Singspiration opens homecoming with traditional worship service

Worshippers sing together at Singspiration last year at Seventh & James Baptist Church. This photo is a Lariat file photo. This year Singspiration will start at 7 p.m. Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Journalist

By Cassidy Pate | Reporter

For those looking for an event to get them in the positive mindset of homecoming, Singspiration is happening at 7 p.m. today in the sanctuary of Seventh and James Baptist Church. This event is free of charge and takes place during the bonfire.

Singspiration is a homecoming worship tradition that has been filling up the sanctuary for decades. With music direction by James Kimmel, pastor of music and worship at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, performances by the Baylor Religious Choir alongside its alumni, a worship praise band and an appearance by the Bella Voce choir, this event is meant to introduce homecoming weekend in a Christ-centered way.

Weatherford junior Emma Beaird said Singspiration is a great way to start the homecoming weekend festivities.

“It’s also a really cool time to see families and people of all different generations gathering with just two commonalities,” Beaird said. “One: Baylor and two: their love for Christ and getting to incorporate our Christian heritage into our homecoming traditions.”

BRH will begin the event with a couple songs, followed by a performance by a worship praise band. Then, one of Baylor’s women ensembles, the Bella Voce choir, will sing and BRH will close the show with a special appearance by the group’s.

In an effort to blend decades past with the present, Beaird said BRH will be performing songs through the decades that resonate with people of all ages.

Contemporary worship music, hymns and popular worship music from decades past will be included in the Singspiration program, so there is something for everyone, Beaird said.

Kimmel, pastor of music and worship at Columbus Avenue Church and Baylor alumnae, is directing the music for this year’s Singspiration. He said there will not be a sermon, so it is an hour of singing and worshiping together with Scripture readings tossed in between.

“I love the event because it’s a time that’s very unique to Baylor,” Kimmel said. “To start homecoming with a worship service is something that others schools don’t do, and it’s a big kind of family reunion every year.”

Kimmel said Singspiration is also unique because of its diversity in attendance. People come from around the world with all sorts of different church backgrounds, places and walks of life, but a love for Baylor and the Lord provides a sense of family for the event.

Kimmel added that all of the workers are volunteers, which speaks for the love of Baylor in the Waco community.

Derek Stephens, senior director in the Baylor alumni network, Baylor representative for Singspiration and Baylor and BRH alumnae, said Singspiration is a relaxed atmosphere that embraces homecoming with a 99.9 percent worship rate.

“For me, being a part of it, it pulls together a sense of purpose for homecoming of we’re here in community with other people,” Stephens said.

Kimmel and Stephens said people usually start arriving at 5:30 p.m. Standing room will be along the backside of the sanctuary, so whether viewers come early or arrive late, Singspiration will be open to everyone.

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