Amazing Grace, in Jackson Berkey's setting, seems to have a life of its own ' separate from anything that the composer/arranger had in mind. It has been used in concerts and services too numerous to mention, and invariably elicits a powerful response from its listeners. At once intensely personal and at the same time universal in its appeal, it is unlike any other setting of this familiar hymn. The poetry of Amazing Grace was written by John Newton (1725-1807), a former slave ship captain. After a frightening experience at sea, his conversion occurred through his reading of Thomas Kempis' The Imitation of Christ.