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The Worship Styles and Elements of the Baptist Church


This paper traces the history and development of the worship styles and elements of the Baptist church from its early beginnings up to date and finally, it concludes. It is therefore divided into the following sections: Introduction, History and development of worship styles and elements, and Conclusion.

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According to Frank the history of the Baptist church is believed to have begun earlier during the time of Jesus Christ and the apostles. The church is believed to have its beginnings during the ministries of Jesus Christ when he formed the church that was designed by John the Baptist in the early centuries (Frank 65). The church was then formed in 1824 the Baptist church has its traces back to the oldest missionary Baptist that can be traced in the church graves of County, Kentucky, and the Jackson Purchase. The church’s heredity can be linked to the Baptists in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia which was at that time planned by nine charter members on October 2, 1824, in the home of Joshua Shelton (Frank 68).

History and development of worship styles and elements

The development of the worship ministry among the Baptist church has been significant over the last twenty-five years since its beginning. This has lead to a drastic change in the worship styles and elements of the Baptist church (David 65). During the twentieth century, the Baptist church used the traditional approach as a way of worship. During the church services the congregation used to sing hymns that were lead by the church choir through an organist but the fundamental focus during the service was preaching. The music that was sung was strictly from the hymn scripture reading but in a real situation, it did not follow the approved lectionary program (David 70). The church always kept in mind all the calendar holidays but it never identified the Christian year outside the observation of important Christian ceremonies such as Christmas and Easter services.

According to Geoffrey the boredom in the Baptist church made the church employ Jeff McNichol as the first full-time minister of music in the church. Jeff served in two positions both as an institution graduate and as an associate pastor (Geoffrey 45). He was so influential in music, therefore, led to the development of strong ministry which had its main focus in choral and congregational singing which sung from the podium, not the organ. Since the Baptist church had two services on a Sunday morning Jeff took this advantage to introduce a new worship music service in the evening in the year 1990. The Sunday evening service was named by Jeff as “First Alive” and in order to make the night service alive he gathered a group of musicians which formed a praise band and he, therefore, established a team which was then known as a vocal band that helped him direct the worship (Geoffrey 48). Due to these developments, the church continued to grow to a large extent with the church for the first time recording attendance of three hundred and fifty people during the first service. In the 1990s The church from here grew to a large extend attracting more than two hundred people in the Sunday service which was known as First Alive.

As time went by the First Alive service developed contemporary elements which with time were introduced to the Sunday Morning worship service. They introduced the use of band music in the morning service which had a great impact since people began attending the Sunday morning service were more than the First Alive making it lose its unique essence (Frank 70). The morning worship was then called the Oreo worship. The introduction of a live band in the morning service made the morning service to become more blended with the service comprising of the traditional and other contemporary elements. Not all the people universally accepted the drastic changes a few people decided to leave the church because all the services reflected the contemporary lifestyle which they never liked (Frank 75).

Services became livelier with the church service beginning with a choir processional which was later followed by worship that was accompanied by a piano and organ. This was followed immediately by welcoming words from the pastoral. After this, the worshippers would sing numerous hymns that were then followed by a gospel choir anthem. At this point, a praise band would lead the worshippers in a song through a set of modern devotion and choruses. Depending on the theme of the sermon the organ played the offertory and the flock would stand to sing a closing hymn (David 74).

The approach used in the church for worship seemed very exciting as everyone participated in the service through the tolerance of some elements that the believers never cared about their inclusion in the church service. During the church service, everyone was quiet and no murmurings could be heard. Many conflicts arose in the churches due to the changes in the style of worship through such conflicts did not affect the stability of the church leadership of the pastors and the overall spiritual maturity (Geoffrey 50). To make church worship more successful the church assigned funds to purchase new instruments and it, therefore, spend $60,000 for a new organ and $50,000 for the renovation of the stage and lastly the church installed a 14*14 new projection screen together with a computer and a video projector that could show all activities being done during the church service (Frank 78)

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The church also started a new “Gen X” service that was then called Gravity that was scheduled on Saturday night. The service was mainly organized by the church and mixtures of Christian rock bands were hired on the alternative basis to guide the service. After this, the church decided to introduce a third-morning service in which a new style of worship was introduced. The service began with a contemporary service without a choir, then it was followed by an organ or other church traditional elements but as the plans were underway to establish the service Jeff resigned and he become a senior pastor in another state making the plans to end immediately (Geoffrey 55).

Early 1999 the Baptist church employed a new pastor by the name of Bill Price whose focal point was on musical training in the choral and orchestra (David 78). Due to the changes in the Baptist church, he delayed starting the new worship service till 2000. The worshippers of the Sunday service were more worried about the future direction of the worship in the Baptist church. Bill being a theology worshipper he decided to change the style of worship through the development of worship core values that allowed a diversity of worship expression this, therefore, led to the development of a fourth worship service that was a response to the continued growth of worshippers (David 81). The service was officially launched in September 2002 with the introduction of a Saturday night service that was almost similar to the Sunday service. The Saturday service led to an increase in the number of worshippers from 450 to 1400 people. This lead to the development of new ideas of building a new sanctuary that would accommodate all the people (Frank 85).

According to Geoffrey, the development of a new room had its main focus on worship. These developments made the Baptist church return to its normal two Sunday services with the first service being referred to as adoration service which was held at 9.00 am in the morning and the other service which was called celebration service being held from 10.30 am ( Geoffrey 60). After the creation of a new facility, the church created a new service whose central focus was the youth ministry where the youth organized meetings and shared worship experiences. Since the youth ministry comprised of different youth from diverse cultures they worshipped in different styles through celebrative rock music (Geoffrey 65).

The launched Saturday service was known by the name “Emmaus Service” which was taken from the story of the disciples of Jesus Christ. This service symbolized an encounter with the risen Christ, the Holy Communion whose main function was to allow people to fellowship together and encourage each other to grow strong in Christ as a family and an even meal together which was a sign of love (Frank 86). This service was believed by the Baptist church as the foundation for the youth ministry. Bill left the position as a worship pastor and he was employed as the first director pastor of the Church. His primary functions were concerned with the development of leadership and integration ministry (David 115). After a thorough survey, the church employed Mick Nicholas as a new worship leader whose role was essential to nature the development of church worship. Since then the worship ministry continued to flourish update where the worship act as a core element through which the worshippers are able to speak to God through praise songs at the same time confessing their sins (Frank 116)


Since then the worship has become a major element in the Baptist life as it provides pastoral care and discipleship to the worshippers since it opens new avenues for the ministry to grow. Since the inception of worship in the Baptists church, it has lead to its continued growth by working together with expertise music people which allows worshippers to worship God in their own style.

Works cited

Frank S. Mead, Handbook of denominations in the United States; Published by Abingdon Press, Original from the University of California Pg 65-116 (1956).

David.D, John.G, The Oxford companion to Black British history; Published by Oxford University Press; Original from the University of Michigan; ISBN 0192804391, 9780192804396 Pg 65-116 (2007).

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Geoffrey. W, Karen.B, The Oxford history of Christian worship; Published by Oxford University Press US, ISBN 0195138864, 9780195138863 Pg 45-65 (2006).

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StudyCorgi. "The Worship Styles and Elements of the Baptist Church." November 19, 2021.


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