How We do Worship

Reverent and Relevant

“Baptipalian.” “Batholic.” “High Church Baptists.” “Liturgical Baptists.”

These are some of the odd yet fairly accurate shorthand ways that members describe worship at First Baptist Church. At First Baptist, we value what theologian Dwight J. Zscheile calls “traditioned innovation.”

You will find worship services that are in touch with the deep and wide practices which Christians have followed for centuries.

From robes and stoles to Advent and Lenten candles, to banners and bells and organ pipes, the tried and true symbols of the Christian Church are abundant at First Baptist.

You will also find a Sunday morning service that is in touch with the modern world. Modern biblical scholarship, modern hymnody, choral, and hand bell music, and preaching that is relevant to the graces and challenges of practicing Christian faith in the 21st century.

In short, at First Baptist Church of Middlesboro, you’ll find worship that is reverent and relevant. You’ll find services which celebrate, in the words of Isaac Watts, “O God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come.”

The Revised Common Lectionary shapes our worship throughout the calendar year. In sum, the Lectionary’s 3-year cycle allows worship at FBC to follow the ups and downs of life, faith, and Scripture in a holistic fashion.

This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song

Advent is a season of anticipation; that proclamation is what the church has spent four Sundays preparing their hearts to receive, and is the fulfillment of the season.

Lent and Advent are siblings. The candles themselves are, like the candles of the Advent Wreath, a sign of the light shining in the darkness.  However, unlike the growing light of Advent, Lent’s light fades as each successive Sunday brings the church nearer Golgotha and the foot of Jesus’ cross.  Each Sunday, at the conclusion of the worship service, the flame of a candle is snuffed and the light that grew brighter in Advent now grows weaker in Lent.

Dressed for Easter…Altar cross and candle, white and gold paraments, and Paschal Candle

The Day of Pentecost stands on its own, not as a season of the church year, but as a single wonderfully large day. Pentecost is the birthday of the Church and the color of Pentecost Day is red.

 In the summer months, Ordinary Time is counted as Sundays after Pentecost rather than after Epiphany, but the color (green) and the emphasis are the same.  The church focuses on its own slow and steady spiritual growth, and on how that informs its action in the world.