First Baptist Knoxville places a high value on the role of music and worship in the life of the church. We believe that music and worship should pervade every aspect of the church family’s life. Music and worship should help call our youngest toward a heart for God and encourage our eldest with living hope found in God’s presence. Authentic worship moves us away from performance and becomes the means to invite all to lift their hearts and voices and come to the feet of Jesus. We seek to make this ideal come to life in our church in a number of ways.
A Singing Congregation
Our music and worship ministry begins with a congregation invited to sing. Both of our Sunday morning worship services are designed to engage our congregation in song. At 8:45 a.m., we gather for First Community, an intimate contemporary-style worship service, which brings fresh songs of worship that our Praise Team leads, designed to lift our hearts and spirits and to welcome us to sing out. At 11 a.m., we gather for our vibrant traditional worship service that includes music from across the generations to speak to us today. Familiar hymns become a powerful tool to draw us together in song. This service features a robed Sanctuary Choir accompanied by a 56-rank Schantz pipe organ and Steinway piano that enhance our worship experience.
The primary goal of our Sanctuary Choir is to lead others in worship in our 11:00 a.m. traditional worship service by offering the best of their time, talent and preparation for the worship of God. This choir sings a variety of church music literature and presents several choral concerts annually, accompanied by volunteer or professional instrumentalists. In addition, they seek to be a loving and encouraging community of faith. This is not an auditioned choir; thus, all are welcome to participate.
Rehearsals: Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the Choir Suite
Our Praise Team’s goal is to use contemporary music and instruments as tools to engage people in our First Community service and lead into worship. Their music blends the latest songs you might hear on the radio or a contemporary take on a classic hymn. In addition, they seek to truly serve as a “team” by loving, caring and praying for one another. The Praise Team welcomes others with a heart for music and worship and with the gifts and skills to empower others to join them in worship.
Rehearsals: Sundays at 6 p.m. in the Sanctuary
Golden Notes is our Senior Adult Choir. It is a very active choir bringing gifts of music and worship to various venues in our city. They also have an annual spring tour, ministering to nursing homes and assisted living facilities in different cities. The Golden Notes Choir also serves as a meaningful community for one another. It is not an auditioned choir; thus, all are welcome to participate.
Rehearsals: Thursdays at 11 am in Room 302
Our youth experience includes student-led music and worship as a regular part of Sunday morning time together. In addition, the Youth come together as a choir periodically to bring their voices into the church’s two morning worship services and to support their annual Youth Week Sunday’s worship experience.
First Baptist Knoxville offers five age-graded choirs for children. These choirs allow children to develop their voices and learn music that is appropriate for the age and vocal capacity. Led by loving volunteers, these choirs help children find their voice in song for God.
Children’s Music Camp
Last summer, First Baptist Knoxville offered its first Children’s Music Camp. At the end of the week-long camp, the children showcased what they had learned by presenting a concert for their families. The excitement in the children’s eyes was amazing. Our second annual Children’s Music Camp will follow our Vacation Bible School, and we gladly offer this opportunity to children in our community.
Hand Bell Choir
First Baptist Knoxville has a rich tradition in worship enhanced by a hand bell choir. Currently, the choir participates in selected worship services, but we anticipate this worship expression will soon return to regular worship participation.
Our sanctuary design creates a great venue where music can be heard at its best. Thus, a feature of our music and worship ministry is our annual concert series, inviting some of the best in music from a wide diversity of styles to come and share their gifts with our church and community. Some artists that have been featured in past series include Ellie Holcomb, Kyle Matthews, The American Spiritual Ensemble, Cynthia Clawson, The Kings Brass, The Isaacs, and The Annie Moses Band. The series has also featured concerts from the music programs at Lee University, Pellissippi State, Carson-Newman University, and the University of Tennessee. Beginning a new tradition, we have more recently added some concerts on our front steps and lawn, including our fall Blue Grass and BBQ event.