Holiday Season Events

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Tuba Christmas

This music concert is held in cities worldwide that celebrate those who play, teach, and compose music for instruments in the tuba family, including the tuba, sousaphone, baritone, and euphonium, though some participants bring rarer members of the family such as the helicon, ophicleide, serpent and double bell euphonium.

The first Tuba Christmas was organized by Harvey G. Phillips to honor his tuba teacher William Bell, who was born on Christmas Day 1902, and was held December 22, 1974, in the ice skating rink at New York City’s Rockefeller Center; Paul Lavalle conducted. Over 300 musicians played that day, beginning a holiday tradition. This is the 5th Tuba Christmas at First Baptist Church and will feature over 50 performers.

Sunday, Dec. 1st from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM in the Sanctuary


prayer vigil24 Hour Advent Prayer Vigil

FBC holds prayer vigils at Advent, Lent and at other times throughout the year when we want to set aside time for prayer and reflection. This year’s advent prayer vigil will take place in the Judson Room at the top of the Portico stairs. In the Judson room, you will find seasonal props, candlelight, Bibles, and devotional materials for your use. There usually will be a written guide to help direct your prayers, if needed. Some choose to bring their own Bible or devotional materials. A sign-up sheet will be available in the Fairmount hallway. People generally sign up for at least a 1-hour time slot, but you may stay as long or come as often as you like during the 24-hour vigil. Please enter through the portico entrance and take the stairs to the top or use the elevator. There may be more than one person at any given hour. If agreeable to those in the room, you may talk or pray aloud together or separately. Otherwise, silence is recommended. There will also be music CDs available if you want to use them. In general, this is a time of focused prayer and devotion; a time when you block out the busyness of your life and sit in the presence of God. You may contemplate the season or specific prayer requests of your own or as recommended by the pastors. There will be a board to write prayer requests that will be incorporated into the prayer list used by pastors and prayer team members. They will not be published in the bulletin without your permission. Many find this a wonderful time of revelation and peace.

Friday, Dec 6 at Noon through Saturday, Dec 7 at Noon in the Judson Room


ESM Christmas PartyEast Side Ministry Friendship Class Christmas Party

Our East Side Ministry students, teen assistants, and adult teachers will join together for a Christmas party that will include refreshments, games, gifts and attending the Children’s Christmas Musical in Spahr Center.

Saturday, December 7th from 1:30 PM – 3:45 PM gathering in the Fireside Room


Children's Christmas MusicalChildren’s Musical It All Happened In The Country

Two kids from the city end up in the country on Christmas Eve. The city kids feel quite out of place but they are welcomed into the home of the country folks. The hospitality of the country cousins is shown with true Christian compassion along with a little humor.

Dan May and Karen Gill join the cast of twenty-five children ages three to ten who will tell the story of Jesus’ birth in this 45-minute musical production.

Saturday, December 7th from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM and Sunday, December 8th from 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM in the Spahr Center


Women's Voices ResoundingCleveland Chamber Choir Concert

Women’s Voices Resounding – Holidays Old & New

Tickets (clevelandchamberchoir.org)

Sunday, December 8th from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM in the Sanctuary


Visit SantaA Visit With Santa

Bring your little ones and take your own pics with Santa for free to share with friends and family for Christmas.
Wednesday, December 11th from 5:30 – 6:30 PM in the Spahr Center


ViolinViolin Recital

Elizabeth Huang is a talented young violinist who has been playing in the traditional service in recent weeks. This is a student violin recital, it is free and open to the public.

Friday, December 13th from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM in the Sanctuary


Apollo's Fire Christmas OratorioApollo’s Fire Mini-Matinée Performance (1 hour)

Guest conductor Julian Wachner leads his favorite selections from Bach’s holiday masterpiece, with 3 soloists and members of Apollo’s Singers and instrumentalists. Bring the kids (age 8 and up) for free! Adult guardian required. (apollosfire.org)

Saturday, December 14th from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM in the Sanctuary


Apollo's Fire Christmas Oratorio

Apollo’s Fire Concert

Julian Wachner, guest conductor / Molly Netter, soprano / Daniel Moody, countertenor / Steven Soph, tenor / Jesse Blumberg, baritone / Apollo’s Singers

Bach’s festive Christmas Oratorio is a feast of orchestral colors, with trumpets, timpani, flutes, oboes, bassoon, and strings. Guest conductor Julian Wachner, along with concertmaster Olivier Brault, leads Parts 1, 2, 5 & 6 of the oratorio.

PRE-CONCERT TALK in Spahr Center with timpanist Matthew Bassett and cellist René Schiffer, 1 hour before each concert. Sponsored by Marguerite Harkness, CPA. – contact the Apollo’s Fire box office for more information (apollosfire.org)

Saturday, December 14th from 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM in the Sanctuary


Lessons & CarolsA Festival of Lessons & Carols Followed By An International Tea

In the Tradition of Kings College Chapel

The Festival of Lessons and Carols is a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus that is traditionally followed at Christmas. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir music.

The first Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College, Cambridge, was held on Christmas Eve in 1918. It was introduced by Eric Milner-White, the Dean of the College, whose experience as an army chaplain had led him to believe that more imaginative worship was needed by the Church of England. The order of service was adapted from the order created by Benson for Truro Cathedral 38 years earlier, which was based on an idea of George Walpole, at the time Succentor of Truro Cathedral, and the future Bishop of Edinburgh. The first service at King’s largely followed Benson’s original plan, including the Benedictions before each reading, several of which were later amalgamated by Milner-White into his Bidding Prayer.

The music at the first service at King’s was directed by Arthur Henry Mann, who was the organist from 1876 to 1929. The choir had 16 trebles as specified in statutes laid down by Henry VI, and until 1927 the men’s voices were provided by choral scholars and lay clerks. Today, 14 undergraduates from the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, sing the men’s parts.

Join us afterward for the International Tea in Spahr Center.

Sunday, December 15th from 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM in the Sanctuary


Youth Christmas PartyChildren & Youth Christmas Party

The children and youth are invited to this Christmas party just for them! Breakfast and hot cocoa bar will be served in Wheaton during the discipleship hour (10:00-11:00.) Children, toddlers, and their families are invited to stay for a tie-dye craft. Youth will have games and fellowship in the Youth Wing.

Sunday, Dec. 22nd during Discipleship Hour in the Youth Wing and Wheaton Center


Christmas PageantChristmas Nativity Pageant

One of First Baptist Church’s most beloved annual traditions, our living nativity brings to life the Christmas story into our sanctuary with a large host of live animals, choirs, soloists, musicians and the newborn baby Jesus. We celebrate with traditional hymns and new selections of music, as we participate together in the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Tuesday, December 24th from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the Sanctuary


Candlelight ServiceCandlelight Service

Usher in Christmas in the traditional late evening Christmas Eve Candlelight and Carol service.  The Chancel Choir, Soloists and Handbell Choir offer beautiful music of the season and the service culminates with the singing of “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night”.

Tuesday, December 24th from 11:00 PM – 12:00 AM in the Sanctuary


Youth ChurchYouth Sunday

Worship together with our youth as they take part in many of the activities in this worship service.

Sunday, December 29th from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM in the Sanctuary


Christmas SanctuaryNew Year’s Eve Service

Take refuge in the quiet. Reflect over the past year and spiritually prepare for the year to come. Brian Kozak will provide the musical talent of his acoustic guitar with times to read, pray, share and meditate. A truly sacred service culminating with communion.

Tuesday, December 31st from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM in the Sanctuary