Character in Real Life - One-Minute Testimonials

Creativity – A One-Minute Testimonial Announcement

Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Contributed by B. E. Tumbleson
Librarian, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, Cincinnati, OH

February 6, 2002


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a creative musical genius, devoted to Christ, and known as “the Fifth Evangelist.” He is considered the baroque era’s greatest organist and composer. Bach was a prolific composer, writing a cantata a week rather than taking a year as is the case today. Bach honored God through his music. In a word, he was a “theologian who just happened to work with a keyboard.” (p.109) Bach attended the same school Martin Luther had, and was born the same year as Handel although they never met. At 10, Bach was orphaned and went to live and study with his brother. Eventually he settled in Leipzig in 1723. He fathered 7 children by his first wife and 13 by his second wife who helped copy his music. Bach worked as musical director and choirmaster of Saint Thomas’s church and school where he received a miserable salary since the town council did not appreciate his musical genius. Indeed, following Bach’s death, his music was largely ignored for 80 years. In Leipzig Bach composed for worship services the Mass in B Minor, the Passion of St. John, and the Passion of St. Matthew. Almost 75% of his 1,000 compositions were written for worship services. Bach used his creativity to glorify God. Even the skeptic Nietzsche was forced to admit one hears the gospel in Bach’s music. Believers through the centuries have been inspired through Bach’s gifted expression of faith through music.

[Adapted from 131 Christians Everyone Should Know, Mark Galli, Broadman & Holman, Nashville 2000.]

This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.