Christian Stories by a Minister's Daughter
What Was Church Like in the 1960's?
Until my father was called into the ministry, we only attended different Baptist churches - so this is the only branch that I can speak about with authority.
Everyone - both the poor and the rich dressed as nicely as they could afford for the Lord's house of worship - no shorts, no pants on ladies. The men wore suits & ties on Sunday morning, the ladies nice dresses.
The two main musical instruments were the piano and the organ.
No food was allowed in the sanctuary although many members chewed gum.
The ministers were always men although women had plenty of things to do in the church - from singing specials, to teaching and so forth.
Church would begin with the song leader - always a male, going to the pulpit, greeting the congregation and leading in a song. Back then, we didn't have today's flamboyant entertainment. Oh no - ALL of God's children were able to lift their voices in songs of praise!
Even today, I get very disturbed when I see performers in church, vibrating, crooning & piously singing on the altar of God - often ending with the crowd clapping for them or giving them a standing ovation. This type of performance....it's praise for the entertainers, not for the Glory of God in my humble opinion. But these days, people need to be entertained.
Back to the 1960's.... The congregation would sing several more hymns. In the middle of the song service, the offering plate would be passed around. It may have been a pie tin - usually with red felt glued to the bottom, a wooden plate or a straw basket.
Almost-always there would be a 'special' sung by a member who had a particularly beautiful voice.
At the end of the song service, the minister would preach - and it was quite long, almost-always lasting 30 minutes. Most churches had a nursery for the squirming, bawling babies with an intercom piped-in so that the nursery worker could hear the message.
The service ended with altar call, then a closing prayer. The minister would head to the rear of the church and greet people as they were leaving.
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