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First Baptist Church of Madison adds contemporary service

Contemporary worship now is reaching people’s needs at First Baptist Church of Madison, 4257 Sullivan St.

The contemporary service at First Baptist Church of Madison is held at 11:30 a.m. on Sundays.

Inaugurated on June 3 at 11:30 a.m., the service specifically “targets ’20- and 30-somethings'” but various groups wanted it, Minister of Youth Diana White said.

Order of worship is “organic and ever-changing” for freshness and relevancy to the message, White said. Prayers and theme interpretations show creativity. “Lighting is dimmer but not dark. The congregation claps with songs. We welcome everything from T-shirts to ties.”

People who never attended, left or didn’t fit in church will like First Baptist’s service. Teenagers like the later time (11:30 a.m.).

The service “will be forever evolving and will require constant work and research just to keep up with what’s both current and relevant,” Minister of Pastoral Care Mary Jo Gessner said.

The June 3 inaugural service “couldn’t have gone better,” Mary Jo said. People attending the traditional service have been totally supportive. “Our new pastor, Bert Breland, is connecting with people of all ages.”

Minister of Music Mark Gessner said people are “opinionated and drawn to very specific types of worship today. (With) so many churches in our community, people expect to have choices. That’s what we set to accomplish.”

The traditional evangelical service at 9 a.m. uses hymn-based music, led by organ and piano. The contemporary service uses a “‘rock band’ model featuring the rhythm section of trap set, piano and bass, flanked by a rhythm and lead guitar and lead singer,” Mark said.

“All My Fountains,” “Light Up the Sky” and “Carry Your Name” are typical songs, with music from David Crowder, Tenth Avenue North, Chris Tomlin and The Afters. A Propresenter device displays lyrics and other multi-media. With upbeat music, the mood is relaxed.

“We’re … taking the ‘soft-opening’ approach until fall when we will get more aggressive in our advertising,” Mark said.

“We look forward to seeing how this service will morph during its first months,” White said. “It’s an exciting time at First Baptist Madison. You can sense it in the people.”

For more information, call 256-772-9712 or visit fbcmadison.net.

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