Local Church Web Streaming Sunday Services

Knoxville (WVLT) -- From shopping to chatting, the internet brings together folks for all sorts of reasons.

So you have to figure it's only a matter of time before the faithful use it to help spread the gospel.

For several East Tennessee churches, that time is now.

Not even this month's scorching heat, can keep the faithful from filling First Baptist of Knoxville's 11:00 Sunday service.

"However you're coming to worship today, we're glad you're here and it's good to see you," said Timothy Norton, associate pastor of First Baptist.

For years, Volunteer Tv's made you part of First Baptist's virtual congregation by airing Sunday services, but now, you can get, and stay connected.

"I like to be able to keep things to myself and hang onto them," said Dr. William D. Shiell, senior pastor of First Baptist.

Far beyond the reach of an antenna, cable line, or satellite dish:

"You can go online to volunteer-tv.com and click on the icon," said Pastor Shiell. "You can stream our services live, and watch them from wherever you are, simply from the comforts of home."

The new way to worship was a hit with the congregation.

"I think it's a great idea," said Susan Caldwell who regularly attends First Baptist. "Many times people can't get to church because of maybe, work reasons."

But it's about a lot more than convenience.

"You can imagine how the troops are on the front lines of battle," said Pastor Shiell. "It gives them a word of faith and encouragement to share to people who are in their company, in their area."

"It might pull them back in and make them feel like they're no so far away," said Sherry Coffield, another First Baptist member.

"Over there, the religion is so much different," said Caldwell. "They need to be able to feel a part of their basic religion."

What happens if you miss the live Webcast?

You can simply watch the recording, on-line anytime, until next Sunday's service.

Pastor Shiell and his flock certainly embrace First Baptist's place on the web.

"Send questions by e-mail and contact us, and we'll be glad to follow up with you directly," he said. "Join me out on the edge, for that is where our faith is marching on."

"Whatever we can do to meet people's needs where they are, that's important," said Coffield.

For a link to First Baptist's website, go to http://www.fbcknox.org/.

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