At Hayes Barton, we love using music as a vehicle for enhancing the worship experience, and we encourage our members to use the musical gifts God gave them to help our congregation praise God. We believe music helps us unite our minds and our spirits in the act of worship, enabling us to “make a joyful sound to the Lord” as we are called to do.
Our worship services are most often accompanied by organ or piano, but we also include accompaniment by flute, violin, and many other instruments and ensembles. In addition to our Chancel Choir, we also have a range of other choirs, including preschool, children’s, youth, and handbells.
OUr Music Ministers
Published in Faith Points, May 2015
Written by Joanne McDaniel
An important part of the DNA of Hayes Barton Baptist Church is the role music plays in the life of our church. When people are asked what they like about our church, the musical programming typically quickly becomes part of the response. “Of course, the music,” they’ll say.
So changing the way “we do music” at HBBC may seem to fall in the category of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Yet, we are changing the way “we do music,” and the excitement, energy, and enthusiasm around this new way cannot be denied.
“What a great day for our church,” shared Jennifer Hawkins who chaired the Music Minister Search Committee. “We interviewed many, many qualified candidates, but these two kept rising to the top. You can’t get any better than this.”
As most of you know by now, the two she is referring to are Larry Dickens who is accepting the call as our part-time Minister of Music and Worship and Patty Pace who is accepting the call as full-time Associate Minister of Music and Pastoral Care.
While not initially in mind when the search was started, the opportunity for the teaming of Larry and Patty evolved over the nine months of searching. Larry and Patty came to know each other at Campbell University in 2009. Larry, who has served numerous churches in Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, came to HBBC in an interim capacity nine months ago. When the need for an organist emerged during this time, Larry contacted Patty who came on board in December, 2014.
The idea of the two of them teaming in service “unfolded,” as Larry described. “It is really a God thing.” From the perspective of the Search Committee, “we just could not let these two get away,” said Jennifer.
“One thing we already know is that Larry and Patty are wonderfully gifted musicians,” added our pastor Dr. David Hailey. “Every aspect of our worship music – from prelude to postlude and everything in-between – has flourished under their leadership during recent months.”
And so, we embark on a journey with a new way, “a new model,” for our music ministry. As Larry and Patty describe the model, three core values comprise it: congregational singing; music excellence; and spiritual formation. Much like they connect with each other as a team, they speak of the model in terms of “connections” with the congregation, developing the congregation not only musically but also spiritually, connecting members to the church family and, most importantly, to God.
In Larry’s eyes, “music is a tool people can use to grow spiritually. Music opens people’s souls. They are receptive and more able to hear God’s voice through it. It is nonthreatening yet impactful.” “It is a means to an end,” added Patty, “rather than an end in itself.”
“These two individuals are first Christians and then Ministers, and then Ministers of Music,” said Jennifer. “They are both so devoted to the Lord and so excited about this new model and that we as a church are willing to move forward and accept this new model.”
“The model will serve us well,” said Dr. Hailey. “Larry and Patty are an effective team. Both of them have broad and deep experience in church music.”
In fact, for both of them, their experience with music can truly be described as lifelong, going back to their childhoods. Larry, growing up in North Carolina, is a self-described “preacher’s kid.” As a teenager, he “sensed a call to use music in ministry.” He also is compelled to teach so earned master’s degrees in divinity and music education. Primarily viewing himself as a vocalist, Larry always knew he wanted to work with choirs as it enables him to “bring many gifts together to honor God.” He has also taught for a number of years and will continue to do so at Campbell University; hence why his role will be part-time at HBBC.
Although humbly denying it, Patty’s history shouts “prodigy.” From the age of six on as she was growing up in Arkansas, Patty was singled out numerous times by numerous people (“exceedingly strong Christians” as she recalls) to study music, including the piano and organ. By age fourteen, Patty was her church’s organist. Taught that “talent is a gift from God that should be used humbly,” Patty earned a master’s degree in organ and a minor in harpsichord. A lifelong learner, she has also earned master’s degrees in divinity and counseling.
These latter degrees along with professional and life experiences are what enable Patty to take on the responsibilities of Pastoral Care. “To serve people on their journeys who might not otherwise be served is how I see pastoral care,” said Patty. “My vision is to come and journey alongside any individual on their journey as they pursue God.”
As a team, Larry and Patty see the vision for HBBC’s music ministry as one that will develop as they move forward as a team and with the congregation. They acknowledge that they have responsibilities to hold each other accountable as they work to balance the core values of the new model for our church. They are quick to say that they will listen much and seek input often.
And they both see HBBC as not only the home for this new model of music ministry; they also see it as their new church home, their new church family. For Larry, that includes his wife Gail who is his lifetime teammate. For Patty, it means that, as she put it, she is “coming to be family.”
Indeed, you can’t get any better than this.
The HBBC School of Music
With the addition of our new staff, we have new information coming soon about the School of Music. Please check back for more information!