Five Decades of Music & Fine Arts at First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth
“Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!”
— Psalm 150: 1-6
Through the ages, God’s message of love and hope, grace and mercy, peace and joy has burst forth in jubilant song. First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth is renowned for its meaningful worship services, music programs and artistic presentations. And in each of these glorious expressions, your First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation plays a part.
In fact, our Fifth Foundation Pillar is Music & Fine Arts. Many musical and artistic threads are interwoven into religious history worldwide. The Greek hymns, Latin hymns and Spanish poetry set to music continued a long tradition of religious musical expression. St. Thomas Aquinas, in the introduction to his commentary on the Psalms — songs, defined the Christian hymn this way: “A hymn is the praise of God with song; a song is the exultation of the mind dwelling on eternal things, bursting forth in the voice.” As early as 64 A.D., Saint Paul wrote about hymns in his letters. Our own Charles Wesley was a prolific writer of music and lyrics, crafting hymns that carry forth our own Methodist theology by expressing personal feelings about our relationship with God in song. Today, here in Fort Worth, from Children’s, Junior and Youth Choirs that encourage the youngest musicians to the dynamic notes of the adult Choral Union, the Foundation is integral to music in our Church. The Foundation directs funds to the general budget that Church leaders then allocate to assist the choral and instrumental music ministries so they send joyous melodies reverberating through the halls, into the courtyard and garden and, of course, the sanctuary and chapel. And there’s more:
Earnings from the Foundation have enabled our Church to renovate the choir loft and to purchase new, much-needed choir chairs.
Combined with generous gifts from donors and earnings from the Foundation assets, contributions have underwritten the The Anne S. and Henry B. Paup Organ, a customized instrument designed and built specifically for our Church to provide beautiful music for worship and concerts for the community.
The Bess Broderick Series has invited outstanding musicians and performing artists to our Church.
The Ballard Series is devoted to art, music and education for our children, youth and families.
This fall, we will experience a sampling during our 50th Anniversary Celebration on September 30, 2014, when Danny Wright will present a recital on stage in the ballroom of the Fort Worth Convention Center. Danny Wright is an internationally renowned concert pianist, composer and producer with 30 years’ experience performing and recording music. Celebrated for his talented mastery of three musical styles, Classical, Broadway/Film and Contemporary Piano, his is an extensive catalog of beautiful original compositions. He is a Steinway Artist who creates timeless musical landscapes and beautiful stories with his talent and his instrument. Danny lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, now, with his family. But during his college years at TCU, Danny was proud to call First Methodist Church of Fort Worth home. When visiting, Danny makes every attempt to stop in and visit. We are so delighted that Danny will be a part of our lovely 50th Anniversary Celebration. We hope you can join us, too. Tickets are on sale now. Call 817/339-5089 to place your order for tickets with Lisa Tucker by phone. Reservations are limited, so call today. We hope to see you on Foundation Sunday, September 28, too, when the Foundation Board of Directors will welcome everyone to a gathering in the garden with refreshment and fellowship between services. In the meantime, please read more about the Foundation’s efforts for the Church, the endowment’s ONLY beneficiary, by visiting our website.
— Sid Johnston, Executive Director of FMC Foundation