LifeWay to air churches’ virtual Christmas services
By Aaron Wilson/LifeWay
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Drew Porterfield spent last Christmas sick in bed—unable to attend his church’s traditional service. Since he couldn’t worship with his local church family, Porterfield tried to find a virtual Christmas service online. That was more difficult than he expected, however.
“This sparked an idea,” he said. “What if someone were to offer programming of churches’ Christmas worship services and stream those to virtual audiences so they can experience services at home?”
A few months later, as the coronavirus pandemic began sweeping the globe and making its way across the U.S., Porterfield’s idea had bigger implications than he first envisioned.
“We now have a vast population at home this Christmas unable to participate in person for worship services,” said Porterfield, a broadcast engineer at LifeWay Christian Resources. “Through ‘A LifeWay Digital Christmas,’ we want to expand the reach of local churches and enable people around the world to worship and celebrate the gospel wherever they find themselves this season.”
LifeWay will host virtual Christmas worship services this season for the following churches. For live service times, visit DigitalPass.LifeWay.com.
- “Hope is Alive!” | Shades Mountain Baptist Church (Birmingham, Alabama)
- “Celebrate Christmas with Ingleside” | Ingleside Baptist Church (Macon, Georgia)
- “Christmas at Brentwood” | Brentwood Baptist Church (Tennessee)
- “Handel’s Messiah” | First Baptist Church of Newnan (Georgia)
- “Now All is Well” | First Baptist Church of Jackson (Alabama)
- Thomas Road Baptist Church’s Christmas service (Lynchburg, Virginia)
- “A December to Remember”| First Baptist Church Indian Trail (North Carolina)
In addition to airing live broadcasts of each event, LifeWay will provide around-the-clock loops of each program through Dec. 26.
“It is our privilege to be able to partner with Lifeway Digital Pass as we present our special guests artists, Drew and Ellie Holcomb, some stellar Birmingham musicians and the creative ministries of Shades Mountain Baptist Church for ‘Hope is Alive,’ filmed on seven stellar locations including the historic Alabama Theater,” said Michael Adler, worship arts pastor.
Baptist Health System gifts Birmingham association new building, $350,000
By Grace Thornton/The Alabama Baptist
Birmingham Metro Baptist Association (BMBA) will soon own a much larger facility than the office it is currently leasing, thanks to a gift from Baptist Health System.
The 16,000-square-foot building — located next door to BMBA’s current office — will offer the association space for larger meetings and new ministry partners, said Chris Crain, BMBA executive director.
The Baptist Health System board voted to approve the gift Dec. 7 along with $350,000 to put toward building improvements.
“The BMBA is in a new season,” Crain said.
In November, the association formerly known as Birmingham Baptist Association entered into a new partnership with Bessemer Baptist Association and became BMBA, a new association with a new vision and new governing documents.
“Now we have this opportunity to move into a new facility,” Crain said, adding that the association hasn’t owned its own building since 2004, when it started leasing its current building from Baptist Health System.
For the past several years, that lease has been $1 per year, he said, adding: “It has already been a tremendous blessing to be in partnership with Baptist Health.”
That partnership has been a long one. BMBA created Baptist Health System in 1922 with the purchase of what is known today as Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham. The association approves all of the members of the Baptist Health System board of trustees and has three members on the board.
Amy S. Allen, Baptist Health System president and CEO, says her organization and BMBA have “maintained a partnership and close relationship throughout the years.
“We have virtually the same mission, which is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ in Birmingham; however, ours is focused in the health care arena.”