In 1955 our congregation was founded on the premise that we are all called to a life of worship and service and often our calling leads us to new places and new ministries. Our founders responded to God’s urging to establish a new church in what was then the growing edge of Rocky Mount and our calling has always been to stay on that growing edge in order to meet the needs of people in our community. We believe that worship is the most important thing we do as Christians; it informs and influences everything else that we do. Therefore, the emphasis of Lakeside’s congregational life is on worship, discipleship, missions, and involvement in the community.
By Baptist standards, our worship would be characterized as formal: the Christian calendar and the Revised Common Lectionary are utilized as guides for our worship. Paraments on the altar and pulpit, along with the ministers’ stoles, provide us with visual clues about the meaning of our faith. The clergy and choir are robed; they process and recess; and the liturgy is crafted to engender congregational participation.
At the entrance to the narthex, Deacons welcome all who enter to worship. If needed, he or she will assist worshipers with a wireless hearing device or large-print hymnal which can be found in the Prayer Room. Worship bags are also available for young children. Each cloth bag contains a variety of items that will aid a child to have a more meaningful worship experience. The contents of the bag may be taken home by the child while the bag itself is left in the Narthex. A Nursery is available for younger children. Twice a month during the school year, children in kindergarten through grade five are invited to leave the sanctuary during the second hymn and to participate in Children's Church.
Preparation for worship begins as soon as one enters the sanctuary. The music of the organ signals the beginning of worship and all present are encouraged to use the time for meditation and reflection.
Following a welcome and concerns of the church, an Acolyte brings light to the altar to remind us of Christ, the Light of the World. A Crucifer leads the choir and ministers into the sanctuary during the first hymn. We follow the cross as a symbol of God’s self-giving love for us.
Following the service, everyone is encouraged to greet those seated around them. The ministers stand at the doors of the sanctuary to greet worshipers. A time of fellowship follows in the Lehman Courtyard.
No regular Sunday evening services are held. Activities for Preschoolers, children and youth are offered from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. from September to May. Choirs and missions studies as well as a light supper are offered each week. Board and committee meetings as well as Adult studies, discussions, and fellowship suppers are frequently held on Sunday evenings.
Special services are held for infant dedications, baptism, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Easter, Rite-13 (Journey to Adulthood), Graduate and Youth Sunday, Founders’ Day, World Communion Sunday, All Saints Sunday, Advent and Christmas Eve.
Communion is generally celebrated on the first Sunday of each month as well as on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Christmas Eve. Most often our Deacons serve the bread and the cup to the congregation, but sometimes worshipers are invited to come forward and take communion by intinction (dipping the bread into the cup). Everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ is welcomed to participate whether or not they are members of Lakeside.