Third Baptist Church has a long history of excellence in church music, and that tradition continues.
Music in Worship
Third Baptist Church has a long history of excellence in church music, and that tradition continues. The Chancel Choir leads our worship services, and is augmented on occasion by guest soloists and instrumentalists. We also enjoy a remarkably high standard of music for piano and organ, played separately and in duet. Special music is offered prior to Christmas and Easter, and throughout the year guest musicians perform in a broad spectrum of musical styles.
Third Baptist is one of the most diverse churches in our area for its embrace of different musical genres, from Renaissance classics to Romantic era anthems, from 20th century English & American standards to gospel and jazz favorites. We also perform recent works from contemporary classical compositions from writers around the globe. Like Opera Theater of St. Louis, our presentations are always given in English to convey God’s word to both our singers and congregation. Third Baptist proudly affirms the contribution of women composers to worship, and programs their work in its services. No other church in St. Louis, alas, is currently so intentional.
The Chancel Choir is open to all singers. We rehearse in the Choir Room on Wednesday evenings from 7-8:30 pm., and on Sunday mornings before the 11 am service.
We sing at least one anthem a week, with repertoire in English from a wide range of musical styles, from the Renaissance to the present day.
Concerts and special services
Third Baptist Church is a fabulous concert venue. With three excellent performance spaces (the Sanctuary, Memorial Chapel and the stage in Johnson Hall), we are able to host to a wide range of concerts, recitals and events; performers in the recent past have included Erin Bode, Kim Massie, Javier Mendoza, Bach to the Future, the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, the Perseid String Quartet, and the Concert Choir of Eastern Michigan University, to name but a few.
Additionally, TBC organist Brent Johnson organizes a popular weekly lunchtime recital series, Friday Pipes, and himself performs recitals of classical organ literature.
The Sanctuary Organ
The organ is the 4th instrument to be installed in the sanctuary of Third Baptist. The first was installed in 1885. It was replaced by a Kilgen organ of 60 ranks in 1920 when the room was remodeled. That instrument was mostly destroyed by fire in 1929, and Kilgen installed an incomplete organ of 30 ranks in 1930, In 1947 the Möller Organ Company completed the instrument with 59 ranks, utilizing most of the existing Kilgen. The entire organ was removed, rebuilt and enlarged and reinstalled in 2012 by the Reuter organ company. The organ now has a total of 4933 pipes across 72 ranks in 7 divisions, including a 6-rank antiphonal division that speaks from the ceiling of the rear of the church, and contains pipes from the 1920 Kilgen. The organ also has a Tibia stop that was salvaged from the organ that was once in the St. Louis Theatre, now called Powell Symphony Hall. A new 4-manual console was built by Jim Schmidt of Alhambra, Illinois. In February of 2013 the organ was rededicated in a concert event performed by Dr. Frederick Hohman. A complete specification of the organ can be found at third-baptist-organ.org