In the heart. The heart of the city, that is. That’s Walnut Street Baptist Church, a nearly 200 year old church that is functioning with both feet firmly in the 21st century!
When the church voted a decade ago to renovate the sanctuary, the church said to the city, “We’re not going anywhere. We’re not leaving the neighborhood to which God called us and placed us!”
That neighborhood, Old Louisville, is an eclectic blend of persons…many of whom have much, many of whom have little. And many of each often existing, living, side by side. Such a setting makes for a plethora of ministry opportunities.
Conveniently located at the corner of 3rd St. and St. Catherine, Walnut Street is only two blocks off I-65 and less than 20 minutes or so from anywhere in the city.
Tracing her beginnings back to the First Baptist Church of Louisville almost 200 years ago, Walnut Street defies easy or quick description. Is she old or is she young? What’s worship? Old, traditional or new and contemporary? What about the ministries? Do they serve the members or the neighborhood? What about the people? Are they all white & look alike?
The answers….neither, no and not! That’s Walnut Street.
A visit to a Sunday service leaves a variety of impressions. With two services on Sunday at 8:30 and 11:00, Walnut Street offers two services for differing tastes. The “early service,” at 8:30, is a relaxed, intimate, and more contemporary style of worship.
The second service, broadcast on live television every week on WMYO TV, is unique in the city of Louisville. The first impression one gets on the first visit to Walnut Street is “wow!” “Wow! What a sanctuary!” The beauty of the old sanctuary, beautifully restored to its original condition less than a decade ago, lends itself to worship of the Living God and His Son Jesus Christ. The sanctuary is rather small by today’s megachurch standards, seating only about 900-1000 comfortably. Still large, yes, but very intimate. The vaulted ceiling and magnificent woodwork, along with a pipe organ make the sanctuary a sight to behold.
A typical worship experience features energy, praise, engaging music, a full choir loft with orchestra, and a choir led by a Brazilian worship leader that gets what worship is about. The worship team, orchestra, choir and accompanists, including the pipe organ, give a fullness to the music that is likely unequalled anywhere in the city.
Then, a sermon. The Word of God faithfully exposited by the pastor of some seven years.
That’s Walnut Street worship. Big, participatory, engaging, worshipful, God-glorifying, meaningful, and something for everybody.
So that’s just a snapshot of some of what Walnut Street Baptist Church is about. A regional church in an urban location, seeking to transform the lives of those who come, who watch the live broadcast each week. Seeking to transform not just lives but the neighborhood in which God placed this historic church. A challenging setting. An exciting church with a Spirit-led worship service unlike any other in the city! Make it a point to come on Sunday and see what God’s up to at Walnut Street. You’ll find something that will engage you in this diverse and committed congregation of believers dedicated to following Christ together!