Originally created 09/06/97

Sunday morning music



Thirty-five-year-old Aldersgate United Methodist Church on Wheeler Road is going to change its tune but not its message with its Sunday Morning Lite service.

"The music will be upbeat with a lot of energy," said Carrell Davis, 29, a worship leader who also performs Christian rap. Mr. Davis recently recorded Worthy, which has gotten air time locally and as far away as Australia, he said.

Mr. Davis has pulled together an 11-member band that will play music from recording companies such as Hosanna/Integrity, Vineyard Music and Maranatha. The group will also play some older hymns newly arranged for electric guitars, keyboard and drums, he said.

The service was planned with baby boomers and generation Xers in mind, said the Rev. Coy Hinton, church pastor. It will be at 9:45 a.m. in the fellowship hall. Scheduled between the 8:30 and 11 a.m. services, it offers a contemporary alternative to traditional worship.

The use of drama and music with a modern sound has been popularized by one of the fastest-growing churches in America, Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. But Willow Creek was not the only influence. "Willow Creek does it extremely well, but many churches are recognizing the need for more contemporary ways," said the Rev. Hinton.

The music is praise-oriented to get people to focus on their time with God, said Mr. Davis. "At this point, we will have special songs and dramas and will not be doing any secular songs."

The key to revival has always been worship, said the Rev. Hinton. "We want to help the church be renewed," he said.

There will also be a sermon and a time for prayer, said Mr. Davis.Coffee and donuts will be served afterward.

Aldersgate is also adding an 11 a.m. Sunday school to its 9:45 a.m. session, said the Rev. Hinton. "We are reaching out to a variety of people," he said. "We are not throwing out what we've been doing for the last 35 years."