WINCHESTER — Sing the great traditional hymns and some fresh ones too at First Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon as the church dedicates its new hymnal.

As part of its Music on the Corner series, the church is holding a hymn festival to dedicates its new Celebrating Grace hymnals, purchased in 2018 for use in worship at FBC. The event takes place at 4 p.m. Sunday at the church on the corner of Piccadilly and Washington streets in downtown Winchester.

The event will explore the hymns included in Celebrating Grace by going through the church year, from Advent through Thanksgiving, and those listed under topics such as Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Celebrating Grace, launched in 2010, is a successor to the Baptist Hymnal (1991) and is closely associated with the churches of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

The special guest speaker will be Dr. Deborah Carlton Loftis, retired executive director of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, a nonprofit ecumenical organization devoted to the promotion and development of congregational song. She is also a member of the committee that produced Celebrating Grace.

Prior to accepting the hymn society post, she taught church music for nine years at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond. An ordained Baptist minister, Loftis served as minister of music at Baptist churches in Kentucky and Alabama. She holds degrees from Furman University, the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the University of Alabama and a doctorate in musicology from the University of Kentucky in their joint program with the University of Louisville.

This hymn festival will be led by the First Baptist Church Chancel Choir, directed by Lori Horne Pendleton, minister of music and of senior adults, and accompanied by Dan Miller, organist, and Leslie Hughes Robertson, pianist.

Soloists from the choir, a small ensemble and handbells will also take part. Presiding over this service of worship and music will be the Rev. Dr. Kristin Adkins Whitesides, senior pastor of FBC.

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