Monday, August 4, 2008

Red Mountain Music

When I lived in Birmingham I went to a church called Red Mountain Church. It belongs to the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) denomination and is probably most notable for its significant hipster and married-hipsters-with-kids population. I love that church, and love the people in it, and it is, in and of itself, a major reason why I would consider moving back to Birmingham when I finish grad school (though I do have a list of other reasons I would want to move back).

One thing that does set Red Mountain apart from many other churches is the quality of its music. The church has been blessed to have an abundance of incredibly talented musicians and singers. These musicians are also probably some of the most humble church musicians that I have seen and never take the spotlight for themselves; in fact, one could go to the church for months and never know the names of any of the musicians (believe me, I still don't know the names of most of them, and I was a member for over two years).

However, perhaps the best part about the music at Red Mountain is that the church has fully embraced hymns as the only type of music that is played during worship. In a day when so many churches seem to be flocking to the latest and most "awesome" worship songs, those at Red Mountain have instead looked to the great hymns of the past. These songs often contain a richness of poetry that is pretty much completely absent from any church music written after, oh, 1950. While they often keep many of the original arrangements, several members have been writing and recording new music for a number of old hymns. They have released five CDs to date, which can be found here. If you have a love of hymns like I do, I highly recommend checking them out. Below is their arrangement of "My Jesus I Love Thee" from their first CD.

4 comments:

Patrick Sewell said...

Let's not forget RMC's disproportionately high percentage of GIS techs.

Mom on the Run said...

OK, it's official. You can marry one of my daughters ;-} (take your pick, though I'd go for J2, she won't bankrupt you and has a hefty little savings account).

We don't do praise choruses at our church (that contingent left almost 10 years ago in a hissy fit) and we welcome at least two or three hipster couples with or without children every Sunday.

Amy Grant had a CD out a few years ago that had gorgeous arrangements of old hymns. My favorite was her duet with Vince Gill, "Nothing but the Blood of Jesus".

Sarah Margaret said...

I agree with you. I would move back to Birmingham just for Red Mountain Church!

Brian T. Murphy said...

wow. thanks for the kind and encouraging words about our church and our music...