“Mr. Hymn Sing” Remembered As A Faithful Encourager

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Lehmann Maury hi rezMaury Lehman, a long time Christian music executive and for decades a song leader at numerous hymn sings throughout West Michigan, was memorialized in an evening service of remembrance Sept. 11 at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids. He died June 30 at age 96.

"We can remember together, we can smile together and we can sing together. And we're going to sing together a lot tonight," said Bruce Huseby, Calvary Church pastor of senior adults who officiated at the service.

Music of the faith was a lifelong pursuit of Lehmann, who for many years served as an executive and producer with Grand Rapids-based Zondervan Corp. In the company's musical heyday of the 1960s and 70s, it had a strong musical presence. Its music publishing arm was called Singspiration, and on the recording side was the Diadem record label. Diadem later became Milk & Honey, which produced the national debuts of several contemporary Christian music heritage artists such as Michael Card and Twila Paris.

MUSIC A CENTERPIECE

Lehmann loved to sing and loved to lead singing. And his memorial service was music-filled. Several old time hymns were featured in a medley which went from "To God Be The Glory" to "When Peace, Like A River." Backed by both piano and organ, the medley included a video clip of Lehmann leading a hymn at Maranatha Bible Conference near Muskegon, where he was a seasonal resident and an active program participant.

Other great hymns of the faith were highlighted, such as "Blessed Assurance," "Wonderful Grace of Jesus" and "When We All Get To Heaven." The lyrics were on the screen for those gathered, but many knew them by heart – just like Maury did.

FAMILY CONNECTIONS

Anneke Lehmann was one of several Lehmann grandchildren who shared memories of their grandfather, and read some of his favorite Scripture verses.
"It is not a surprise to anyone here that Grandpa loved people," she said. "Thinking about them and praying for them."

She had kept a four year-old voice mail from him telling her he was praying for her and wishing her a good new year. Anneke played the voicemail aloud during the service for all to hear.

Kim Lehmann Martin was Maury and Shirley Lehmann's lone daughter (Shirley passed away in 2016).

Kim held up Maury's well-read bible, bound together with duct tape, filled with circled and underlined words and scribbled notes.

It was a testimony to his view of the Bible as the "sword of the spirit," she said.

Her brother Matthew recalled Christmas mornings at the Lehmann house. The kids had to wait before opening gifts. First, Maury had to read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and then lead in prayer.

ANOTHER LEGACY

Lehmann's little-known military service was recounted by his church friend Earl Jenkins. Inducted three days before his 19th birthday, Lehmann fought in the U.S. Army in 1944, serving in Europe as a scout-infantryman. Those were the days of the "Battle of the Bulge" when the Germans rallied for one last push against the Allied lines.

During an "aggressive patrol" in Belgium he and his comrades came under mortar fire and a chunk of shrapnel hit the rim of Maury's helmet. He lay on the ground stunned, but came to his senses and realized he was still alive.

"Maury's helmet saved his life," Jenkins noted. "For him it was the helmet of salvation. It allowed him to carry on with his life."

The scarred helmet was also on display at the service.

MORE TRIBUTES

Huseby said if all of Lehmann's life contributions and qualities were considered – including his unofficial title of "Mr. Hymnsing" - they could be summarized by two things: a life as a follower of Jesus Christ and respect and love for the word of God.

Huseby read from Lehmann's church membership application made during his young adult years. In his own handwriting, Maury told of his personal decision establishing a relationship with God and his confidence in Him as his Lord.

Calvary's senior pastor Jim Samra offered concluding remarks.

"I can say that Maury Lehmann was one of the very best things about Calvary Church," he stated.

"Through thick and thin, I never once walked away from an experience with Maury not feeling encouraged and refreshed."

Lehmann is survived by his four children, numerous grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions can be directed to Maranatha Bible Conference or Calvary Church.
Author Information
Terry DeBoer
About:
Terry is journalist who writes for newspapers, magazines, newsletters and websites. His most frequented “beat” is arts and entertainment. He is married with two children and lives in Grand Rapids.

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