In a year that has been disappointing on many fronts, the team from SA Worship Magazine were excited and encouraged through the interest in the first ever Song Search. The search was announced in May and submissions were steadily coming in right up to the September deadline. In total, there were 33 submissions from Salvationists worldwide from countries such as Australia all the way to Sweden. It truly was a global effort. As songs came in and the list continued to grow, we knew it was going to be difficult to make final decisions as to which songs would be selected for publication.
Once the submission deadline passed, the songs were organized and sent to a global team for adjudication. The adjudication panel was comprised of territorial worship leading experts from the UK, USA, New Zealand and Canada. The panel received a standardized recording of each song so that there was no difference in the way the songs were interpreted. The aim was to get a wide perspective on songs as well as consideration for different worship styles across the Army world.
The Selected Songs
The SA Worship Magazine team are grateful to everyone who submitted a song to the Song Search, and we are incredibly excited about the next steps in this process. We are pleased to announce the songs that were chosen by the global adjudication team for the 2020 SAWM Song Search as follows:
Boundless Love – Louise Mathieson (Australia Territory)
Come, Oh Burning Spirit, Come – Captain Kathleen Johansson (Eastern European Territory)
In You Alone – Dan Bate (United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland Territory)
Let the Beauty of Jesus – Natalie & John Hanchett
(United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland Territory)
Salvation for the World – Captain Peter Gott (Australia Territory)
Show Me Your Glory – Olivia Campbell (New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa Territory)
Solid Rock – Katie Fuentes (Canada and Bermuda Territory)
Your Grace Still Welcomes Me – Louise Mathieson (Australia Territory)
Your Kingdom Reigns – Captain Peter Gott (Australia Territory)
We wanted you to get the chance to meet the writers who's songs have been selected and get some insight into their process and what inspires them to write. We are excited that these songs will be included in the brand new Salvation Worship publication that is coming in February 2021. To learn more about the publication click here
North Brisbane Corps, Queensland Division,
I’ve been making music and writing all kinds of things since I was a small child. The creative process never fails to challenge me and bring me joy. Being part of the Salvation Army all my life has led naturally to constant engagement in creative ministry, especially with music. I’ve been involved in Singing Company, Songsters, Vocal Groups, Bands, Musicals, Camps and other teams and ensembles. For the last 14 years, I have also been able to support creative arts as an employee of my Division and Territory. In the last two years, I have become a part of a national Territorial Worship Arts team in Australia, which is an exciting place to work with a phenomenal group of other creatives who love Jesus.
I’ve been married to my husband Shelden for 27 years. We live with our furbaby Jemima in the beautiful north east of Brisbane. I’m a proud Queenslander at State of Origin football time, but you’re more likely to find me reading, stitching, or drinking coffee rather than doing anything very athletic!
This song began life as a completely different song with no chorus and lurked in my journal for many years. After workshopping the song at a writer’s weekend, I got some fresh ideas and I found the rest of the song wrote itself very quickly, changing tempo and style and evolving into something new.
Lyrically, it is based on 1 John 3:1 which is one of my many favourite Bible verses that centers on our identity in God. It was a natural progression from there for each verse to explore our identity as people beloved, redeemed and transformed. Our corps had recently developed a focus statement which was “Hope, Freedom and Transformation through Jesus.” This helped me clarify this message and its implications – because of who (and whose) we are, this is how we live. Attending the Boundless 150 celebrations in London also played a part in inspiring the final title. Musically, I am rather a fan of Rend Collective’s work, so in style it pays tribute to that semi-acoustic feel.
Your Grace Still Welcomes Me
This song was in my journal for a while before finding its true form. Having participated in a performance of Take Over Bid as a teenager, Kneeling in Penitence has long been a special song for me. After coming up with some new melodic ideas while improvising, it was the song that popped into my head as the right match for a songbook makeover. Reflecting on Hebrews 4:16 was the final piece of the puzzle that brought everything together. The original song is a beautiful, simple reflection on the realization of our desperate need for God’s forgiveness and our total surrender to Him. By reworking the hymn and adding the original chorus material, it became a very personal processing of how I continually need to bring myself to that place. Jesus has already accomplished my forgiveness, but every time I cling to Him anew, I take hold of the promise again that I can freely and confidently meet His mercy and grace which allows me to stand and move forward with Him.
Captain Kathleen Johansson
Sofia Corps Plant, Bulgaria,
Eastern Europe Territory
Having not grown up in the Army, I was surprised by how much I loved Salvation Army music when I first heard it. The band at my home corps had so much soul and I fell in love straight away. Even before then, music has always been important to me. I started to play the piano when I was six years old. These days, I sing as much praise to God as I can and take every creative opportunity that comes my way. I hope to be making even more music for God and the Army in the future.
Come, Oh Burning Spirit, Come
This song came about because Major Stephen Court shared some “Holiness Meeting Fodder” on his Facebook page and I became intrigued. One of the good things about the English Song Book (compared to the Swedish for example) is that the text is not attached to a melody. As soon as I read the text on his post, I started to sing a melody, even though I had never heard the original song. I wrote it down and recorded myself and tried to figure out some of the chords. I tend to have self-doubt and sometimes think that my melodies are boring, but with a little help from a friend and some chord tweaking, the song was eventually born. I hope that this new melody can give life to the beautiful story that is found in these lyrics from Charles Fry.
Johnsonville Corps in Wellington (New Zealand)
New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory
I am part of a loving Christian family and the eldest of three children. I grew up attending the Salvation Army and my family on both sides have musical backgrounds and giftings. I have always loved music and worship from a young age. Growing up, I took piano lessons for several years and sang in items for both school and my church. I now have the
privilege of regularly leading worship on Sunday morning at my home corps in Johnsonville. I am passionate about leading people into the presence of God and I feel honoured that He has entrusted me with this responsibility. I am committed to encouraging, developing and mentoring the younger generation to help them grow in the gifts God has given to them. I began writing songs in my early teens but I put this on hold until 2016 when I revisited song writing again. Since then, I have continued to write songs with words God has placed on my heart that He wants others to hear.
Show Me Your Glory
I wrote this song when God placed the Scripture on my heart from Isaiah 40 which says, “A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged place a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together.””
When I saw this Scripture, I sensed the voice of God, the Almighty One, calling us, His people, back into His arms. He wants us to draw nearer into His presence and be reminded that at times it may feel like He is distant, but He is never far from us. Through the valleys and the deserts, through the rugged and broken places that life takes us, He is our strength and He will refresh and renew us by His Spirit. My prayer for this song is that we would know this promise and that together, united as His children, we will all see His glory.
Natalie & John Hanchett
Hedge End Salvation Army
UK & Republic of Ireland Territory
We have shared in music ministry since meeting in 1998. In over 20 years of marriage, God has been so good to us and has given us many opportunities to lead worship in a variety of settings. It is always a joy to find ways to provide engaging and meaningful worship experiences. This ministry is part of why God has placed us in each other’s life journey.
We attend Hedge End Salvation Army with our two daughters Alana (14) and Bethany (11). It is a vibrant and family orientated expression of church. We are involved in many ministries, including music. Natalie works as a Community Services Specialist for the Army and John works as a music teacher. Our passion is to see people find their true self and reach their God-given potential through the love and acceptance of Jesus Christ.
Let the Beauty of Jesus
Inspiration for this song comes from Matthew 28 (The Great Commission) and the old words of a chorus from Albert Orsborn, Let the Beauty of Jesus Be Seen in Me.
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Song and of the Holy Spirit.”
God commands each of us to go and make disciples of all nations. How do we personally respond? Do we let our human frailties and doubts get in the way sometimes? Do we often feel inadequate and feel that we need to be something different or something better before we respond? God loves each and every one of us just as we are. He can use us just as we are. So, in response to God’s command, we just need to respond positively and be bold in our vulnerability. We need to lay aside our doubts and fears in the knowledge that when we offer ourselves sincerely to Him, His beauty will shine through us and we will radiate his eternal love, forgiveness and acceptance to those around us.
Canada Bermuda Territory
Northridge Community Church
Hi everyone! My name is Katie and I’m a singer, songwriter and worship leader. My favourite genres to write and perform are pop, soul, R&B and worship. I remember the first time I led worship at a youth retreat. I felt God whisper to me that this was how I could use my gifts to serve Him; that this was only the beginning. Since that day, I have pursued music and ministry. I attended Hillsong College in Australia and had the privilege of serving at church in their worship and youth ministries. I currently work for the Ontario SA Youth Department as the Youth Creative Coordinator and Camp Registrar. I thank God for allowing me to do what I’m passionate about for a living.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my song and I hope those who listen are blessed. I wrote it while I was living across the world and removed from everything that made me feel comfortable. It was a season of learning to depend on and trust God. The future felt so unknown (isn’t it always?) and I felt the constant tension of learning to walk by faith and not by sight. I found myself singing the words of the chorus as a prayer and reminding myself that He is my solid rock, He is faithful and if I cling to Him, I will get through whatever storm may come.
Since being very young, I have always appreciated and been encouraged by the way the Salvation Army uses music to bring others to faith in brave and new ways. Because of this, I’ve always been excited with the prospect of adding my own small part to the rich musical legacy. I picked up a guitar at nine years old and I never looked back. I have been lucky enough to minister through music across the UK and abroad for several years. I enjoy being a member of Meraki, a five-piece worship group made up of my best friends, but I also enjoy supporting many other fantastic Salvation Army musicians, artists and choirs. One of the most fulfilling parts of my musical faith journey has been to meet with many Spirit-filled young people at various summer schools, youth councils and territorial events. Over lockdown, I have been able to keep praising the Lord at home in my small bedroom studio. As well as writing a few songs and disturbing my neighbours with Sunday recordings, my wife and I have recorded a short album of our favourite songs to raise some money for The Big Collection.
In You Alone
Over lockdown, I have found it difficult to engage in worship, as the social element of sharing in worship with others has always been centrally important to me. However, I have found this time has allowed me to engage with God in a more personal sense. Instead of using worship opportunities to connect with others musically, returning to just playing guitar in my bedroom has allowed me to connect with God on a personal level. I wrote In You Alone a few years ago and never shared it with anyone. It is a personal conversation with God that I often return to when I am struggling for direction and find myself doubting if God is speaking into these difficult situations we are living through. We live in dark and uncertain times but as the song says, “I know that there are prayers that haven’t been answered yet. And I know that there are answers I might not ever get. But I will trust Your promise, and I’ll promise not to forget to put my trust in You and You alone.”
Captain Peter Gott
Shire Salvos (Miranda)
I am a fully devoted disciple of Jesus. I currently live out my calling as an officer in the Australian Territory. I love most styles of music and I am a self-confessed music nerd. Prior to becoming an officer, I studied music at the Sydney Conservatorium and worked as a freelance musician in Sydney. I have extensive experience in working with worship teams and musical groups of all kinds. I love my family and I enjoy watching movies and sports, especially basketball (go Lakers!). I have a heart to see people connect with Jesus and live the best life they can.
Salvation for the World
Salvation for the World is a song about creating a unified rally cry for the Salvation Army. I wanted to write a song that tapped into our key values – having a heart for salvation, partnered with a desire for holiness (full salvation) and building unity, crying out for God to pour out the love of Jesus for the world.
Your Kingdom Reigns
When I was developing my song writing, I had this idea that it would be cool to write my own psalms. I called the first one Psalm 1, which was confusing for people as it didn’t quite go with the first psalm from the book of Psalms in the Bible. Yet, the sentiment was to draw from themes, especially the praise and God-focused nature found in the Psalms. Your Kingdom Reigns became the second psalm I wrote. It is based upon Psalm 145 with a theme centered on the kingdom of God. It is an anthem to unite people in worship of Jesus, our King. I wanted to convey something like a crowd crying out, “Long live the King!” to the King of all kings. I paired this with the words and sentiment from the Lord’s Prayer, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”