Farmville Enterprise November 1, 2017
On the one-year anniversary of its vocal praise team becoming a group, First Baptist Church of Farmville recently hosted “A Night of Music” for the community. The members of Acclaim sang numerous contemporary Christian songs and a more traditional “He Touched Me” medley, alternating after every few selections with the phenomenal Justin Sturz on the grand piano. Sturz played a wide variety of pieces ranging from “Amazing Grace” and a beautiful medley from the celebration of life service for Hilda Duke to a more modern “Shine, Jesus Shine” and a Jerry Lee Lewis-type version of “Love Divine All Loves Excelling.”
We could have several weeks’ worth of devotions from the lyrics of the songs that we heard, but one selection stood out in particular to me. It was “What a Beautiful Name” by Hillsong. Here are portions of the lyrics: “What a beautiful name it is. What a beautiful name it is, the name of Jesus Christ my King. What a beautiful name it is. Nothing compares to this. What a beautiful name it is, the name of Jesus. You didn’t want heaven without us, so Jesus you brought heaven down. My sin was great. Your love was greater. What could separate us now? What a wonderful name it is. What a wonderful name it is, the name of Jesus Christ my King. You have no rival. You have no equal. Now and forever, our God reigns. Yours is the kingdom. Yours is the glory. Yours is the name above all names.”
The point of the evening was not to glorify the many talented musicians in the sanctuary, but to bring praise to God. One Acclaim singer noted that their hours of preparation each week all would have been worth it if only one life were drawn closer to God as a result. Given the number of people in attendance Sunday night and the music presented, there is no doubt that the Lord was glorified and that many were encouraged in their faith. Perhaps Farmville churches could take turns hosting a community night of worship every few months. After all, we are united at the cross.
“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.” (Psalm 89:15) “They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty.” (Isaiah 24:14)