When Alliance Bible Fellowship worship and music director Hunter Coultrap receives a video of church children reciting Old Testament Psalm 34, which he says has occurred several times these past last few weeks, it brings him joy to know that he is a part of it.
Knowledge of the psalm came after the church released a three song album titled “Magnify” in September.
“It was very exciting,” Coultrap said of hearing the album for the first time. “It was worth recording all the time in the studio.”
The album is the first of Alliance Bible Fellowship, a church located off the NC 105 Bypass that has over 1,200 participants combined in its two weekly worship services.
The idea, according to Coultrap, arose out of a desire to give the church the language to praise God, as he called him. The goal was not to become celebrities or to launch a musical career.
“Our goal is to give our congregation new songs and new language to glorify God,” Coultrap said.
The songs, “Psalm 34”, “In Control” and “Show Me Your Glory”, in that order, are each of the original church compositions. The first two songs were written by Coultrap. The third song was written by John LaShell, a member of the congregation, and then rearranged by Coultrap, he said.
The songs deal specifically with ABF and the “seasons” of the circumstances in which the congregation finds itself, whether jovial or trying.
Several members of the congregation told Coultrap stories about how the album helped them in their lives. One story that caught Coultrap’s attention was that of the daughter of a member of the congregation who was going through difficult times as she visited various doctors.
“They said that listening to the song reminded him that the Lord was in control,” Coultrap said.
The song “Psalm 34” helped the children quote the chapter, Coultrap said. The passage talks about the need to praise God and how God redeems those who ask.
Coultrap said the song “In Control” appeared when Coultrap said church leaders were making prayer requests and saw several who were cheerful and happy and others were in dire straits. The song is about remembering that God is in control.
The response to the album has been universally positive from church members, according to Coultrap.
“I get texts, emails, phone calls from people who liked the album,” Coultrap said.
The album was sung by Coultrap and his wife Mary Lee, with Hunter Coultrap playing guitar and keys and drums performed by Seth Ely. Tracking and mixing was done by West Creek Studios in Columbia, SC, while mastering was done by Greenbriar Studios in Spartanburg, SC
The ABF praise group performs the songs weekly, every Sunday, during church service. At the end of October, the church opened its new auditorium with more than 1,000 seats, which helps provide the public with a better worship experience.
“Because of the new space, we can hear the congregation singing these songs, even more than we could in the gym,” Coultrap said.
A future album is currently in the works, although no deadline or schedule has been set, Coultrap said.
“We’re at the writing stage,” Coultrap said. “We’re not going to release anything until we feel the songs are biblically and musically ready.”
The album can be streamed for free on Spotify, Amazon Music and YouTube under the artist “Alliance Worship”.