Modern hymn writers bring folk and world music to chapel service

Kristen Vargas | Kristyn and Keith Getty with the Band of Northern Ireland/Nashville, TN share their culture and praise God while they perform.

A majority of Christians know the song “In Christ Alone,” a modern hymn that tells the story of Christ.

But what is not as commonly known are the writers and original singers behind the world-famous song, Kristyn and Keith Getty, who came to California Baptist University Oct. 25 to lead the congregation during Chapel, joined by the University Choir and Orchestra.

Originally, the duo was supposed to be at CBU earlier this year, but because of the birth of their baby, the slot was pushed. The band, however, said they were happy to finally be at the university.

“We loved being here with CBU. It is an amazing thing that so many students can be in a big place like this and so freely give thanks to the Lord and glorify him,” said Kristyn Getty, the duo’s lead vocalist. “We also like to see generations coming and singing together, because the gospel story is for everybody and to sing his praise is a command for all of us.”

Her husband, Keith, said the hope behind “In Christ Alone” was telling the whole story of the gospel in one song so people could remember the message of Christ.

“It was lovely to hear everyone sing that song today because it was our first hymn and we meant it to be a hymn of the whole gospel and for people to learn and sing it. Because throughout Christian history, the hymns were all there to help people learn their faith,” Keith Getty said. “It honestly never gets old hearing and seeing people learn and commit (Bible verses) to memory (then to the) Christian faith for the rest of their lives because of part of our song.”

The Chapel service was full of praise music, led by the Gettys and backed up by their band and members of CBU’s University Choir and Orchestra.

This differed from typical Chapel sessions, where worship is led by the Chapel band and then handed over to the speakers for the remainder of the service. The Chapel band typically only comes back out as students leave.

Emily Waters, sophomore music education major, was one of the UCO members performing with the band.

Waters said performing with the Gettys was nerve-wracking but a valuable learning experience overall.

“It was somewhat intimidating at first, to be performing with such a big name, but it got less intimidating and more exciting,” Waters said. “Students should know not to be intimidated if they ever got the chance to experience something like this, and the band is human too. They will typically understand when something doesn’t go quite right and enjoy talking things out.”

John Montgomery, dean of Spiritual Life, said the Gettys’ musical excellence and leadership was evident in their Chapel visit.

“The Gettys did a great job of leading us in worship, with excellent music but also by reminding us through their lyrics of how great the gospel is,” Montgomery said. “We would be happy to have them back.”

About Misty Severi

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