Thursday, January 1, 2009

Who, What, Why

Hello! I'm David Hamrick, a member of the Brown Trail Church of Christ in Bedford, Texas. I just started work as a college librarian, after a dozen years or so as a music professor. My academic specialization was in Medieval/Renaissance music theory, but I also taught church music history and songleading for several years at a Christian college. I began serving as a full-time songleader to my home congregation as a teenager, and have led part-time or full-time at various congregations over the last 25 years.

What I plan to do here is work through Praise for the Lord, the hymnal we use at Brown Trail, writing a brief study of each hymn. Yes, that will take a long time, but I think it's good for us to embrace long-term projects. My focus will be devotional, but it would be hard to keep from occasionally straying into the historical or musical aspects. I do plan to steer clear of hymn background stories, for the most part; there are plenty of sources for these.

My desire is to help enrich our understanding of the songs we sing in worship, so that we can more fully engage in worshipping God and encouraging one another in song. Here goes, first post! May God bless this effort if it is pleasing in His sight.


  1. David this is going to be a wonderful resource. I'll be checking it often. I can see a book in the making.

    Hope to see you soon.

  2. Great idea! Joe Chase told me about the project. I'll check in from time to time.

  3. What a great idea! I have been a fan of your writing ever since you sent me the bulletin from Nashville for which you formerly wrote. You have a wonderful talent for written communication. But not too many people know that yet. This will help. As Joe said, this could be a great book someday. I'll be looking for sermon illustrations and ideas as I am nourished by the fruit of your study.


  4. I am sure many will benefit from your efforts. It is important to have a proper understanding of the songs we sing.

  5. Where can I get a copy of "Praise for the Lord", and to what extent did you manage to accomplish your initial purpose of hymn-by-hymn work-through of the hymnal? I have over 300 hymnals, but as far as I know none is typically used in the Churches of Christ.

    1. Hello Leland,

      As far as I know, Praise for the Lord is still available from 21st Century Christian in Nashville (, who were the most closely associated with its original publication. It was also available from Gospel Advocate or Taylor Publications the last time I checked.

      I was just working on #149 out of 990 hymns, so at the current rate I should finish around the year 2070, Lord willing. Presumably at that point I will be ready to do something else, though at the age of 103 I can't imagine what.