Organist (Washington, DC)

Date Posted: 
November 3, 2022
Organization Name: 
The First Baptist Church of the City of Washington, DC
Contact Email: 
Salary Range: 
Competitive, commensurate with education and experience
Job Description: 

General Description

The Organist supports the music of the church, and is responsible for accompanying worship from the organ, as well as ensembles and soloists as defined below. The position of Organist is defined by this document as approved by the Membership of the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington D.C. This is a part-time position based at the Church reporting to the Associate Pastor for Worship and the Arts, Executive Pastor, and Senior Pastor. Flexibility with respect to time and location are at the discretion of the Associate Pastor. The competitive salary is commensurate with experience and education.

Duties and Responsibilities:

·       Accompany Sunday morning worship from the organ, providing prelude, postlude, and other instrumental selections as requested.

·       Accompany special services, programs, and rehearsals (e.g.: Candlelight Carols), providing prelude, postlude, and other instrumental selections as requested.

·       Accompany the Chancel Choir in weekly worship, regular rehearsal, special services, programs, and rehearsals as requested.

·       Accompany congregational singing.

·       Rehearse with and accompany soloists and ensembles as requested.

·       Serve as advisor to the Associate Pastor for Worship and the Arts, providing input as requested.

·       Play weddings (for honorarium and/or additional compensation) and funerals as time and schedule permits.

·       Enlist substitute when unavailable for rehearsal and performance, in consultation with Associate Pastor for Worship and the Arts.

·       Demonstrate professionalism, care, and concern for all members of the congregation and Chancel Choir inside and outside rehearsal.

·       Other duties as assigned.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Works independently or with others with minimum of direct supervision
  • Effectively communicates thoughts, ideas and concepts to others
  • Develops and maintains good interpersonal relationship with others both within and outside the Church
  • Administers the day-to-day implementation of multiple programs

Minimum Position Requirements:

  • Bachelors Degree in Music or equivalent.  Advanced Degree(s) desirable
  • Demonstrable skill and experience as a church organist
  • Demonstrable skill and experience accompanying choral ensembles for worship
  • Demonstrable skill in sight reading and improvising at the organ
  • Demonstrable proficiency in piano
  • Demonstrable skill and experience as a user of contemporary information and communication technologies including telephone, internet, e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets and databases as they are implemented at the Church

Application Process

Please submit a digital application to Eric Mathis, Associate Pastor, at The application should include one PDF file that includes a cover letter, resumé, and links to samples of service music, hymn accompaniment, choral accompaniment, and/or improvisations. Review of applications will begin on December 1, 2022, and continue until the position is filled.

Worship at First Baptist

Worship at First Baptist Church is atypical for Baptists.  The liturgy is formal, yet warm and vibrant. It follows a four-fold pattern guided by the Christian year and Lectionary. The musical practices draw from the rich traditions of sacred music as well as more recent contributions in hymnody and choral music. The organist leads congregational music from the console, accompanies the Chancel Choir, and provides appropriate service music. The church has one worship service on Sunday mornings at 11:00 am that lasts approximately sixty minutes.

The First Baptist Church Chancel Choir

The Chancel Choir is the adult choir at First Baptist Church, for which the organist is the primary accompanist. The choir rehearses prior to worship on Sunday mornings from 9:30 – 10:30 am. It consists of twenty singers, eight of whom are paid professional musicians. With excellence undergirding their work, the choir sings a wide range of repertoire from Gregorian chant to modern choral composers. For the past sixty-four years, the Chancel Choir has presented Candlelight Carols at Christmas. It also provides music for Holy Week services including a Good Friday Tenebrae.

The Austin Organ

The Austin Organ was constructed in 2012 and installed and dedicated in 2013. With five manuals and 118 ranks of more than 6,000 pipes, the First Baptist organ is among the largest in Washington, D.C.

When the instrument was constructed and installed, the console was only the second five-manual console in D.C., and the third five-manual drawknob console Austin Organs had built in 120 years. The Chancel Organ boasts 83 ranks, and the Gallery Organ in the balcony has 35 ranks. Mounted horizontally on the gallery rail, low in the sanctuary, is a set of trumpets that have become an architectural symbol for First Baptist.

Since its inception, Opus 2795 was designed with a primary purpose: to lead this congregation in public Christian worship. This instrument has also proven to be a magnificent concert organ hosting a range of distinguished artists for the benefit of the church and the community.

A Welcoming and Affirming Congregation

First Baptist welcomes all people into the life of this church. We are grateful to God for the diversity in our congregation of ethnicity, race, citizenship, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical and mental ability, faith background, economic status, political persuasion, education and life experience.