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Breaking the mold
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The 9:45 a.m. service at First Baptist Church offers a break from its 180-year history of traditional services.
It also allows for more people to be able to attend the church. 
“We were just growing and had to do something,” said Pastor Jason Dees, explaining that the 11 a.m. service filled up fast. 
With a lot of interest backing it, the service began in August 2009 in the Fellowship Hall, falling between the 8:25 a.m. and 11 a.m. services. 
According to Dees, about 150 people attend.
The more relaxed service provides a different sound to the music with musician Corey Crowder leading the worship, and it incorporates a lot more creativity than the church’s other services.
Two Sundays ago, the service’s theme was Bluegrass, Baptism and Barbecue and did not fail to include all three. A bluegrass band even showed up to play gospel. Pastor Dees said it was great turnout and a fantastic time.  
Along with the change in music, there are sometimes other flexibilities, such as different configurations and changes to the size of the stage. Dees also said he would like to see more random themes for the service.
The church is embracing what the pastor calls “a huge paradigm shift.” And the service is bringing in a lot of young people, people new to the church and new to Christianity, according to Dees.
He said the 9:45 a.m. service is definitely a permanent thing for First Baptist, and it’s a different way to express yourself in worship and interact with other believers.
“It’s been a great thing for the church,” Dees said. “The health and life of the church has really grown.”
First Baptist is located at 1139 Usher Street N.W., Covington, GA, 30014. (770) 786-9031.