Since Bible times, music has always been an integral part of communing between God and His people. There are many examples of music in the Scriptures. Exodus 15:1-21, is an entire song by Moses and the Israelites recounting their divine victory over the Egyptians who were swallowed up in the Red Sea. King David, who was known as the “sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Samuel 23:1), was skilled at playing the harp. During his lifetime, he wrote many songs (psalms) to praise the Lord. Psalm 18 is an entire song devoted to David’s deliverance from King Saul. Even Jesus and the disciples sung a hymn after the Passover meal before the Lord’s arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. (See Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26.)
The New Testament also commands us to sing unto the Lord, by stating, “Is any merry? Let him sing psalms” (James 5:13). Again, Ephesians 5:19 encourages believers to be filled with the Spirit while “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” These are merely a few examples. Songs and music in God’s Word are enormous subjects! It is our desire to be like the Saints of the Bible and certainly to follow after the example of our Savior. As a result, praise and worship to the Lord is a vital part of every Living Word Church meeting. During this time, God the Father is honored, Jesus Christ is glorified, and the Holy Spirit moves in a mighty way to bring healing, comfort, quickening, and encouragement to those who worship Him in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23-24). Music plays a vital role as a vehicle for praise and worship. The worship and praise in the assembly helps us to prepare our hearts when we come to meet with the Lord. Not only does the Lord receive the praise and honor that He deserves from His people during this time, but the congregation receives strength and joy as well when we praise His holy name.
From the earliest days of the Church in 1972, some members have been inspired to play various instruments unto the Lord during our worship services. In 1978, several instrumental players were organized, under the direction of Bro. Art Marquis, into an orchestra. Since its founding, the orchestra has grown in size from approximately ten to about 30 members. They range from self-taught musicians to those with college degrees in music. The members range in age from teenagers to over 60 years old and come from many walks of life. Many of the older musicians have been with the work long enough to see their children join them on these instruments of praise.
The orchestra has closely worked side by side with the lead singers for many years. The choir composed of Saints ranging from teenagers to older adults, love to express their adoration for the Lord through song.
The goal of the ministry is to glorify God through musical instruments and song along with the praise and worship of the congregation. The Bible tells us in the Psalms to “Sing unto the LORD a new song…” (See Psalms 96:1, 98:1, and 149:1.) Because of this command, we believe that it is important not to follow a set routine of songs, but rather to vary them from meeting to meeting as the Holy Spirit leads. The Lord has even inspired various members of the congregation to write their own songs unto Him. Many of the songs that are sung in our services have had music written and arranged specifically for the orchestra by several Church members.