Haley Womack and her husband, Matt, came to Knoxville in June of this year. Haley is a Financial Counselor, and Matt is in Law School at UT. Both grew up in Baptist churches and describe themselves as “Baptist at heart.” Together, they attended First Baptist from their hometown in Texas, so trying out First Baptist Knoxville was a natural progression for them.
“We tried a few other places,” says Haley. “But First Baptist is a beautiful church and everyone was really welcoming. On our first day, everybody recognized we were a new couple and greeted us. We were really impressed.”
Haley participated in church choirs and school bands throughout
Hymns are the primary way Haley and Matt worship. They grew up singing out of hymnals and love the simplicity the music. So, as soon as Haley heard the Sanctuary Choir, she knew she wanted to join in.
“I heard the choir, they sounded amazing, and I wanted to be part of it,” says Haley. “My husband and I really like traditional hymns. They just help me worship a little better.”
She loves the aspect of worship that comes along with singing in the choir, but she also loves the challenge and community. Choir practices, which are all followed by a time of prayer for each other, last at least an hour and a half each week, and in the Christmas season they practice even longer.
After her first practice, Haley, who is a soprano, says she was exhausted. While it was “hard on her voice” and even a “work out,” she has seen a major change in her performance since June. She can hit notes she never was able to hit before. She says this “shows how hard they work as a choir” to lead the congregation in authentic worship week-to-week.
Whether she is singing in the choir, in the congregation, or at home by herself, singing functions as continuous worship for Haley. She feels that singing is a natural part of everyone, and, with practice, anyone can do it.
“Singing gives me joy. I feel like it’s a natural thing to do, because, you know, it’s your voice. It’s your own instrument, and you don’t need a separate instrument to do it. It’s kind of a primitive thing.”