Carol Browning & Kathy McGrath win Church of the Servant 2016 New Psalm Contest

We are pleased to announce that Carol Browning & Kathy McGrath have been selected as winners of the 2016 COS New Psalm Contest for their composition “Sustain Me, O God” (Psalm 16).

The contest, in memory of Ben Fackler, is in its seventh year and received 64 submissions in 2016.  From this pool of many quality entries, Browning & McGrath’s “Sustain Me, O God” became the judges’ unanimous top choice.  It is gospel-esque in its rhythmic and melodic style and in its harmonic structure. The refrain is singable and easily accessible for a congregation without being overly simplistic. The lyrics of each verse are clear and approachable, and the refrain powerfully distills the key message of Psalm 16. All of this combines for a musically delightful reflection of the Psalm, ensuring its home within our musical rotation at Church of the Servant.

The judging committee extends its thanks to all those who submitted a composition for this year’s contest. We were blessed to sing, discuss, and reflect on the submissions and were thrilled to have received so many strong compositions. COS and the judging committee are grateful for the generosity of the donors who have faithfully funded this contest for 7 years.

Browning and McGrath’s composition will be premiered on Sunday, January 29, 2017, at Church of the Servant during morning worship. This is the same weekend as the Calvin Worship Symposium.  Whether you are visiting Grand Rapids for the symposium or live just down the street from us, we invite you to join us in worship on that morning.

If you are interested in donating to the New Psalm Contest please contact Larry Figueroa at

You can stay up to date on COS Psalm Contest news or subscribe to our mailing list at

Access a copy of the score of “Sustain Me, O God” (Psalm 16) PDF