(ChurchLeaders) The version of “Amazing Grace” sung by country music legend and philanthropist Dolly Parton soon may become an official state song in Tennessee. Written in the 18th century by slave trader-turned-abolitionist John Newton, “Amazing Grace” regularly tops lists of the most well-known and well-loved Christian hymns.
Last month, two Tennessee lawmakers introduced HB0938, a bill to formally amend the “State Symbols” portion of the state code. Rep. Mike Sparks, a Republican, and Sen. Raumesh Akbari, a Democrat, describe in the bill how Newton was converted and then worked to help people “find a deeper understanding and love through their faith.” Sparks and Akbari call “Amazing Grace” one of the “songs of historic significance that have influenced this state.”
After being passed in the House, the bill proceeded to the Naming & Designating Committee. “Amazing Grace” would be the eighth designated song in Tennessee.