photo of the gospel story hymnal. One copy is open on the ground, showing a page with an illustration and a hymn. Another copy lays closed next to it, so you can see the front cover.
photo of the gospel story hymnal. One copy is open on the ground, showing a page with an illustration and a hymn. Another copy lays closed next to it, so you can see the front cover.



God was faithful to provide exactly the funding we needed to purchase 3,500 copies and upgrade them to a durable and beautiful cloth cover! They have arrived and are now available to order!


If you’re a church or group interested in a bulk purchase, but would like to see more of the hymnal first, please contact us at

“THIS is the hymnal I wish I had when my kids were young.”Michelle Van Loon
Author and Speaker
“The Gospel Story Hymnal is a book every parent should add to their family bookshelf and use to supplement their family worship.
I've never seen a more beautiful hymnal, nor one so well designed. Parents using this book with their family will pass on the gospel truth our Christian history provides through our rich hymnody.
Along with the beautifully illustrated pages, Wallbaum and Goetz provide short explanations and theological connections that will deepen the reader's understanding and appreciation for the truths celebrated in these classic hymns.”Marty Machowski
Family Pastor and author of The Gospel Story Bible, The Ology, The Treasure, and other gospel-rich resources for church and home.

About the gospel story hymnal

The Gospel Story Hymnal is designed to help pass on the stories and hymns of the faith in a beautiful way.

Over 150 well-known hymns are woven into a thoughtful retelling of the story of scripture, and accompanied by bright illustrations and child-friendly notes on scriptural themes, theological concepts, and ideas for living out the faith. 

The book also includes a three-year plan for family or personal worship.

With its beautiful hardcover binding, The Gospel Story Hymnal is a book that will grow with your family and last for years to come.

the Gospel Story

The Gospel Story Hymnal is organized and designed first as a beautifully illustrated story book.

This overarching narrative is based on the movements of the gospel:

  • Creation
  • The Fall/Rebellion
  • Redemption
  • Already, but Not Yet
  • Restoration

Each gospel movement contains a number of subsections, each with a narrative introduction and a collection of hymns and illustrations that support and expound upon the story.

Photo of the contents page of the Gospel Story Hymnal.
A closeup photo of a page of the Gospel Story Hymnal, showing the hymn Doxology on one side, below the subsection title "In the Beginning, God," and an illustration on the other side.
Photo of a section title page from the Gospel Story Hymnal. On the left is an illustration of the world, surrounded by the Trinity. On the right is the title, Creation, followed by narrative text.

The Hymns

The Gospel Story Hymnal contains 156 hymns and songs. 92 are in the public domain, and 64 are copyrighted. Each hymn is written out with music in a lead sheet style, with the basic melody, lyrics, and chords.

The hymns were chosen to (1) support the gospel story, (2) include songs with a rich history and broad use in the church, and (3) provide resources for worshiping throughout the church year and in various contexts. While most of the hymns meet all three qualifications, we did add a number of newer or less known songs that we felt helped to fill in gaps in the narrative.

A full list of the hymns can be found here.

Photo of a page from the Gospel Story Hymnal, showing the hymn "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" on one side, and a bright illustration on the other.
A photo of the Gospel Story Hymnal, showing the hymn "I Will Be Your God" on one side, and an illustration of Abraham looking at the stars on the other. The subsection title is "Covenant."
A closeup photo of the score of Amazing Grace.

The Notes

One of our goals is that The Gospel Story Hymnal be a theological resource parents can use to guide their families through the gospel narrative and its application to their lives and worship.

Each hymn has additional commentary regarding its theological importance, word definitions, applicable context information, scripture references, and/or worship notes, all written at an elementary level

Closeup photo of the Gospel Story Hymnal, showing a bright illustration and two notes, titled "God's Boundless Love," and "Responding in Creative Praise."
Photo of a page from the Gospel Story Hymnal, showing an illustration of the world with the garden of Eden and Adam and Eve, the hymn "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty," and several notes and commentary sections.
Closeup photo of the Gospel Story Hymnal, showing an illustration of baby Jesus, and a note titled "Immanuel - God With Us."

The Illustrations

The illustrations in The Gospel Story Hymnal are done with a unique watercolor-papercut technique inspired by Eric Carle’s work. They are bright and beautiful, bringing to life the stories and concepts discussed in the book. All ages will enjoy paging through the hymnal, engaging with the story and songs visually.

There is approximately one illustration for every three hymns, so 60-some total in the book.

Closeup photo of an illustration of the empty tomb.
A page from the Gospel Story Hymnal is on the table along with watercolored pages, paints, and a paintbrush. The illustration shows a bird sitting on a tree branch.
Closeup photo of an illustration of mountains.

The Three-Year Worship Plan

At the end of the book is a Three-Year Worship Plan, outlining a three-year schedule for family or personal worship. Each week’s plan includes a hymn, scripture passage(s), and a suggested theme to consider, coordinating with the blurb associated with that hymn. 

The plan goes through the entire gospel story each year and follows the church year calendar.

The three years’ themes are: (1) The Lamb of God: Our Gospel Story, (2) The Character of God, and (3) Victory in Christ.

Photo of a family sitting at their dining room table, doing family worship together, using the Gospel Story Hymnal.
Photo of the three year worship plan in the Gospel Story Hymnal.
Photo of a family looking at the Gospel Story Hymnal.

The Binding

The book is smyth-sewn with a cloth hardcover, so that it will last for years to come.

The smyth-sewn binding allows for it to lay nearly flat, so it can be used at a piano! 

The cloth finish and foil stamp add a texture and richness to the cover, and the incorporated ribbon-mark ensures you’ll never lose your place.

Please note we are still working out the minute details to make this the best book possible, so the final product may look slightly different than our sample copy.

photo of the Gospel Story Hymnal's binding as it lays flat on a table.
Photo of the gospel story hymnal's cover, spread wide so you can see the front and back. An image of a globe crosses the entire cover and spine.
photo of the gospel story hymnal's spine, closeup
“The Gospel Story Hymnal is lovely.  I especially appreciate the layout, readability, beautiful illustrations, vibrant colors, and the text.  Well done!
I can imagine families clamoring for this and it becoming a cherished family favorite.”Dr. Michael Wilder
Dean of the Conservatory of Music, Arts, and Communication at Wheaton College
“The Gospel Story Hymnal has an attractive layout and compelling structure for personal and family use. There is tremendous value in giving children this canon of hymns to know and treasure for a liftetime.
The redemptive-historical flow of the hymnal reinforces key doctrines of the Christian faith. The supporting graphics, descriptions, and calendar prompts give readers and singers multiple ways to enjoy its contents.
And the simple musical arrangements make it widely accessible, including for families with modest musical ability.”Dr. Philip Ryken
President of Wheaton College

We need your help!

Are you excited about this book and/or our other faith resources for families and churches? Here’s how you can help to ensure we’ll be able to keep creating them!

Pray. None of this is possible without God’s hand at work. Want to join our behind-the-scenes email prayer team? Send us an email at

Join our email list. (Scroll down to the subscribe box at the bottom of this page)

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Tell others. The button below links to a page full of Gospel Story Hymnal images you can use.

Frequently Asked Questions

What hymns are included in the Gospel Story Hymnal?
Does the hymnal come in spiral-bound? Tell me about the binding.

Due to the cost of printing, we are only offering one binding type at this time. So no, no spiral-bound option.

However, being a musician myself (Britta), it was very important to me to find a binding that would lay as flat as possible on a music stand or piano. Our hardcover books are smyth-sewn so that they are near-lay-flat. It also includes a ribbon-mark to save your spot.

photo of the Gospel Story Hymnal's binding as it lays flat on a table.
How did you make the illustrations?

I (Britta) made the illustrations by using a combination of traditional watercolors and digital illustration. Below is a sped-up view of one illustration from start to finish, but essentially, I painted lots of watercolor washes, scanned them into the computer, and cut-and-pasted them together to make all of the pictures! I was originally inspired by Eric Carle’s technique.

Do you show Jesus in the illustrations? Why is Jesus blue? Tell me about the colors of the people.

Yes, Jesus is shown in the illustrations. We considered not showing his face, but decided it was important to show his full humanity. So Jesus is modeled after a Middle-Eastern/Jewish man, and colored teal-blue.

I decided to color all my people varying bright colors for two reasons:

1. It is important to represent the diversity of God’s beautiful creation of people of all colors and races.

Please note that none of the individual colors used are intended to represent any particular race. Colors were used based on what worked best in each composition.

2. I narrowed my paint palette down to seven colors, which does not include brown or tan. You’ll notice all my tree trunks are purple! The nature of this art style is that I am not mixing colors to make whatever color I want, I’m cutting, pasting, and layering only those seven basic colors.

If you’re interested, here are the seven colors (eight if you include Ivory Black, which I used in a couple of the backgrounds.)
– Deep Purple
– Indigo
– Veridian Hue + Payne’s Gray
– Sap Green
– Yellow Ochre
– Vermillion
– Indian Red + Magenta

What version of the Bible is quoted in this hymnal?

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version®, NIrV® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.comThe “NIrV” and “New International Reader’s Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™


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