Christ’s Legacy Church in Yukon, Oklahoma is a Christian church that serves the populations of Yukon and Oklahoma City. I attended a fall festival and a regular Sunday service over a period of two weeks. The first event I attended, was an outdoor event with a few hundred adults and children in attendance. There were train rides, horses, games, music, and a DJ and all of these combined created a very loud environment. All of these sounds combined with the majority of people wearing colorful costumes, it was a little difficult to focus as there was so much going on. In one of the recordings that I took, you can hear very loud rap music playing which was the absolute last thing I was expecting to hear when I arrived at a church gathering. I did not catch the name of the song, but my assumption is that it was non-explicit and it might have had Christian themes or origins. The fact that there was loud rap music playing from the speakers lead me to believe that this congregation is very open-minded and willing to make changes to fit with their younger population. In the same recording from above, you can hear laughter from a group of young adults with their children. The DJ was also speaking over the microphone to inform the guests about what was happening that night and where everything was taking place. The use of a microphone to speak to the people shows that large number of people that were in attendance.
The church is located at the intersection of NW Expressway and Morgan Road which is a very busy intersection. As I was approaching the church to attend the outdoor festival, I could hear the music and the DJ speaking over the speakers from hundreds of yards away. There are neighborhoods close by so I wonder if the speaker was able to reach the neighborhoods and if that was an intentional way to attract more people to the fall festival. The combination of the speaker over the microphone, rap music, and abundance of laughter makes me feel like this is a very welcoming environment.
I am a young, white woman who was raised in a Christian family so from my outward appearance I fit the mold of the “typical” person who would attend this church. When I was at this event I was openly recording and videotaping. A few people smiled and welcomed me to the event without any hesitation. I did not feel like an outsider because I looked just like everyone else there. Me recording was not questioned and I was not made to feel uncomfortable. It makes me think about how me being there recording would have been received if I was a person of color.
The 10:30 am Sunday service at Christ’s Legacy Church in Yukon, Oklahoma is designed for a younger, more contemporary audience. The first service of the day that begins at 9am, is more “old-fashioned” and “typical” in the way they run the service and the types of music that they perform for worship. When planning my visit, I spoke to a member of the church administration who recommended that I attend the 10:30 contemporary service. He did not give a reason, but I think it could be because the contemporary services tend to cater towards a younger audience who would be more comfortable with me recording.
Before the sermon was given, there was about twenty five minutes of worship will a full band up on the stage at the front of the room. It looks like a full-blown concert as there were lights, projections, and a lot of sound equipment. There were eight people in total on stage all with different roles. Some were singing, some were playing instruments (guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums) and some were singing and playing an instrument at the same time. The projections with the lyrics and the lights changed colors each time a song changed to match the mood of the song and to alert the congregation that a new song was starting. The songs that they used for worship were contemporary, pop, Christian music. This music is very easy to listen to and it has a lot of repetition. For example, one song that they performed said “You are good, good oh” twelve times throughout the three minute piece. This repetition found in these types of songs makes it so the congregation can learn the songs faster without having to worry about the words. However, if members of the congregation did not know the words, the lyrics were projected on a screen in front of the room which members of the congregation were able to follow along. Due to the fact that these songs do not have to be memorized and they have a significant amount of repetition, it takes away the emphasis from the words themselves and puts the focus on the act of singing and worshipping God. This church puts a large emphasis on sound/music as a way to