FBC Roswell Choir

After COVID-19 prompted the cancelation of their Easter service, First Baptist Church, Roswell,released a video of several members of their choir and other guests performing “Turn Your Eyes To Jesus.”

ROSWELL (BNM) - When the COVID-19 pandemic canceled First Baptist Church, Roswell’s Easter service, Music and Media Pastor Jacob Bassing found a creative way to bring his congregation together. Combining his two primary functions, Bassing organized and edited a virtual choir comprising of approximately 20 singers. Choir members recorded themselves singing and then sent their footage to Bassing, who edited them into a cohesive video.

According to Bassing, First Baptist’s choir was planning several songs for the church’s in-person Easter service. Once it became clear that the church could not follow the original plan, Bassing brainstormed how he could adapt the choir’s program. He asked “How can we make Easter special and show the church coming together and be an encouragement to our members and point to Christ in a time when we can’t technically be in the same room together?” The answer came from a suggestion by a colleague’s wife, who suggested he produce a “virtual choir.”

After determining which song the choir would sing, Bassing found a YouTube video of the song with subtitled lyrics and sent it to each member of the choir.  Bassing explained the recording process, saying, he asked each member to “watch the video on one device - a laptop, a computer, phone or tablet. With the device they are watching the video on, they would plug headphones in so the audio would only go through the headphones. With a secondary device - another phone or tablet, they would video record themselves singing the song. It gave them the confidence of singing with the recording, but since they were using headphones when the recording was done, I only had the audio [and video] portion of them singing [without] any background music.”

After he received each member’s footage, Bassing edited the clips to create a final video in which the audio and video footage of each choir member was synced with the audio and video footage of the other members. Bassing said he worked on editing the video periodically over two weeks.

Bassing said the video received “a lot of positive feedback.” He added, “I think in light of the situation, in light of all of the COVID-19 stuff, it really moved people to see the church together singing even though we weren’t together at that moment … we were worshipping even though we couldn’t gather in a single building together. It really embodied this idea of the church as a whole, spread out across the world, and [still] being able to represent Christ.”

The choir sang a version of the hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” by Sovereign Grace. The video can be viewed at tiny.cc/RoswellChoir (link is case sensitive).

Daniel Porter is a staff writer with the Baptist New Mexican news journal and GoBNM.com, news and information outlets for the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

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