Top Christian music artists unite for 75th anniversary remix of ‘How Great Thou Art’

The beloved hymn How Great Thou Art has inspired Christians for decades. As the song celebrates its 75th anniversary, worship leader Matt Redman is honouring its legacy with an updated version.

The singer-songwriter told CBN News about his unique collaboration with a slew of Christian artists, including Chris Tomlin, Hillary Scott, Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, Naomi Raine, Blessing Offor, Jon Reddick, TAYA, Brian and Jenn Johnson, Matt Maher, Pat Barrett, Benjamin William Hastings, Ryan Ellis, and Mitch Wong — familiar voices known as vocal powerhouses in their own rights.

The wide array of such prominent voices speaks to the song’s prevalence in the church today.

“You go around churches, different streams, and expressions of church — you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t find some kind of connection to this hymn,” Redman said, noting the song spread like “wildfire” once it started being played at Billy Graham crusades.

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The worship singer offered his perspective on why he believes How Great Thou Art has been such a timeless and popular song:

“I think it might be because it has this beautiful story, starts with creation, gets the cross, but we get our chance to say what we think about those things,” Redman said. “I think some of the best hymns, they’re like a classroom and a chapel — they … educate us, inspire us, bring something to mind. and then they give us a chance to respond to that, say what we think about that.”

He said the song, unlike many old hymns, is still under copyright. The copyright holder — which is typically very protective of the song — approached Redman and asked him if there was a way to celebrate the song’s 75th anniversary.

Considering what’s happening in Ukraine as Russia continues to battle the much smaller nation, the song’s history becomes even more pertinent. Redman shared a historical fact about the tune: British missionary Stuart Hine wrote the English lyrics while in Ukraine.

Redman felt it was an “especially poignant time to have … a new version,” with proceeds going to Ukraine and humanitarian causes in Eastern Europe.

Another unique facet of the 2024 version of How Great Thou Art is the inclusion of a brand new section Redman hopes will inspire Christians walking in a “broken, warring world”.

“It was wonderful seeing it come to life,” he said of the song, crediting the powerful voices who united behind it to make it all happen.

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