Extreme makeover, Baptist style

I’ve had to travel a lot lately and in a crummy hotel in Princeton the other day I caught a few minutes of the Sunday morning service at FBC Atlanta on the television. That meant I got to see the newly renovated sanctuary in which Greater Vision will be recording their second Live at FBC Atlanta album (or have they already recorded it?). It’s a nice looking place. Smartly manages to balance the old neo-colonial designs that generally dominated Baptist architecture in the 50s, 60s, and 70s (and specifically dominated at the old FBCA sanctuary) with some of the flashier glass-and-metallic styles that pervade contemporary megachurch design. (I was also impressed with the Praise and Worship music — a newer contemporary sounding song (but a bonafide song, a not that tautological nonsense typical of so much P&W) that was woven deftly in and out of old hymns that the congregation could sing along with … I even thought the oversized praise and worship team, which I am pretty much turned off by in general, had a few talented vocalists in it whose abilities the arrangement played to nicely and augmented tastefully by the house choir.) Charles Stanley didn’t do much more for me than he ever does, but then the music is what I’ve always liked best about church anyway. But I digress. The sanctuary (or is it “worship center” these days?) renovation is fortuitous timing for GV, given all the saxophones and smooth jazz they opted for in their last project. Makeovers all around then.

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