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April 2

The Story Behind Randy Travis’ “Amazing Grace”

Randy Travis’ “Amazing Grace” is a Christian hymn that has been around since 1779. Several centuries have passed and it’s still extremely popular, especially in the United States, where it is being used for religious purposes as well as for secular ones.

The beloved hymn was written in 1772 by the English poet and Anglican clergyman John Newton, and knowing the journey Newton went through will help you appreciate the depth of the song.

Growing up, Newton was down on his luck living through a miserable childhood. His mother died when he was only six years old, and a series of unfortunate events came through Newton afterward that led him to become a servant to a slave trader in West Africa.

During one of Newton’s expeditions, a very strong storm hit and nearly sank their ship. This inspired Newton to start his spiritual conversion as he found himself crying out to God to protect them from the storm.

However, as he went back to England, Newton turned into a slave shipmaster, a job he served for many years. Newton was in charge of taking slaves from Africa to England, and he confessed to treating the slaves violently at times.

But things took a different turn in 1754 when Newton got viciously ill on a sea voyage. Since then, he completely turned his back from his old life as a slave trader, the slave trade, and seafaring, all at once – heartily dedicating his life to God’s service. Ten years later, Newton was ordained as an Anglican priest and penned about 280 hymns, including the incredible “Amazing Grace.”

And due to its immense popularity and iconic nature, it was covered by several notable artists. Randy Travis recorded the popular hymn in 2000 for his first gospel music album, Inspirational Journey, and it became one of the most memorable Randy Travis songs.

You can listen to Randy Travis’ “Amazing Grace” in the video below.


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