Dr. John Parker, a renowned teacher and writer, will give readings and discuss his beautiful and informative book Abide With Me at Nashville Trunk and Bag located in Grace’s Plaza, Green Hills on February 10th from 2-4 p.m. Dr. Parker is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman and Lipscomb Universities holding a M.A, in Religion and a PhD. in English. He has taught both Religion and English at both universities and is an Elder for the Granny White Church of Christ in Nashville. His interest in church music and in travel and history in western Europe has inspired him in his writing and lecturing.
With his special interest in the great English hymns, Dr. Parker has co-edited a beautifully illustrated and written book with Irish photographer Dr. Paul Seawright. The volume is entitled Abide With Me: A Photographic Journey Through Great British Hymns. Each hymn is discussed in detail with engaging writing about the authors of the hymns and historic detail about their origins. The illustrations show the sites in the Cotswolds in England where the authors lived and wrote. Beautifully rendered in full color, the photographs allow the reader to be drawn into the story and enhance the narration. Dr. Parker is a wonderful storyteller and the writing about the hymns and their authors make them come to life. This lovely book was published in 2009 and has sold over 24,000 copies since its publication. The hymns included are classics and well known to all Christians and the accounts of their authors, which include a broad selection of both men and women, make these hymns more endearing to all.
One can easily understand the inspiration of these hymns that still inspire from the journey through the British country as Dr. Parker introduces each author with his or her connection to the place that inspired them.
Dr. Parker will give an overview of his travels and research for the book and will highlight several compelling vignettes on several of his favorites including John Newton’s “Amazing Grace,” Francis Havagal’s “Take My Life and Let It Be,” Charles Wesley’s “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” and Issac Watts’ “Joy to the World.” Other hymns will be discussed upon request. Signed copies of the book, which contains a CD of the hymns, will be available for purchase following the reading. This lovely book would make a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift for anyone who loves classic hymns and the beautiful countryside of England.
By Judith Parrish Broadbent
Contributor to The News