On Asbury Theological Seminary’s Kentucky campus, Estes Chapel is the home and heartbeat of our worshiping community. It is located between two iconic statues—to its east, the well-known statue of John Wesley and to its west, a more recent addition, a statue of his brother, Charles, author of thousands of hymns. With the preacher on one side and the hymn writer on the other, our worship as a community is cradled in the seat of the Wesley brothers’ commitment to a theology deeply rooted in preaching and worship, sermon and song.
It has been said that the branches of the church that sprang from the heritage of John and Charles Wesley are characterized by singing—and it is true. We sing our theology! Here is a wonderful canon of hymns for the Asbury community (on our campuses and abroad in the lives of our alumni and friends), rich in sung theology and warm in the experiential call of the gospel. These hymns connect us with the worship of the church through the ages and throughout the strands of Asbury’s tradition. Here are great treasures of history through which we join with the saints throughout time in their words of worship. And here are hymns of reformation, revival, camp meeting, and gospel witness, as well as new hymns that are being written today. Most importantly, here is the deep theology of the Wesley heritage to be sung and sown into our minds and hearts, a hallmark of who we are as a community of faith.
The songs in these pages have explained the deepest meanings of theology to the most-learned mind, but have also touched the depths of the simplest but hungriest of hearts.
It is our prayer that the Asbury Hymnal would represent the best of who we are as a theological, Spirit-filled, worshiping community. It is our hope that these hymns will continue to be sung by those around the world who see all of life as an opportunity to respond to God’s works with worship. It is to God’s glory that we sing these songs of faith together!