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A quintet from the Western Hills Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas, and the University Church of Christ in Canyon, Texas, sings during the 2024 North Texas Leadership Training for Christ conference in Dallas.
Photo by Erik Tryggestad

Voices only: Astounding renditions of ‘Steal Away to Jesus’ and ‘Wonderful Grace of Jesus’ from LTC

Five young men — who first practiced together the day before their performance — wow the crowd at North Texas Leadership Training for Christ.

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DALLAS — When five young men took the stage at this year’s North Texas Leadership Training for Christ conference, they brought the audience to its feet.

The quintet delivered a powerful rendition of the spiritual “Steal Away to Jesus” and an upbeat, barbershop-style version of the classic hymn “Wonderful Grace of Jesus.” They performed in the small chorus/vocal group category on Saturday. The conference’s organizers asked them to reprise their performance during the Sunday morning talent showcase that precedes worship in the ballroom of the Hilton Anatole.

For all of us in the Sunday morning audience, it quickly became apparent as to why they were asked to sing. The group got a standing ovation.

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“The amazing thing to me is that these five had not sung together before Friday evening,” Lance Culbert, a member of the University Church of Christ in Canyon, Texas, told The Christian Chronicle. Culbert’s son, Duncan, was part of the quintet along with one other youth from the University church. The rest are members of the Western Hills Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas.

Here they are introducing themselves:

“Steal Away to Jesus” is a spiritual that dates back to the Civil War era. The composer, Wallace Willis, was a slave of a Choctaw freedman in the old Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).

“Wonderful Grace of Jesus” was written in 1918 by Haldor Lillenas, a Norwegian-born author, editor, composer and prolific hymn writer who lived in locales across the U.S., from South Carolina to Oregon. This is his best-known work.

What a cappella song do you find especially meaningful? Send us a video link and a short description of what the song means to you. We might use your selection in a future Voices Only.

ERIK TRYGGESTAD is president and CEO of The Christian Chronicle. Contact [email protected], and follow him on X @eriktryggestad.

Filed under: a cappella hymn A Cappella Hymns Classic hymns Leadership Training For Christ LTC North Texas Leadership Training for Christ quintet slavery spiritual hymn spiritual song Uncategorized Voices Only Wonderful Grace of Jesus youth leadership training

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