A fertile seed
South Reno Baptist Church
I had an idea of what a Baptist church was going to be about. I thought it was going to be one of these singing, hand-clapping, boisterous kinds of churches. As usual, I walked in with my “notions” and walked out less ignorant.
My friend Bruce Jenks invited me over to the 8:10 a.m. service. He’s a relatively new member of the congregation, with just a couple months under his belt, but he likes the pastor, so he invited me over.
The church is large and beautiful. My son, Hunter, and I arrived about a half-hour early, and since the main entrance doesn’t face the road, we wandered around for a moment looking for the door. The church’s décor is modern, but its design is traditional, if on a grand scale. The vestibule is tastefully appointed with cream-colored walls, a welcome center to the left upon entry and a comfortable lounge area with an olive green leather couch. Quite nice. There were a couple televisions in the foyer, a detail I don’t recall seeing in other churches. I liked the massive, rough stone pillars, an accent that also made its way into the sanctuary. Down the way was a large study room, and down the halls were offices, child care, women’s and youth ministries.
The sanctuary is huge. It has high ceilings, an eggshell color and an elegant style. The large pulpit is raised about five feet above the congregation. There’s a beautiful stained glass window above and behind. The wooden crossbeams of a crucifix are surrounded by a starburst of glass going from yellow to red to orange to blue to brown. Down below, Minister of Music Mike Alger, the weather guy from Channel 2, headed up a tight little 6-piece band and choir. I guess the music could be described as contemporary spiritual rock. He’s quite a talented guy, but the women who sang “Word of God, Speak,” really struck a chord with the congregation. Music is very important to these worshippers, and I’d estimate songs and singing occupied about 90 percent of the first half-hour of the service. The congregation was dressed a bit more formally than I’ve seen of late, with men wearing dress slacks and pressed shirts and many women wearing dresses.
Youth Pastor Matthew Zamudio gave the sermon. Since I’m not a regular participant, I can’t say for sure, but I got the impression that this was a special event, and the pastor was unaccustomed to offering the sermon to the adult congregation. Be that as it may, he did fine, discussing Jesus’ demands of his disciples and, by extension, his demands of humankind. As an aside, Pastor Zamudio offered five things that he tells his more youthful flock, but that he said translates to this and just about any topic: Unity is important; the Holy Spirit must be more important in people’s lives; people must be more obedient to the Word; the gospel must be shared, and it must be shared by the members of the congregation; and following Jesus is hard, but it’s worth it. After the sermon, Zamudio stood below the pulpit, available for people who had questions about the verses studied or the other lessons of the homily.
The service wrapped up fairly quickly after that. The South Reno Baptist Church strikes me as an excellent choice for people who like their music contemporary, their worship scripture-based, their surroundings comfortable and their fellow congregants cordial. You might check this place out; it may surprise you as much as it surprised me.
Want to take Brian to your place of worship? Call 324-4440 ext. 3525.