ROGERSVILLE — The Rogersville Review and The Hancock County Eagle are pleased to announce a new weekly feature with commentary and background on some of the most popular Christian hymns that are sung in churches across our region.

Ralph Petersen’s “Hymn Notes” will highlight one hymn each week with a short introductory commentary.

Ralph and his wife, Kathy, are new residents of Rogersville, and the owners of Olde Towne Emporium, a new shop located at 212 E. Main Street, in downtown Rogersville, featuring antique and vintage furniture, collectibles, and ‘period’ clothing. They have two married daughters and eight grandchildren (one of whom is married).

“For the past ten years, it was my pleasure to lead my church family in their singing every week,” he said. “The hymns and songs I selected had to be doctrinally sound, God-centered and appropriate for worship.

“Many of us have been singing the hymns for years; the words roll off our lips but the messages often don’t engage our minds or penetrate our hearts,” he added. “I, like Paul the apostle, wanted my church family to ‘sing with understanding’.”

Ralph said that it became his practice to highlight one hymn each week with a short introductory commentary, “so that the congregation might be more informed regarding the origin, the author’s testimony, or the doctrinal significance of the songs we sing”.

“Now it is my pleasure to share those hymn stories with you, here, one each week,” he said.

Readers who wish to contact Petersen may email him at