Music is of vital importance in the daily lives of God’s people, particularly in worship. An entire book of the Bible, Psalms, is dedicated to it and promotes singing and playing of instruments with songs dealing with everything from joy, celebration, and praise, to sorrow, impatience, and lamentation. Music has been used by His people since early times, going back to the book of Exodus, where in chapter 15, the people of Israel sang a song to the Lord after crossing the Red Sea.
The Sanctuary Choir and Bells, organ, and piano are wonderful aids to His worship, but the primary music makers are the congregation. Congregational music-
making is essential to the healthy life of the church and its members. Music and its text are uplifting, inspiring, reverent, and instructive. Through the text, we learn of God’s character, His creation, and our own Christian lives. These words can teach us Scripture, biblical stories, theology, and even Christian vocabulary.
It can be easy to become caught up in the beauty of harmony or a nicely flowing melody, but the focus of music in our worship is the Lord Jesus Christ. John Calvin said, “We should be very careful that our ears be not more attentive to the melody than our minds to the spiritual meaning of the words. ...Songs as have been composed only for the sweetness and delight of the ear are unbecoming to the majesty of the church and cannot but displease God in the highest degree.” That having been said, music indeed has the power to evoke emotion. For this reason, it is imperative that music reflect the sense and meaning of the text. Emotions evoked by the music should be honest and not manufactured and allow for the full range of emotions.
Music is a gift from God and part of His creation. Job 38:7 (NRSV) says, “The morning stars sang together, and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy.” Singing and making music to God means we are willing participants in His creation. Music is for every Christian, not just the choir member. Psalm 96:1 (NRSV) says, “O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.” This tells us that singing is the responsibility of every believer, whether it be in a choir or in the congregation. Music is therefore essential to the life of the Christian church and the believer.
First Baptist Church has a vibrant music ministry under the direction of Dr. Carl Ashley, Minister of Music, and accompanied by Carol Gray, organist and pianist. The Music Ministry is vital to worship. It allows us to praise God and share in the celebration of our relationship with Him. You are encouraged to join a choir, our early worship team, and to pray for this ministry.
Early Worship Team: This is a contemporary worship band with singers and instruments. Meets Sunday mornings at 8:20 AM for rehearsal.
Silver Bells: Choirchime ensemble for seniors. Rehearses on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30 to 4:30 PM and puts on Christmas and Spring concerts.
Silver Singers: Choir for seniors. Rehearses on Wednesday afternoons from 4:30 to 5:15 PM and puts on Christmas and Spring concerts.
Young Bells: Bell Choir for youth and children. Meets Wednesday evenings at 5:45 to 6:10 PM.
Sanctuary Bells: This is our primary handbell ensemble that regularly plays in worship services using a five-octave set of Malmark bells and Choirchimes. Rehearses on Wednesday evenings from 6:15 to 7:15 PM.
Sanctuary Choir: This is our primary adult choir that weekly sings in worship. Rehearses on Wednesday evenings from 7:15 to 8:15 PM and on Sunday mornings at 10:30.