george_hancockstefanStarting this coming Saturday (8/7), and continuing on each Saturday in the month of August, we will have a musical group at the Atlantic Highlands Gazebo.  The following groups will perform at 7 p.m.:

Saturday, August 7   – Raphael and Aly Giglio

Saturday, August 14 – Kept

Saturday, August 21 – Brian Elias and the Waiting for the Flood Band

Saturday, August 28 – Undivided Heart, led by Maik Lankau

Historically, Atlantic Highlands has always been a musical and artistic town and that tradition continues today. It is interesting to study the history of the town and to find out how many artists and musicians lived here.  It is equally exciting is to see that some are with us today – some perform here, some perform in our big cities like New York and Philadelphia and some perform internationally.

Christian theology has always emphasized art and music as the gifts of God.  In the Old Testament, we find that the concentration of Jewish art was in the temple.  The temple was regarded as a holy place because God was in the Holy of Holies, but the people who made the temple demonstrated some of the most exquisite art and the psalmists praised God continually through some fantastic music.

Bruce Shelley, in his book Church History in Plan Language, talks about the Medieval time as a period not completely in the dark. If you look to the Gothic and Romanesque architecture done for the glory of God during that time, you can see their desire to honor God and to move upward in praise to Him.

In conversation with a well-known black leader, he mentioned that if you study the great black musicians of the 20th century all of them had their beginning and their sustenance in the black church.  They learned about Jesus when they were young kids in their churches. Then they sang about this Jesus when the world received them and gave them accolades, and when the world rejected them they sang about Jesus who was rejected like they were.

In the mid-seventies a book with a startling title appeared.  It was called Why Should the Devil Have the Best Music?  The title reflected the feeling of many people that the majority of music was no longer praising God.  It became narcissistic and was lifting up things that were not holy.

Today the situation has changed.  There are hundreds of singers and musical groups who devote their talents, their time, and their energy to create music that praises God and proclaims the Good News. God is worthy to be praised through old classical music and through music that is new – written last month, this week and sometimes even today.

We invite you to come and hear the Good News proclaimed in music for the glory of God and the enjoyment of the people.

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Rev. Dr. George Hancock-Stefan

George Hancock-Stefan

Pastor George Hancock-Stefan completed 30 years as the pastor of the great congregation at Central Baptist Church in Atlantic Highlands in 2020. Those 30 years have been a blessed time for him, his wife...