My Church Dilemma – Part 1

1 06 2009

Some of you may know this about me but I stopped listening to gospel music about 3-4 years ago. Cold turkey. This may come as a shock to others of you that know me because I used to be the gospel music queen. If you needed a CD or needed to know the name of a gospel artist, I was the first person to call. Well, I got to a point where I just got tired of it. All the songs started to sound the same. A lot of the lyrics weren't really saying anything that touched my soul. They felt predictable. I could turn the radio on and listen to a song I had never heard before and by the end of the first verse I could completely sing along, riffs and all. So I stopped listening to gospel and started listening to more Christian radio. This wasn't a far stretch for me, I've always liked this kind of music anyway so it was a natural switch. Then I started going to Buckhead Church and it furthered this switch because they never played gospel music. And all was right with the world. Until I stopped listening to Christian radio too for mostly the same reasons. The lyrics weren't as predictable but they did start to sound the same. And a little cheezy at times.

Well, fast forward to now, 4 years later and one day I realized that I didn't know any current gospel songs or artists, not to mention I found myself missing the sound of gospel and missing the movement and the soul of choirs and that type of worship. So what did I do? I turned on the gospel station. And what did I find? Well, that in the last 4 years, there hasn't really been a change of gospel artists. The same artists are still making music and the stations are still playing a lot of the same songs that they did 4 years ago. But it's all good. It's rekindled my love for gospel music and made me appreciate once again the soulful sounds of the genre.

Which brings me to my church dilemma. I guess because I've been listening to all this gospel music, lately I've been really desiring to hear a choir, to be around some soul, to get back to my "ruuts" (that's roots for those of you who don't read deep Southern slang :-). I don't want to leave Buckhead Church, I just want someplace I can go to hear some live gospel sounds. So I've been looking for some churches I could visit to get this experience. But then I get reminded of the 2-3 hour long services, the obsessions over appearance, the preacher hoopin' and the hollerin', all the announcement reading…and then I decide to pass. See, BC has spoiled me. I've gotten used to short services now and messages that get to the point without dragging things out forever and a day.

So yesterday I called myself trying to find a happy medium. I visited a local United Methodist church. I knew that it would be more traditional but hey, I grew up AME so how different could it be? I had heard of UM churches being a little stuffy but I went to their website and found out that they had a black woman pastor who taught at Spelman and a choir and I just thought maybe this could be the best of both worlds. Maybe she would bring just enough soul to the traditional church where things wouldn't drag on but the choir would be soulful and lively. Boy was I wrong!! There were about 4 people on the choir, so I didn't get that soulful experience I was looking for. But the service was fairly enjoyable. The message was good and the people were nice. If it wasn't for the fact that it smelled like mildew in there I would probably go back.

But I didn't accomplish my goal of finding a soulful church that I could visit outside of BC. I probably should've gone with my first instinct which was to go to Ray of Hope in Decatur. But again, I started thinking about all the other stuff that would probably come with going to a church like that and decided against it. Maybe next week I'll suck it up and go to ROH…

So that's Part 1 of my church dilemma. I want to hear some soul. But I don't want to leave Buckhead Church. I just want to hear some soul every now and then. It's probably wishful thinking to find a church with a lively choir and where services only last 1 – 1 1/2 hours. If anybody has any leads, let me know. I'll have to let you know about Part 2 of my church dilemma later 'cuz I gotta go get ready for work. Stay tuned!




2 responses

1 06 2009

Okey dokey…I visited Ray of Hope to the point where I became a regular attendee. Then I realized that I was learning more about the mess that was going on behind the scenes in the church than an actual sermon. She is a great orator however I just want to hear the word not what deacon so and so did. I then started attending Northpoint (NP) and loved it. Due to the travel started attending BC. Loved it as well but was wanting that “soul” experience. I vistied Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church and was hooked every since. Not a long service, the praise/worship has me literally dancing, and the sermons are great. Just another opinion. Smooches.

4 06 2009
Willie Speaks

Might want to try the 9:30 “Contemporary Service” at Greater Pine Grove Baptist in Atlanta (Exit 61 I-20 ?, the next exit after Moreland Ave. coming from your direction). This service is about one and a half hours long and the choir/praise team is pretty good.

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