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Special Sessions

The Continuing Influence of E. L. Jorgenson’s Great Songs of the Church at its Centennial and Beyond

When: June 11, 2021, 9:00 am - Friday

Where: Swang 230

Session 6

Session Abstract

This session examines the pervasive influence of the most widely used hymnal among Churches of Christ and Independent Christian Churches in the 20th Century. These papers and their respondents address the importance of Great Songs, including its role in shaping the American hymnal industry, as we celebrate its 100th Anniversary. A brief bibliographic history of the hymnal and its influence on all other hymnals that followed will be considered. Two esteemed modern hymnal editors will interact and respond to these papers.

 

Paper Abstracts

McGarvey Ice, Abilene Christian University, “‘The Gospel Is For All’: the Story of One of E. L. Jorgenson’s Great Songs of the Church” 

J.M. McCaleb, a pioneer missionary of the Restoration Movement in Japan was also a lyricist. His gospel song, “The Gospel is For All” became a missionary anthem of sorts for many in Churches of Christ. His work and association with E.L. Jorgenson are just one great example of the influence of this book and its compiler.

 

John Wakefield, Milligan College, Emeritus, “The Influence of Great Songs of the Church Among Christian Churches”

Those in Churches of Christ (every shape, size, and “flavor”) know of the influence of Jorgenson’s Great Songs of the Church. But it had a critical importance among Christian Churches and even Disciples congregations in the first half of the 20th century. Wakefield will explore the book’s importance in the Christian Church.

 

J.S. Wolfgang, (Co-Editor of Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs), Downers Grove Church of Christ “The Influence of Great Songs of the Church on Subsequent Hymnals: The Case of ‘Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs’” (2012)

This Paper by Steve Wolfgang, one of the co-editors of the relatively recent hymnal, Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, examines the legacy of Great Songs with particular reference to its influence on hymnals in Churches of Christ that follow in its footsteps. John Wiegand, Editor of Praise for the Lord, will respond to the paper.

 

D.J. Bulls, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Gilmer Church of Christ, “A Brief Bibliographic History of Great Songs and its Influence on American Hymnody”

This paper will explore a brief bibliographic history of the hymnal as well as just how significant of a role Jorgenson and Great Songs played in shaping the American hymnal industry.  Particular attention will be given to the unique aspect of interdenominational cooperation in creating the hymnal. Jerry Rushford, Pepperdine University, Emeritus, will respond to this paper.

 

Speakers

D.J. Bulls, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Gilmer Church of Christ, Convener

  • McGarvey Ice, Abilene Christian University, “‘The Gospel Is For All’: the Story of One of E. L. Jorgenson’s Great Songs of the Church” 
  • John Wakefield, Milligan College, Emeritus, “The Influence of Great Songs of the Church Among Christian Churches”
  • J.S. Wolfgang, (Co-Editor of Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs), Downers Grove Church of Christ, “The Influence of Great Songs of the Church on Subsequent Hymnals: The Case of ‘Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs’” (2012)
  • D.J. Bulls, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Gilmer Church of Christ, “A Brief Bibliographic History of Great Songs and its Influence on American Hymnody”
  • John Wiegand, Editor of Praise for the Lord, Respondent
  • Jerry Rushford, Pepperdine University, Emeritus, Respondent
Speakers

D.J. Bulls, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Gilmer Church of Christ, Convener

  • McGarvey Ice, Abilene Christian University, “‘The Gospel Is For All’: the Story of One of E. L. Jorgenson’s Great Songs of the Church”
  • John Wakefield, Milligan College, Emeritus, “The Influence of Great Songs of the Church Among Christian Churches”
  • J.S. Wolfgang, Downers Grove Church of Christ, "The Influence of Great Songs of the Church on Subsequent Hymnals: The Case of ‘Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs’" (2012)
  • D.J. Bulls, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Gilmer Church of Christ, “A Brief Bibliographic History of Great Songs and its Influence on American Hymnody”
  • John Wiegand, Editor of Praise for the Lord, Respondent
  • Jerry Rushford, Pepperdine University, Respondent

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