Worship is the most important work of the church. The people of God are called into community to give God glory and praise. No higher service to God is possible than the worship of God. It is from this worship that all other actions of the church flow—the impetus for missions, teaching, evangelism, healing, and serving those in need. It is so important that we make it our life-long work, to worship God here and now, and as the hymn writer put it. . .
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before God,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise!
The church of the Lord Jesus Christ has been gathering for two millennia to worship in many different ways. At First Baptist Church of Memphis, we have been enriched by taking elements from many of these traditions. We have discovered and come to appreciate the richness and benefit of following the unfolding drama of the Christian year, of marking time according to the sacred rather than the secular calendar. Thus, we move through the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost and beyond. We are thankful for over 400 years of Baptist heritage, which has nourished our congregation. As a result, we cherish the centrality of preaching, the freedom and responsibility of each person to respond to the call of God, and the full participation of both laity and clergy in worship leadership and in ministry.
You will hear sermons proclaiming the Word of God. The exposition of scripture leads to interpretation and application of the scripture to contemporary life. You will hear illustrations, and wonderful stories that will make the scripture lessons memorable and meaningful to you. In the sermon, our preachers bring the Good News of Jesus Christ, so that people may believe, and having believed, may become faithful disciples.
The music in our worship services also comes from many Christian traditions, and includes many musical styles. Along the way, you will hear our choirs and choral ensembles singing timeless anthems and oratorios by classical composers, traditional and contemporary anthems, hymn arrangements, and spirituals. The congregation will sing both the great hymns and gospel songs of our past, and also new hymns and praise choruses from the present. You will hear the traditional sounds of the concert grand piano and majestic pipe organ, and also a great variety of instruments from orchestral strings, brass and woodwinds to bells, guitars, and percussion.
As Psalm 150 reminds us, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” You will experience special worship services where families dedicate their babies to the Lord, where new believers are baptized, where all Christians are welcomed to an open communion at the Lord’s table, and where guest preachers, choirs and instrumentalists share their great gifts to inspire you. All this and much more is waiting for you in the worship services of First Baptist Church. It is an open, inclusive church, where everyone receives a warm welcome!