Hymns & Friends

by Wendell Kimbrough & Friends

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about

This project is a celebration of songs that transcend generations. I learned many of them while growing up in a small church in the rural South, where the congregation was comprised mostly of dear brothers and sisters in the later stages of life. The creation of these recordings, however, grew out of the years I spent leading music at an Anglican church plant in urban Washington, DC. I have heard 20-something young professionals and retired grandparents sing these songs with equal love and enthusiasm.

The hymns on this album also transcend musical styles. Their basic components—text, melody, and harmony—are so well built that they can be led by choirs and pipe organs or by guitars, bass, and drums. When sung in the Spirit’s power, they can shake the walls of cathedrals or bring a living room full of people to a foot-stomping crescendo.

Added to this collection of great hymns, you will find two songs I co-wrote with my friend Bruce Benedict. Think of these as understudies—humble little songs that are shadowing and striving to learn from some of the best congregational pieces ever written.

I dedicate this project to my friends at the Church of the Advent in Washington, DC. When I listen to these songs, I celebrate the friendships that grew out of worshipping and singing them together. All of our hopes, we set on the risen Christ!

Wendell Kimbrough
Washington, DC, March 2014

credits

released March 22, 2014

All songs public domain, except Dawning Light of Our Salvation and Who is Like the Lord Our God, written by Wendell Kimbrough & Bruce Benedict.
© Wendell Kimbrough (BMI) and Bruce Benedict, 2012 and 2013 respectively. Learn more about Bruce’s excellent work in liturgical resources at cardiphonia.org

The musicians below are the people who made this project come to life. Many of them are friends from churches in the Renew DC family (renewdc.org), and many of them donated their time to this project. If you know these musicians, thank them!

Musicians:
Rachel Wilhelm - lead and backing vocals
Lauren Hofer - lead and backing vocals
Andy Zipf - lead and backing vocals, guitars
Anika Smith - backing vocals
Ben Hofer - backing vocals, banjo
Brian Pollock - backing vocals, guitar
Andrew Litke - cello, arrangements
James Claypool Morrison - violin, arrangements
Jon Steele - bass
Nathan Hooks - bass
Jim Barredo - drums
Jeremy Geddert - piano
David Parker - lap steel guitar
Wendell Kimbrough - lead & backing vocals, guitars, piano, accordion, samples, percussion

The choir performing on “Dawning Light” is from Church of the Servant in Grand Rapids, MI (churchoftheservantcrc.org/worship/). Their choral parts were arranged, conducted, and recorded by Greg Scheer (gregscheer.com). Thanks, Greg!

Album Produced and Engineered by Wendell Kimbrough at Asparagus Media Studios in Takoma Park, MD (asparagusmediastudios.com) and at the Kimbrough apartment
Mixed by Wendell Kimbrough & Steve Steckler at Asparagus
Mastered by Bill Wolf at Wolf Productions (wolfproductionsinc.com)

Album design by Lauren Hofer (laurenshealittle.com)

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about

Wendell Kimbrough Fairhope, Alabama

Wendell Kimbrough is a songwriter and worship leader in southern Alabama who believes church music should simply be good music that forms us as we sing it together. Drawing on the sounds of American folk and soul music, , Wendell writes scripturally-rich songs with singable, memorable melodies. His music is embraced by churches across the country, young and old, praise bands and choral groups. ... more

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Track Name: O Worship the King
O worship the King, all glorious above,
O gratefully sing His power and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.

O tell of His might, O sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space,
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.

Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.
Track Name: And Can It Be That I Should Gain (feat. Rachel Wilhelm)
And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Track Name: When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Track Name: How Firm A Foundation
How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord,

Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!

What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

“Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed,
For I am your God and will still give you aid;
I’ll strengthen and help you, and cause you to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

“When through the deep waters I call you to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with you, your troubles to bless,
And sanctify to you your deepest distress.

“When through fiery trials your pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be your supply;
The flame shall not hurt you; I only design
Your dross to consume, and your gold to refine.

“The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.
Track Name: What A Friend We Have in Jesus
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.
Track Name: For The Beauty Of The Earth (feat. Rachel Wilhelm & Andy Zipf)
1. For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

Lord of all to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

2. For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.

3. For the wonder of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light.

4. For the church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love.

5. For Thyself, best Gift Divine.
To our race so freely given,
For that great, great love of Thine,
Peace on earth and joy in Heaven.
Track Name: Dawning Light Of Our Salvation
1. Long in darkness Israel wandered;
Long in mortal shadows, we
Walked in bondage and self-pity,
Trod in paths of sin and grief.
In the prophets’ words He told us,
Long the God of Israel spoke;
He alone in strength would save us
From the hands of all our foes.

Every valley be exalted!
Every mountain be made plane!
Crooked ways repent and straighten;
All creation bend in praise!

2. He shall raise a mighty Savior;
Born of David’s lineage, He
Comes in cov’nant love to claim us
From our sins to set us free.
Light to those who dwell in darkness
Life to those from death who flee
Joy unto the earth, and gladness,
To your pathways dawning peace!

Refrain

3. Jesus, Lord, and mighty Savior,
David’s Son and yet his King,
Dawning light of our salvation,
Of your saving pow’r we sing!
Stand, Oh lame, and dance ye broken,
Know the Savior’s healing grace;
Come, Oh deaf and hear him singing;
Turn, Oh blind, behold his face!

Refrain
Track Name: Jesus What A Friend For Sinners (feat. Rachel Wilhelm)
Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.

Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Hallelujah! what a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.

Jesus! what a Strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him.
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my Strength, my victory wins.

Jesus! what a Help in sorrow!
While the billows over me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my Comfort, helps my soul.

Jesus! what a Guide and Keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night overtakes me,
He, my Pilot, hears my cry.
Track Name: Who Is Like The Lord Our God
1. Our Father, He lifts from the ashes
He raises the poor and the lost;
He seats them to dine at his table,
To feast without money or cost.
The lonely he settles in families
The barren, a mother he makes;
O happy the heart of the stranger
Who’s welcomed by this King of Grace.

Who is like the LORD our God?
Who with glory fills the sky?
But humbles himself with the broken to dwell
Who is like our God?

2. Though equal to God in His glory,
Christ Jesus became like a slave;
He humbled himself in obedience
To Death, and the Cross, and the Grave.
Victorious, he rose to the highest;
In glory, the Savior was raised.
His name above all names exalted;
The heavens and earth sing His praise
Refrain

3. O Saints, fix your eyes on the Savior
And count all your righteousness lost.
Be found in his love and his favor,
And share in his death on the cross.
That all of his power in victory,
Imparted to you, may abound;
And sharing the suff’rings of Jesus,
You share in his glory and crown
Refrain
Track Name: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need (feat. Lauren Hofer)
1. My Shepherd will supply my need:
Jehovah is His Name;
In pastures fresh He makes me feed,
Beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back
When I forsake His ways,
And leads me, for His mercy’s sake,
In paths of truth and grace.

2. When I walk through the shades of death
Thy presence is my stay;
A word of Thy supporting breath
Drives all my fears away.
Thy hand, in sight of all my foes,
Doth still my table spread;
My cup with blessings overflows,
Thine oil anoints my head.

3. The sure provisions of my God
Attend me all my days;
O may Thy house be my abode,
And all my work be praise.
There would I find a settled rest,
While others go and come;
No more a stranger, nor a guest,
But like a child at home.
Track Name: Hallelujah Praise Jehovah (Psalm 146)
1. Hallelujah, praise Jehovah,
O my soul, Jehovah praise;
I will sing the glorious praises
Of my God through all my days.
Put no confidence in princes,
Nor for help on man depend;
He shall die, to dust returning,
And his purposes shall end.

2. Happy is the one who chooses
Israel’s God to be his aid;
We are blest whose hope of blessing
On the Lord our God is stayed.
Heaven and earth the Lord created,
Seas and all that they contain;
He delivers from oppression,
Righteousness He will maintain.

3. Food He daily gives the hungry,
Sets the mourning prisoner free,
Raises those bowed down with anguish,
Makes the sightless eyes to see.
Well Jehovah loves the righteous,
And the stranger He befriends,
Helps the fatherless and widow,
Judgment on the wicked sends.

4. Hallelujah, praise Jehovah,
O my soul, Jehovah praise;
I will sing the glorious praises
Of my God through all my days.
Over all God reigns forever,
Through all ages He is King;
Unto Him, thy God, O Zion,
Joyful hallelujahs sing.
Track Name: All Praise To Thee My God This Night
1. All praise to Thee, my God, this night,
For all the blessings of the light!
Keep me, O keep me, King of kings,
Beneath Thine own almighty wings.

2. Forgive me, Lord, for Thy dear Son,
The ill that I this day have done,
That with the world, myself, and Thee,
I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.

3. O may my soul on Thee repose,
And with sweet sleep mine eyelids close,
Sleep that may me more vigorous make
To serve my God when I awake

4. Teach me to live, that I may dread
The grave as little as my bed.
Teach me to die, that so I may
Rise glorious at the judgment day.

5. Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.