How HymnServe Started
The idea for HymnServe came to Elaine Johnson when she was a sales associate for a keyboard company in Anchorage, Alaska. One customer always came to the showroom when a new digital piano model came out and bought it for use at her church. Because the parishioner had only a modest command of the piano, the manager asked Elaine to record some hymns onto a floppy disc for the customer, so her congregation could have good musical accompaniments for the hymns they would sing on Sunday. This became a weekly event and a fun project for Elaine. Every week the customer would call in a list of hymns and praise music for the coming Sunday services, and Elaine would record accompaniments for each song.
From this experience, Elaine could see how such a service could help many other churches and Christian groups. She had a deep desire to be of service and could envision how easily accessible, downloadable worship music could meet a wide range of musical needs for Christian gatherings and for individual worship needs such as the piano player being out because of illness or small group meetings where no music accompaniment is available.
HymnServe went online in 2005, and since then delighted users have found many more ways to use the accompaniments. Click here for a list of ways the accompaniments have and are being used. It wasn’t long before Elaine expanded the ministry of HymnServe by providing song lyrics.