[img_assist|nid=127165|title=S Anchorage Church of Christ Sign|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=189]Church of Christ South Anchorage was selected for a visit as a result of an article I discovered while researching church music. Churches of Christ, the article noted, did not believe in the use of musical instruments in church services, only using acapella singing. So, July 6 found me entering the church just prior to 11:00 a.m. They were singing the first hymn.
Just before I entered the sanctuary, two gentlemen passed me in the hall briskly going the other way and wished me good morning. Other than that, I was not greeted by anyone nor given a bulletin, which I discovered were available. It was a bit warm but ceiling fans were keeping the air moving. Compared with other churches you will note a clear lack of ornamentation here.
A first! No instruments!
This is definitely an “old time” church, clearly out of yesterday. It’s amazing how much more space you have in a church when you eliminate the pianos, organs, and space for the band with its instruments. The hymns were familiar, sung accapella and well led by a gentleman chorister, who directed the audience as if it were a choir. And you know, it was amazing. I’ll bet everyone sang, and you could actually hear them singing, not drowned out by a band or other instrument. If you’ve not heard real church singing lately, this is the place to go. Clearly a first time experience for this church visitor.
I really admire the way they handled a private church concern during the service. It’s too bad other churches do not risk offending members and visitors by being momentarily frank. Enough said, it was good to hear.
One of the younger youth came forward and read the scripture. He read well and you know, it was another first for my church visits. Churches tend to ignore the youth in service duties. Rarely are they seen in taking offerings, handing out items, reading scripture, or giving a testimony. I wonder if the lack of meaningful involvement by youth is one of the reasons that many youth are moving away from church.
Willard Holliday, the pastor, gave what I considered an understandable, practical sermon entitled “Hurting the Church, Hurting Jesus”. He is an extemporaneous speaker, freely quoting scripture. He noted the meaning of “church” from the Greek is “Those who are called out”. He used New Testament examples of people who were called out and what they did with that calling. Holliday concluded his sermon with a call away from doing wrong after you have received the Lord’s call. According to my understanding, this is a New Testament church where the focus is primarily on the New Testament.
It should be noted that the Church of Christ serves communion every Sunday, and it was served to all. Pastor Holliday left the platform and the elders took his place to serve the communion, which was very meaningfully served.
The service concluded at 12 p.m. just a tad over an hour after it started. This congregation is very participative, with many members participating in various service functions. The pastor alone greeted me on the way out but other than the initial greeting of sorts noted earlier, I was not contacted or approached by any other member. Notwithstanding, I enjoyed my visit to this church. I believe this would make a great church to visit for anyone looking for a church home.
[img_assist|nid=127171|title=Church Building – Church of Christ South Anchorage|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=142]