Amazing Grace on the Wilderness Road

The Heritage Alliance, in cooperation with the International Storytelling Center, will host a free evening of history and discussion surrounding the life and legacy of John Newton, writer of the popular Christian hymn “Amazing Grace”.  Amazing Grace on the Wilderness Road featuring Marylynn Rouse from the John Newton Project will take place at the International Storytelling Center on April 10 at 7 p.m.

Amazing Grace on the Wilderness Road  will focus on Newton’s life and conversion from a captain of English slave trading vessels in the 1770s, to a devote cleric and hymn composer who became a prominent supporter of the abolition of slavery.  Newton’s battle to put an end to England’s involvement with the Atlantic slave trade came to a head in 1807, the same year as his death. Leading thinkers in America were struggling with the issue of slavery during this same time period and Newton’s influence can be seen here as casino well. In Jonesborough, never the scene of a large enslaved population, his influence is most evident in Elihu Embree’s publication, “The Emancipator”.

Amazing Grace on the Wilderness Road will provide additional context for the larger world view surrounding the battle to abolish slavery and Jonesborough’s stance on the issue during that time.

Amazing Grace on the Wilderness Road is a free, ticketed event. Tickets are available at The International Storytelling Center. As seating is limited, advanced tickets are encouraged. For more information on this program, please contact the Heritage Alliance at 423.753.9580 or visit

Amazing Grace on the Wilderness Road in Jonesborough on the 10th will coincide with the U.S. premiere of the musical event, “Handel’s Messiah: A Celebration of God’s Amazing Grace” taking place at Milligan College on April 12th and April 13th. This event will include multiple choirs from throughout the area. Tickets are available by contacting the Milligan College bookstore at 423.461.8733.