A presentation by 2019-2020 Humanities Teacher of the Year

J.R. Hall

John Robert Hall, a history, philosophy and religion instructor on the Ridgeland Campus will deliver his scholarly presentation, “The History and Phenomena of John Newton’s Amazing Grace within American Christianity and Beyond.”

SYNOPSIS: In 1772, John Newton, former slave trader turned Anglican priest, wrote the words to the hymn titled “Amazing Grace!”  Though published in 1779, “Amazing Grace!” remained a lesser known hymn in Great Britain; however, in the nineteenth century in the United States, it grew in popularity, gained a new verse, and secured its now recognizable hymn tune.  From the end of the twentieth century into the twenty-first century, “Amazing Grace!” has become not only a popular song, both musically and lyrically, but often produces phenomena beyond the words of John Newton.

About J.R.

Hall is in his 16th year as a full-time instructor at Holmes, where he teaches both on the Ridgeland Campus and online. Prior to that, he was an adjunct instructor on both the Ridgeland and Goodman campuses. Hall is a graduate of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Divinity degree. He has additional studies from Mississippi State, Mississippi College and Springhill College.

Additionally, Hall is an Elder in the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, serving appointments in Bassfield, Goodman, d’Iberville, Ridgeland, Burns and currently Monterey UMC in Florence.

A native of Crystal Springs, Hall is married to Dawn Trotti Hall, and they reside in Ridgeland. Dawn has spent her career in the field of early childhood education. They have two daughters, Audrey and Madeline. Audrey is an MFA student at the University of Florida, and Madeline, a Holmes alumna, is a recent graduate of Delta State University.

In his leisure time, Hall enjoys visiting National Parks and other historical sites. He also assists the public address announcer during football games at Ridgeland High School and at Holmes.