Music at FPCOH

The best imagery for God is that which is capable of being sung. Next to silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible mystery is music.

W. Paul Jones

At First Presbyterian Church, we deeply value the power of music. Again and again, throughout our worship gatherings, music breaks out. It may be a joyful congregational response or a powerful song by one of our talented soloists. It could be the magical alchemy of the bells or a moving melody on the piano. During the week, our three chapel services in our Learning Centers are filled with music. And as the notes rise, and the melodies move, God’s Spirit rises and moves with it. And at First Presbyterian, you can be part of this music-making ministry through the ministry of our Bells.   And if you have a vocal talent, you can contact our music director and be part of our solo-duet rotation on Sunday morning. 

Whoever sings prays twice

St. Augustine

From the very beginning, music has been at the center of Christian faith. It even lies at the center of the Christian Bible, with the place of Psalms right there in the middle. And it has a central place too, in the life of First Presbyterian. Each week, we have a talented soloist lead the music at our 10:15 AM worship gathering along with our talented music director, Jim Gensel.  If you have a musical gift to share, please reach out to Jim, and you can be part of sharing your gift as part of our regular soloist rotation.
So come join us at First Presbyterian as together we make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Bell Choir

Do you know why most homes have a doorbell? Hundreds of years ago, folks believed that evil spirits liked to hang around the doors of homes seeking to get in and cause havoc. But they also believed that the sound of a bell chased them away. And thus, folks would ring a bell before entering a home to deter evil from coming with them.

At First Presbyterian, the bells that our bell choir rings on many Sunday mornings may not be chasing away evil spirits, but we understand why people thought they did. When you hear bells ringing together to create beautiful harmonies and melodies, it can be a deeply moving experience. From pretty much the beginning of human history, back to 3000 years before Christ, we have evidence of bells. And in Christian communities, bells began to take on a big role in the Middle Ages, as a way to share the joy of God’s love that could be heard over long distances. As these bell towers began to add bells, folks in England created ways to ring them so as to create melodies together, what became known as change ringing. And these change ringers then created smaller bells to practice their craft at home, and so as the story goes, began the idea of hand bells. Groups of hand bell ringers began to perform in England soon after and in the 1840s, the circus impresario, P.T. Barnum, brought such a group to America to tour. Now almost two hundred years later, thousands of churches, schools and community groups around the world have developed hand bell choirs.

At First Presbyterian, we feel grateful to be part of that movement to bring the wonder of music through bells to our community. And here, you can not only enjoy hearing them on a Sunday, but you can learn how to ring them yourself. You don’t even really need much musical training to learn. Just come out at 9 AM on Sunday morning (when our hand bell choir practices) and try them out for yourself.  The Bell Choir room is upstairs in the back of the sanctuary just adjacent to the pastor’s office.