In 2024, the timeless hymn "How Great Thou Art" reaches its 75th anniversary, and a group of renowned artists, including Chris Tomlin, Hillary Scott, and Matt Redman, have joined forces to release a fresh rendition titled "How Great Thou Art (Until That Day)." This new version, accompanied by a music video, aims to honor the hymn's legacy while contributing to humanitarian aid in Ukraine.
The original hymn, written by Stuart K. Hine in 1949, gained prominence when George Beverly Shea introduced it during Billy Graham's crusade in 1957. Over the years, it has become a cherished hymn sung globally, with notable artists like Elvis Presley and Carrie Underwood offering their renditions.
To mark the 75th anniversary, the Stuart Hine Trust commissioned Matt Redman and Mitch Wong to craft a new verse for the song, connecting its themes to the current challenges in the world. The resulting collaboration features a stellar lineup of artists and a poignant addition to the hymn's timeless lyrics.
Matt Redman, reflecting on the project, stated that while hymns like "How Great Thou Art" are typically preserved in their original form, the Stuart Hine Trust welcomed the opportunity to create a fresh section that addresses the brokenness of the world with hope. The new verse emphasizes the reality of living in a troubled world while maintaining a sense of faith and optimism.
The recording process brought together the diverse vocal talents of the artists, with sessions held at Gold Pacific Studios in Los Angeles and Nashville's iconic RCA Studio B, where Elvis Presley recorded his version in 1966. The production, led by Matt Maher and Steve Marcia, aims to offer a contemporary yet faithful rendition of the classic hymn.
Proceeds from the new version will support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, connecting back to Hine's missionary work in Eastern Europe. The decision to include the word "war" in the new verse reflects a commitment to engaging with the realities of the world and not shying away from acknowledging its brokenness.
Looking ahead, Matt Redman suggests that there might be additional versions of "How Great Thou Art" with the new verse, including orchestral and choir renditions, expanding its reach within the wider church community.
As the 75th-anniversary celebration unfolds, the collaboration represents a fusion of musical excellence, spiritual depth, and a commitment to making a positive impact in the world. The Stuart Hine Trust continues to use the royalties from "How Great Thou Art" to support Christian outreach and relief organizations globally, ensuring that the hymn's legacy becomes a source of hope for generations to come.