A very important part of our praise to God is our Instrumental Ministry. Psalm 150 gives exuberant encouragement for such a ministry within the life of the church.

At the top of our instruments of praise are the two standard church instruments, the organ and the piano. Certainly they provide the foundation for our entire instrumental program, and the capable and skilled contributions of Lynne Lauderdale and Beverly Warren – as organist and pianist, respectively – are greatly appreciated.

In addition to these standard church instruments, though, First Baptist Church enjoys the musical offerings of special groups of instruments. The following links tell you more about what kinds of instrumental groups are active at First Baptist.


Worship Team

Sanctuary Bells

Chapel Bells

Clarion Chimes

Sanctuary Orchestra

Sanctuary Choir and Orchestra

Our Sanctuary Orchestra began in October of 1991 with 15 charter members. Since that time it has grown to its current enrolment of 40 players. Active participants of First Baptist Church, the orchestra contributes regularly in the Sunday morning worship service. In addition, they play an important role in the major music programs of our church, namely The Pensacola Easter Pageant and In Excelsis Deo.

From time to time the orchestra participates in musical projects outside the church, having accompanied the Sanctuary Choir overseas in 1994 to Sweden/Latvia/Russia, and in 1998 to England/Scotland/Holland. They will be traveling with the choir overseas again in July of 2002 to London, Normandy, Paris and Rome. Other special projects include an Orchestra Mini-Tour in the summer of 1997 which culminated in the making of their first CD, Instruments of Praise. A more recent Mini-Tour for them took place in August of 2001. Also recently, they have released their second CD, Resounding Praise, which includes music from their 1999 and 2000 concerts.

The group involves instrumentalists – church members and non-church members alike – who are primarily adults, but does admit Sr. High students when their instrument is needed and they have attained a high level of playing. To become a member of the orchestra one must successfully pass an interview/audition process.

This group rehearses each Wednesday night from 5:30 – 7:30, having the first hour-and-fifteen minutes alone, and concluding the last forty-five minutes with the Sanctuary Choir.

Anyone interested in becoming a member should contact Bob Morrison at 433-5631.


Worship Team

On August 20, 2000, we ushered in our new Contemporary Worship Service. Initially leading this service was a brand new staff member and two new Music Ministry groups. Doug Kimsal , called in May of 2000 to First Baptist Church as Music Associate/Contemporary Worship Leader, started the worship leading groups for this new service format: the Praise Vocal Team and the Praise Band.

Worship Team

Doug moved to another area and church as Minister of Music in February of 2002. After a short interim time, Tina Helms began her service with us as Worship Associate, and continues to give effective leadership to our Early Service music and the Worship Team today.

Each member of the Worship Team is keenly aware that before one can be a worship leader, one must first be a lead worshipper. Much time is spent in rehearsals talking about the awesome responsibility that is attached to this role.

The weekly rehearsal time for the Worship Team is on Thursday evenings; then, they’re at it “bright and early” on the next Sunday morning (7:15) to do final checks to make sure everything is ready. The Early Service that they help lead is on Sunday mornings from 8:15-9:10, and takes place in Chipley Hall.


Sanctuary Bells

A group with strong tradition at First Baptist Church is our adult English handbell choir, the Sanctuary Bells . Now a full six-octave bell choir (72 bells), membership is determined by an audition process, with the ability to read music being pre-requisite to audition. It can have a membership from 12 to 15 ringers, depending on the complexity of the music.

Directed by Annette Morrison, Administrative Assistant within the Music Ministry (and wife to minister of music Bob Morrison), the group rehearses each Sunday at 4:30 PM. Typically, they share one Sunday per month in the Mid-Morning Service.

Anyone interested in ringing in the Sanctuary Bells should see Annette; as positions become vacated, then your name will already be on the waiting list of people who want to audition. Be aware up front, however, that total commitment to regular attendance in rehearsals is essential. It’s almost impossible to have a productive rehearsal when players are absent. But, there’s not another group that has a better fellowship and singleness of purpose than the Sanctuary Bells. It would, indeed, be a high point in your week!


Chapel Bells

Our Chapel Bells group consists of thirteen or fourteen talented and committed Sr. High/College students who are active members in good standing of our Chapel Choir. They serve as a support group to this choir.

Auditions are held each September, and their year goes from then until Chapel Choir Tour is over toward the end of June, typically. Certainly, playing as part of the Tour Concert is one of the major thrusts for this group.

In 1996, preparing for the Tour to Germany, this bell choir accepted the challenge to memorize their music. That started the tradition of playing all Tour music from memory, as well as most of their music through the year. While this memorization process does add significantly to the preparation process, the excitement it adds to their performances is well worth the effort! This practice of memorization continues today.

The Chapel Bells has participated in several professionally made recordings in collaboration with the Chapel Choir in their Home Concert. They work tirelessly each year to assure that their contribution to the Tour Concert is significant.

Rehearsals are held each Monday evening from 4:30-6:30, with extra rehearsals scheduled as needed. Music Minister Bob Morrison directs this group.


Clarion Chimes

The Clarion Chimes is the “bell choir” that comes from our Clarion Choir (middle schoolers). After successfully completing a simple audition process, you become a member.

Technically, this group does not actually ring English Handbells; rather, they ring a set of Suzuki ChoirChimes. The technique is very similar, and music reading will improve just as much as if they were ringing handbells. These ChoirChimes are much more durable than the handbells, and actually have a more mellow tone.

Clarion Chimes

Directing our Clarion Chimes is our Music Associate. Anyone interested in being in Clarion Chimes needs simply to express that interest to either the Music Associate or the Minister of Music. The ability to read music is pre-requisite, as is membership in the Clarion Choir.

This group rehearses on either Sunday or Wednesday afternoons in the Clarion Choir Rehearsal Room, and at times rings in our worship services.