Trevecca Nazarene University

Fernando Ortega performs in chapel

As part of the Newell Hymnody series, Trevecca’s Office of the Chaplain hosted Fernando Ortega in concert for the chapel service on April 17 at 9:30 A.M. Ortega also gave a 10:45 A.M. workshop in which he instructed workshop attendees in incorporating hymns into modern worship.

Gospel singer/song writer Fernando Ortega, has been called a “champion of the classic hymns of the church.” A classically trained pianist who grew up in New Mexico, Ortega has introduced contemporary listener to neglected hymns.

Often blending American, Irish, and Spanish influences into his songs, Ortega writes music that touches human hearts and needs. “My records have always been bout how the Gospels find expression in a person’s everyday life—the sorrowful, the mundane, the joyful,” he says.

In his seventeen-year career, Ortega has earned significant awards: one Billboard Latin Music Award, two Billboard nominations, three Dove Awards, and fifteen Dove Nominations. His debut album was In A Welcome Field (1991); his was most recent album is The Shadow of Your Wings (2006).

Ortega's presence in chapel and at the workshop is part of the Newell Lectureship Endowment was begun in order to assist worshipers “to complete the cycle of self-expression in worship, adoration, confession, love, joy, peace, and commitment” by promoting the hymnody of the Church of the Nazarene. Established in 1993 in honor of Margaret R. Newell, a church pianist for more than forty years, the lectureship endowment has enabled Trevecca Nazarene University to host events that have exposed students to a wide range of church hymnody.

Don and Margaret Newell founded this endowment as an expression of their gratitude for the way that the hymnody of the Church of the Nazarene had ministered to them; they stated that they wanted to ensure that others encountered “the message of the church through the hymns of the ages.”

The University is grateful for the foresight and generosity of the Newells.