New Music: "A Heart Strangely Warmed"
I just finished a new piece for organ solo, composed for the First United Methodist Church of Redlands, CA. (They have a very fine Beckerath pipe organ.)
The Methodist church was founded by John Wesley (1703–1791). In 1735 Wesley had sailed from England to Savannah, Georgia. During that voyage a storm came up and broke the mast off the ship. While the English aboard all panicked, the Moravians calmly sang hymns and prayed, all of which had a profound impact on Wesley. His ministry in Georgia was a failure, and in 1738 he returned to England depressed and beaten. Still impressed by the Moravians, he attended one of their meetings. About that meeting he later penned the now famous lines "my heart was strangely warmed". It was the turning point in his career.