Keith Getty, an Ulster-born hymn-writer whose “In Christ Alone” met with rejection by Presbyterian liturgists, has been honored by Queen Elizabeth II.

Getty, 42, now a resident of Nashville, was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire during the Queen’s birthday honors. Hymn-writers rarely achieve such honors. Getty writes many of his songs with his wife, Kristyn, and Stuart Townend, a veteran British songwriter and worship leader.

When a committee considered “In Christ Alone” for a new hymnal of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) in 2014, it asked Getty and Townend to revise its lyrics from “Till on that cross as Jesus died / the wrath of God was satisfied” to “Till on that cross as Jesus died / the love of God was magnified.” The songwriters declined, and the committee rejected the hymn on a 6-9 vote.

Sixty of their hymns are among the most popular in the United Kingdom and the United States.

John Martin

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