the dancing King David was totally consumed with God and unaware of himself. He didn’t care who was watching or what they might think. He was an adoring heart, worshipping with all his might.

That’s what King David’s frenzied dancing was all about. It wasn’t a show; nor was it just adrenaline or hype. It was an overflow of the abundance of love for God that was in his heart.[1]


But we must also remember that King David was leading in worship. His wild abandoned dance before the Lord was an example for others to follow. Are you a worship leader? Do you lead a group of people in singing praises to God? Please remember that people are watching and hopefully following your worship actions.

Will our worship this coming Sunday be an overflow of the abundance of love for God that is in our hearts?[2] Maybe we should follow David’s example and think about these adjectives as we prepare for worship this coming Sunday:

unrestrained & uninhibited – “a wild, abandoned dance”

May all of our worship be like this “with all our might.”

  • [1] Redman, Matt, The Unquenchable Worshipper: Coming Back to the Heart of Worship (Ventura: Regal Books, 2001), 47.?
  • [2] Ibid.?

Abandoned Hymns Bring New Life to Our Christian Worship Music

Contributed by A. Merril Smoak, Jr., Dean of the Jubilee School

If you Google the adjective “abandoned” you will find two definitions:

  1. having been deserted or cast off – “an abandoned car”
  2. unrestrained; uninhibited – “a wild, abandoned dance”

This article will examine the first definition of “abandoned” as it relates to hymns, praise choruses, and contemporary praise & worship music. Abandoned: Part 2 will examine the second definition of “abandoned” as it relates to the Old Testament story of King David found in 2 Samuel, chapter 6.

In thinking about the word “abandoned” in relation to our Christian hymns I wrote these words back in 1988:

Growing numbers of our congregations are abandoning the hymnal and singing only praise choruses; others use a combination of both. Are these praise choruses merely a passing fad, or are some of them destined to become a part of our hymnic repertoire?[1]

Yes, during the 1970’s and 1980’s there was a growing trend in worship music to “abandon” and “cast off” the use of traditional hymns and replace them with praise choruses and the emerging contemporary praise & worship songs. This trend was both good and unfortunate. In a good way praise choruses such as “Seek Ye First” (1972), “Jesus, Name Above All Names” (1974), “Glorify Thy Name” (1976), and “In My Life, Lord, Be Glorified” (1978) ushered in a refreshing musical change for the youth and young adults that were becoming Christians. Accompanied by acoustic guitars these simple praise choruses were often based upon scripture and were easy to learn. In the 1980’s the praise & worship movement got its start with familiar worship songs such as “Majesty” (1981), “How Majestic Is Your Name” (1981), and culminated in 1989 with “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High.” These new praise & worship songs were also a refreshing musical change that helped us re-focus our attention on the importance of worship. This change continued into the 1990’s with popular contemporary praise & worship songs such as “Shout to the Lord” (1994). Unfortunately, in many places of worship, our rich treasury of traditional hymns and gospel hymns were abandoned for the new praise choruses and contemporary worship music. It was even suggested in some locations that your church would not grow if you did not replace hymn singing with these new worship songs.

In reality, hymns were never totally abandoned. Some churches in the 1980’s and 1990’s continued to sing only hymns while some churches blended together the singing of hymns, praise choruses, and contemporary praise & worship songs. But a change was coming that would breathe new life into abandoned hymns. Contemporary worship leaders such as David Crowder and Chris Tomlin began to arrange and record hymns in the new contemporary praise & worship musical style. Here are some examples:

  • “Come Thou Fount”
  • David Crower, “All I Can Say” album (1999)
  • “The Wonderful Cross (When I survey the wondrous cross)”

Chris Tomlin, “The Noise We Make” album (2001)

  • “All Creatures of Our God and King”

David Crowder, “Can You Hear Us? album (2002)

  • “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”

Chris Tomlin, “See the Morning” album (2006)

These hymns were revived with new chords, musical refrains (bridges), and worship band accompaniment. Today one of the most popular and often sung revived hymns is Edward Mote’s (1797-1874) early 19th century hymn “My hope is built on nothing less” also known by the title “The Solid Rock”:

  • “Cornerstone (My hope is built on nothing less)”
  • Hillsong Worship, “Cornerstone” album (2012)

Unfortunately, the praise choruses of the 1970’s and the early praise & worship songs of the 1980’s have largely passed from common use in today’s worship services. Although, these worship songs are very much remembered and cherished by the Baby Boomer generation. There is one praise & worship song from the 1980’s that is still being sung today by Christians around the world: “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High”[2] published by Maranatha Music in 1989 has not been abandoned. I believe that this worship song has not been cast off because the lyrics clearly state the Gospel story of Jesus, our Lord and Savior:

You came from heaven to earth to show the way,
From the earth to the cross, my debt to pay,
From the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky,
Lord I lift Your name on high.[3]

Here is another reality. There is no need to “abandon” or “cast off” traditional hymns, praise choruses, or contemporary praise & worship songs for new types and styles of worship songs that will be written in the future. As worship leaders today we have the joy and opportunity to choose the best of these worship song genres and lead our people in lifting the Lord’s name on high. May we sing with “unrestrained” and “uninhibited” abandonment to our Lord!

Lord I lift Your name on high,
Lord I love to sing Your praises,
I’m so glad You’re in my life,
I’m so glad You came to save us.[4]

  • [1] Smoak, Jr., A. Merril, “From the Gospel hymn to the Praise Chorus: Considerations for the New Baptist Hymnal,” Southern Baptist Music Journal, Volume, 5, 1988.?
  • [2] Founds, Rick, Lord, I Lift Your Name on High, Maranatha Music, 1989.?
  • [3] Ibid.?
  • [4] Ibid.?