By the rich mercy of Jesus Christ, John Newton--who once captained slave ships in Africa--was redeemed to preach the faith he long labored to destroy.
At the young age of 11, Newton followed his father's footsteps as a seaman. Stumbling through years of sin & rebellion found him captaining his own slave ship.
On March 10, 1748 the Holy Spirit besieged Newton's vessel in a treacherous storm. He was fearfully driven into The Imitations of Christ, by Thomas Kempis. Therein he was marooned upon the Word of God and the redeeming grace of his Savior.
In time & mercy, the Lord gave Newton a strong voice for the Gospel & against slavery. With so much to say he penned the words to Amazing Grace, and hundreds of other hymns.
Shortly before his death, Newton said, My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: I am a great sinner but Christ is a great Savior!
I wonder how many stories of God's grace & redemption exist among our South Church family. If any are His, they once were lost, but now [are] found. By God's Amazing Grace we've every reason to lift our voice in song to Christ: our hope, redeemer & friend.
Looking forward to proclaiming God's Amazing Grace with you Sunday,