Last April I had the privilege of leading over 5000 folks (mostly men) in worship a the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, KY. The sound was overpowering at times, particularly when we got to verses that unpacked the salvation Jesus secured for us through his substitutionary death.
Since the conference, we’ve been asked whether or not any part of the singing had been recorded. As a matter of fact, all of it was. And we’ve been working on a CD made up of 16 hymns from the conference. They include older hymns like And Can it Be, It Is Well, and How Firm a Foundation, as well as modern hymns like The Power of the Cross (Getty/Townend) and Before the Throne of God Above (Bancroft/Cook).
As we worked on the mixes I was often overcome by the truths that were being proclaimed and the responses of those who were singing. It’s a different experience when there are no drums, no synths, no bass…just a piano and voices. Besides the piano accompaniment, there’s not a lot there to grab you except for the truths that are being sung. What a concept. So at various times guys were shouting, clapping, and making noise because singing just didn’t seem to be enough.
This is definitely a different CD for us (no drums…), but one I’m grateful to be part of. I know it will specifically encourage people who love traditional hymns sung with passion. I trust that for others it will show that great hymns don’t have to be highly produced or re-arranged to stir our hearts to praise the Savior.
We hope to have the CD out in early December. In the mean time, here’s a sample of A Mighty Fortress is Our God. You can also hear it on the Sovereign Grace Music Facebook page.
And because someone asked, here’s the song list:
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
It Is Well with My Soul
How Firm a Foundation
Oh the Deep, Deep Love
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
How Deep the Father’s Love For Us
How Sweet and Aweful Is the Place
My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less
I Will Glory in My Redeemer
Arise, My Soul, Arise
The Power of the Cross
My Song Is Love Unknown
And Can It Be That I Should Gain
There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood
Before the Throne of God Above
In Christ Alone
We’ll also be offering some of the songs for free download from the Sovereign Grace store. I’ll post more information as I get it.
Thanks for the sample, Bob! What a stirring thrill it is to hear these guys worship. It’s simple, yet profound. I look forward to worshiping along with this when it comes out!
Very exciting. Look forward to hearing the CD.
I’m a little surprised you didn’t mention of CovLife’s new hymn CD. I just noticed it on Noisetrade’s blog this morning.
Sounds great Bob! Which 16 songs will be on the cd?
Give me time, give me time! I’ll be posting on it soon.
I updated the post to include the final song list.
Thank you for sharing the song sample. I am extremely excited for this CD. There is something about hearing thousands of men praise the risen Savior that stirs the soul.
I have a question about your preparation beforehand. Before you worshipped with this song at the conference, did you arrange some/most of the piano or was most of it spontaneous and improvisation? (For example: the “intro” before you start singing and some of the turnarounds between the verses). What about the other songs on the CD? I would imagine you would have done at least some arranging beforehand in order to have some coherence in the sound. Thanks for answering!
Sovereign Grace Church, Aurora, IL
Chills, I just got chills listening to A Mighty Fortress! Like a little taste of heaven when ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands will all join voices to worship our glorious Lord!
To prepare for the conference I made sure I had clear chord charts. I wasn’t completely familiar with some of the songs before the conference (My Song is Love Unknown, Arise My Soul Arise), so I spent time just getting the feel of the chords under my hands. But when I got to the conference, what I played was pretty much spontaneous. I tried to shape my playing to complement the lyric and support what was happening in the congregation.
I am so enormously excited for this CD, I can barely stand it. Big kudos to you and others at SGM for the foresight to get a good recording of the conference, and the wisdom to release it as a worship CD. After hearing the sample of “A Mighty Fortress,” I suspect the CD will be more affecting and spiritually beneficial than many (most) CD’s with multiple thousands of dollars of production.
I really enjoyed the sample and am looking forward to hearing the rest of the cd!
Thank you so much! I’m looking forward to the CD and thoroughly enjoyed the preview. I listened with sweet tears of joy as I recalled how God poured out grace upon grace to those weary pastors assembled to encourage one another in Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. The conference was truly life-changing for me and the sound of the Kentucky Convention Center rattling and shaking with the sound of saved sinners making much of their Savior is one that I will remember until we continue around His throne!
“The sound of the Kentucky Convention Center rattling and shaking with the sound of saved sinners making much of their Savior is one that I will remember until we continue around His throne!”
I wish I had written that sentence. Great description.
I am amazed at how often simplicity in congregational singing reveals the truths that the lyrics express. Some of the most intense worship times I’ve been a part of have been with just one instrument providing the flow. I look forward to the release of the CD and know it will touch the lives of any who hear it, not just those who love traditional hymns
This is good news. I really enjoyed your leadership at the conference. My expectations were high, but they were exceeded.
I’m sure this is not your department, but is there any word on when DVDs will be available?
Thank you for you work on this project. From the moment I left T4G, I have searched high and low to find a little clip of the singing. I wanted to show my wife what it was like. When I heard the song last night, I was moved to tears again. What edifying lyrics and what passionate singing!
Your timing is perfect, too. I will definitely be buying some of these for Christmas presents. Do I have to wait until Christmas to unwrap the one I get for myself?!
Bob, as one of the few women who were there with my pastor husband, I am so thankful for this! It was deeply satisfying to sing with those thousands of men. My favorite moment was during “And Can It Be” when we sang “…my chains fell off…”We will never tire of singing our freedom! Thank you!
Thanks for the sample. I would have loved to have been at the conference. Maybe next year. I look forward to the release of the CD.
I am so thankful for this hymns CD from T4G. These are indeed profound truths that transcend the simplicity of the presentation. The encouragement of hymnody that I see you and Sovereign Grace Ministries pushing forward is encouraging and refreshing. My wife and I come from a varied musical background that includes a solid foundation of hymns. As much as we enjoy the contemporary stylings, it is good to see hymns take center stage from the contemporary genre now and then. I suspect we’ll be singing more traditional lyrics AND melodies in the coming years at the Frederick church and beyond.
Thankful for your gifts,
Mark and Joy Nichols
listening to the free downloads of T4G live is like experiencing a little of heavenly worship here on earth. I am waiting for that day when we will sing all together to our Lord (in Italian, of course!). Grace be to you.
Just a note to let you know we moved! Our new URl is http://www.hymntime.com/tch.