What should I expect on my first visit?

If you visit for worship, you’ll be greeted upon entering the Sanctuary and handed what we call the worship folder (our version of “the bulletin”), which includes the order of service plus our newsletter, the Tapestry. Worship generally lasts one hour. As a guest we won’t ask you to raise your hand or anything like that during the service. You can fill out your info on a card found in the pew rack or via QR code if you’re comfortable doing so.

If you’d like to try Sunday School, you might visit our Welcome Center in James Gallery, the glassed-in space north of the Sanctuary. The folks there will help you find a class and will walk you to it. Sunday School starts at 9:45 a.m. and lasts one hour.

Other helpful information

What time do I arrive?

Sunday School starts at 9:45 a.m., and our Welcome Center in James Gallery is staffed starting at 9:30. If you need help finding a class or if you have kids to get situated, you might arrive a few minutes early, but it’s nothing to stress about. Many of our adult classes start with a time of socializing and don’t begin their lesson until around 10. Worship starts at 11 a.m.

Where should I park?

There are parking spots reserved for guests in the small parking lot south of the Sanctuary (where the steeple is) and the large parking lot north of the building. Street parking around the church is also available. You can park at Hillside Village, the shopping center south of the church, but please do not park directly in front of a business.

Where do I enter the building?

This can be a bit confusing since we don’t have a main entrance. If you’re coming to worship, look for doors nearest the Sanctuary, the large part of our building where the steeple is. Greeters are stationed at the most commonly used entrances and can help you find your way. Note that we lock some of our doors at 11:15 a.m., after worship starts.

Is the church accessible to wheelchair users?

All but a few of our exterior doors are fully accessible. A notable exception is the side doors into the Narthex (the lobby at the back of the Sanctuary near Abrams Road). Wheelchair users can enter the Sanctuary through doors at the front. We have elevators that reach all floors of our building.

How big is the church?

Wilshire has about 1,200 active members, which makes us a good-sized church compared to most. But we’re nowhere near as large as the megachurches you’ll see in this part of the country. Many Wilshire folks feel we’re big enough to offer a lot of opportunities, but small enough that it feels like a family.

What should I wear when I visit?

Whatever you’re comfortable with. You’ll see everything from jeans and sneakers to suits and ties, but most people opt for a business-casual kind of look.

What is the worship style at Wilshire?

Worship at Wilshire could be called “traditional,” in that we sing hymns, we have a choir and pipe organ and we don’t have screens in the Sanctuary. But that doesn’t mean it’s all classical music or overly formal. You might hear songs with an acoustic or gospel vibe. And even with hymns, we like to mix in new ones (yes, there are new hymns!) with the old favorites. We follow the liturgical calendar, which gives our worship structure and logic as we observe the seasons of the church year like Lent and Advent.

May a visitor take communion?

Yes. Celebration of the Lord’s Supper, which happens during worship the first Sunday of every month, is open to all Christ followers.

How can I join the church?

You can join Wilshire in the following ways: 

  • By making a profession of faith and being baptized. Our method of baptism is immersion. (We are Baptist, after all.) 
  • By reaffirmation of a previous profession of faith and Christian baptism. If you’ve been baptized in another Christian tradition or by a method other than immersion, that works for us. (We are a different kind of Baptist, after all.)

When you’re ready to join, you can talk to any of our ministers or Carolyn Murray, coordinator of congregational life. Or you can fill out this online form.

Who can be baptized in your church?

Anyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism is an act of obedience to Christ and a public testimony of one’s faith. Because we view baptism in this way, Wilshire does not baptize infants or young children who are not capable of making their own choice to follow Christ. At Wilshire, children are nurtured and encouraged in the faith until such age as the child can make a personal commitment. New babies are recognized in worship with a family dedication.

Is childcare available?

Childcare is available for preschoolers younger than kindergarten age during worship. Children in kindergarten or older attend worship with their parents. The preschool hallway is secured requiring a code for entry. Guests can press a button on the wall and someone will come and welcome you and your children. The preschool hallway is located north of the Sanctuary parallel to James Gallery with doors at either end.

May I get married at Wilshire?

Yes, all couples seeking to be legally married in a Christian ceremony are welcome to have their wedding at Wilshire, even those who are not members of the church. Learn more about our facilities and policies here.

What should I do if I have more questions?

Feel free to contact any member of our staff. You might start with Carolyn Murray, who leads in outreach to guests and new member assimilation. You can also send an email to info@wilshirebc.org and your message will be directed to someone who will get back to you.