Keith and Kristyn Getty Perform in Illinois Church

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More than 500 people attended a concert and night of worship Oct. 20 with modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty at Faith Christian Reformed Church, Elmhurst, Ill.

Keith Getty helps lead the congregation during an evening of worship at Faith CRC. 

Keith Getty, a Northern Ireland composer, co-wrote “In Christ Alone” along with veteran British songwriter and worship leader Stuart Townend. Many other songs are co-written with his wife, who also provides lead vocals during their concerts.

“The Gettys’ music has theological and biblical depth, historical and liturgical integrity, and it’s just amazingly beautiful and singable,” said Rev. Greg Schuringa. “Their music is also for the whole church, all the generations, which we really value and appreciate and believe is the biblical ideal for corporate worship.”

In an interview before the concert, Keith Getty talked about the role of hymns in people’s lives. “When my grandfather was dying, he was able to quote old hymns and passages of Scripture,” he said. “What is our generation going to do when they get older? Ninety percent of their songs have a nine-month shelf life.”

It was the first time the Gettys have visited a Christian Reformed church. They noted with a smile that they understood their visit was “pre-determined,” in reference to the Reformed doctrine of predestination.

But the Gettys are not unfamiliar with the CRC. In fact, a number of their songs are slated for inclusion in the new hymnal Lift Up Your Hearts, being published by Faith Alive Christian Resources for the CRC and the Reformed Church in America.

“We have had a friendly, ongoing relationship with Calvin College,” Keith said. “We have done the Symposium on Worship twice and even a concert in the DeVos Center. But this is our first concert in a CRC, which is exciting. Every time we go to a new city or a new denomination, or a new ministry, that opens up new opportunities and new relationships.”

Keith primarily plays the piano while Kristyn sings, but a five-member band also accompanies them.

“We projected the words of almost every song and people sang along and praised God enthusiastically,” Schuringa said. “The night was a concert though, too, where we enjoyed excellent musicians performing music in their unique style that is classical, contemporary, and Irish all at once.”

The Gettys performed well-known favorites but also introduced two Christmas songs into the mix in honor of their newly released album Joy - An Irish Christmas.

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Melissa Holtrop

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