The music ministry is a vibrant part of worship and life at The First Baptist Church in America. Minister of Music Stephen Martorella, a concert organist and pianist, directs four paid section leaders and a volunteer choir. Many of the choir members are also active lay leaders in the congregation. In addition to providing music for worship, there has been an active musical outreach program, often tied to church mission, which has brought in nationally known choirs and internationally known guest artists as well as artists from the community in concerts of chamber music, organ and choral music, sacred jazz, and other innovative programming that celebrates our diversity of cultures and our rich historic traditions.
The Old Meeting House has played a major role in the artistic life of our community since the installation of its organ in 1834, at that time Hook Organ Company’s showpiece. During the nineteenth century, we hosted the first Philharmonic Society (a choral group which preceded the Boston Handel and Haydn Society) in Rhode Island and the first New England Conservatory of Music. In the year 2000, the organ was completely refurbished and enlarged by Foley-Baker, Inc. The project was sensitive to both the historical attributes of the organ that have been preserved, as well as providing for our presently vibrant musical ministry. In addition, the church has a state of the art electronic sound studio, two recently restored Steinway grand pianos, and access to a French double manual harpsichord built by Peter Fisk.
Worship starts at 11:00AM the second Sunday in September through June and at 10:00 AM July through Labor Day.
Listen to a selection of choir and organ music performed during worship at the Meeting House.