The First Baptist Church of Westfield is Christ-centered, and this commitment is reflected in the design of the Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary emphasizes the priesthood of believers and the importance of all members in the work of the Church. The minister is on the same level as the congregation, like a shepherd among the flock. The organist and choir sit as part of the congregation, as music is an integral part of the worship experience.
The “Church in the Round” style encourages active participation in the service, creates an awareness of others in this Christian Community, and binds us together as caring people. 4 large screens make it easy and fun to follow along during worship.
The Baptistry is prominently located in the Sanctuary so the entire congregation can witness the profession of faith as people are baptized by immersion.
Symbols occur in the church as reminders of important concepts and events. Through the symbol, a belief, or even a person can be recalled in a deeper way than by words. The cross is the central symbol of the Christian faith. Gazing on the cross, and contemplating its place in history, as well as its deep interpretation of the victory of God, is inspiring. It is interesting that our ancestors chose to place a cross at the center of each of the sanctuary windows. Wherever people sit, they see the light of the world through it.
There are 10 windows in the sanctuary, each containing a separate symbol of the Christian faith. Four represent people, the Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The others represent the Christian experience: Hope, The Word, Apostles, Martyrdom, The Holy Ghost, Christianity. Each symbol is accompanied by a verse of scripture.
These symbols were chosen and placed in the church windows and were dedicated as part of the ceremonies for the new church in May, 1922. When the sanctuary was remodeled in 1970, these windows were retained.
The gold cross mounted on the organ screen in 1998 draws one’s eyes upward. It is superimposed on a circle, symbol of eternity, with the windows in mind.