“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16 RSV(Italics) The scriptures command us to sing, and to sing a variety of music! That is just what you will find in the Music Ministry of First Baptist Church of Memphis. This diverse congregation enjoys a wide range of musical styles—including gospel songs, great hymns of the faith, classical anthems and oratorios, praise choruses, exciting anthems by contemporary composers, and spirituals. Music has been used throughout history to worship God. In the Hebrew Scriptures, especially the Psalms, and in the New Testament, there are passages providing specific instruction regarding musical worship of God. We are to lift our praise to the Lord and to minister on behalf of the Lord to God’s people and the surrounding community each time we gather for worship. Whatever the music may be—sung by voices or played on instruments—it is a a gift to the Lord, offered with great joy, sincerity, and a commitment to excellence.
How to Join the Music Ministry
You are welcome to participate in the church’s Music Ministry. The Sanctuary Choir provides inspiring music for the 11:00 a.m. worship service. The Sanctuary Choir also sings major concerts, including seasonal special events. No tryouts are necessary—only a love for the Lord and ability to sing. When you come, you will be greeted by friendly choir members who will quickly get you settled with music and seated next to someone who will help you through the rehearsal. Be prepared to have a good time working hard together on the many different styles of music we are getting ready to sing for worship or other events, including classical, traditional and contemporary anthems, hymn arrangements, and spirituals Rehearsal: Wednesday 6:45-8:00 p.m. in the Music Suite The Chapel Chorale is a select auditioned ensemble for adults. It sings for worship services and special programs on a regular basis, and is capable of singing more difficult and challenging music, tonally and rhythmically. Rehearsals as announced The First Six is a select auditioned ensemble for men. It sings for worship services and special programs on a regular basis, and is provides another element of variety to our worship. Rehearsals as announced.
Media influences many aspects of our lives. First Baptist Church has broadcast its worship service live on radio since 1927. These broadcasts expand the witness and ministry of the church to many thousands throughout the Mid-South across a four-state region every week. Audio recordings are made of each service and other special programs and podcasts of sermons are available.
Our Modern Vespers services will include multi-media and creative arts with music and the preached word. The church is looking for new volunteers to serve with our media ministry in various roles. Our current needs are for people to serve in audio, video, graphics, art, lighting and recording areas. If you are interested in more information, contact the Minister of Music, Rev. Ray Hatton.
The Sanctuary Organ is an 83-rank* pipe organ built in 1950 for the new Sanctuary by Wicks Organ Company of Highland, Illinois, and enlarged by the same company in 1985. The organ is a four manual instrument capable of playing an extreme range of organ literature, and provide dynamic leadership in the accompaniment of congregational singing, choral anthems, instrumental and vocal solos. Containing 5,123 pipes, it is one of the largest organs in the Mid-South. A Baldwin concert grand piano is also used to enhance the worship at First Baptist. Other keyboard instruments of note at the church are the 17-rank Moeller pipe organ in the Chapel, a six-foot Steinway piano in the Chapel and a Steinway concert grand piano in the Fellowship Hall.
*A rank is a set of pipes that make the same sound and there are 61 pipes in most ranks.