on Wednesday, June 5, 2024

“Crescent City Worship,” a newly-named collection of students, staff and friends of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) and Leavell College, will release its first-ever album on streaming platforms in early June.  

The album was recorded live at the Abide Women’s Conference this past February and features Dove award-winning vocalist Meredith Andrews. It is currently available for pre-save and releases on all major streaming platforms on June 7.  

Nate Jernigan, assistant professor of music and worship for Leavell College, explained this collection of students, staff and friends of NOBTS has been leading worship in various settings at the school and around the country without any formal designation up to this point.  

This collection of around 20 or so musicians will now be known as Crescent City Worship, named after the nickname of the city of New Orleans, and the live album will serve as the group’s first official release.  

Jernigan said the album’s release fulfills a specific vision, but more broadly helps fulfill the institution’s mission to serve the Church.  

“Dr. Dew, upon accepting the position here, asked if I would work on an album project as soon as I got here,” Jernigan said. “A year and a half in, this is the culmination of that first attempt.  

“We (NOBTS) literally exist to train students to serve our churches. So, ultimately our goal is to serve the Church, specifically Southern Baptist churches. One way that we can do that is certainly by training students to go physically to those locations, I think another way to serve the churches in our constituency is to capture music that we believe is worth singing in our churches and to package them in a way that is creative, accessible for most churches and provides ultimately some resource for them to continue to find new music to sing.” 

Titled “Live at the 2024 Abide Conference,” the songs included on the 7-track album include: 

  • “The Joy” by The Belonging Co  
  • “The Lamb, The Lion, The King” by Meredith Andrews 
  • A medley of “Holy, Holy, Holy” and “Only a Holy God” 
  • A medley of “Holy Forever” and “Our God Reigns” 
  • “Come Thou Fount” 
  • “Abide” by Aaron Williams  

Jernigan said the group worked for several months to prepare songs that wouldn’t just work well for an album, but would specifically serve the women at the Abide Conference the best. 

“That was our number one goal before recording an album, and I think even that’s pretty key for our students to see,” Jernigan said.  

“Our goal cannot be to record an album at all costs. So, what songs will meet these ladies where they are and help them to engage with a Holy God who desires communion with them in the midst of this conference?  

“Then we started to think about how can we arrange these songs in unique ways that would feel fresh and could serve both the ladies at the conference and churches who get a chance to hear the music.  

“We decided on keys for the songs solely based of off what would serve the ladies at the conference the best. I think it’s special that it’s a live recording in Leavell Chapel. It seems right that our very first album is recorded in Leavell Chapel with our equipment, with our people, for our people. I hope that when people are listening to this album, they will be encouraged to hear 1,200 ladies worshipping along with them.”  

Meredith Andrews had just released her song “The Lamb, The Lion, The King,” shortly before the Abide Conference, and Jernigan said the conference was an incredible opportunity for members of Crescent City to perform with her and learn from her.  

“It was a unique opportunity to get to lead with a well-known recording artist who had just released music,” Jernigan said. “She was super encouraging to our team and our students getting the opportunity to lead alongside her is a pretty unique opportunity.” 

Andrews will return to perform with Crescent City Worship at the 2025 Abide Conference next February.  

Jernigan said Crescent City plans to produce music videos for the album and hopes to record new albums during this summer and at next year’s Abide Conference.  

Although releasing music will always be a goal, he said the ultimate purpose of Crescent City Worship has always been about something much greater. 

“Our future hope is just to continue to serve the Church really well,” Jernigan said. “It really is Dr. Dew’s conviction that we have to do whatever it takes to serve the Church. It felt like beginning to record and work through all the challenges of doing so is a worthy task to take on.”