In the late 18th century, in the small village of Olney, Buckinghamshire, a tender-hearted pastor, motivated by loving concern for the spiritual condition of his poor, illiterate congregation, began to write simple yet profound lyrics for his parishioners to memorize and chant as they went about their daily work. In time, the creative chants began to be sung as hymns, and the popular hymns were eventually compiled and published as Olney Hymns. That faithful pastor was John Newton, the converted slave-trader and former blaspheming infidel, who was saved by God’s amazing grace and called to preach the very gospel of Jesus Christ that he had once sought to destroy.
Olney Hymns contains Newton’s personal reflections on specific passages of Scripture as well hymns that were written to mark special occasions in the life of the church in Olney. While the best known of these hymns was Amazing Grace, the collection contains many other worthy texts which have been forgotten and neglected.
Beyond Amazing Grace concerts are given an attempt to acquaint a new generation with some of the lesser-known lyrics of Newton set to new melodies by Todd Murray.
You can learn more about the concert here.