Beginning Feb. 12, the church will add a fourth service. The new times will be 8 a.m. (traditional worship style), 9:15 a.m. (contemporary), 10:30 a.m. (blended styles) and the new 11:45 a.m. service - an additional contemporary service.

Immanuel Baptist Church Pastor Dr. Todd Fisher will be back in a familiar situation on Feb. 12.

When the church added a third worship service in 2009, he wasn't sure how the church would respond. At the time the church had two services ? a traditional service and a blended worship style. The new service was going to be a contemporary service ? drums, guitars, the works. That style is more common now, but when the service was added, it was relatively unique among Southern Baptist congregations.

Fisher was wondering if the idea was going to be a flop.

“When the first service started, I was standing on the front row and no one was there," Fisher said. "But by the end of the fourth song, Scott (Schooler, Senior Associate Pastor) was opening the doors to the overflow rooms and I wondered why." When Schooler came and sat next to him, Fisher asked why he opened the overflow rooms.

“He looked at me and said, 'Turn around,'" Fisher said. The worship center was filling up quickly and the new service has been close to capacity since.

“We saw an increase of 300 people overnight and since that first week we have been trying to figure out what to do next,” Fisher said.

Once again, the staff of Immanuel Baptist Church thinks it has a solution to its “problem” with attendance. The worship center currently has about 470 seats and two of the three services have people in the overflow rooms adjacent to the worship center.

The church had planned to build a larger worship center when they first moved from Main Street to the 45th Street location. But the staff didn’t think that a big building with a bigger price tag was the best idea for the church or the best way to use the church’s money.

“Several of my pastor friends with 1,500 seat worship services say they become an albatross around your neck,” Fisher said. “Financially, they are a burden and many people now are looking for more informal and intimate worship services.”

Because of that, the church is changing its Sunday morning worship service schedule again. This time, it will be 11:45 a.m. when Fisher takes his spot on the front row and waits to see if people come.

The church currently has services at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. with Sunday School classes at 9:30 and 11 a.m.

Beginning Feb. 12, the church will add a fourth service. The new times will be 8 a.m. (traditional worship style), 9:15 a.m. (contemporary), 10:30 a.m. (blended styles) and the new 11:45 a.m. service - an additional contemporary service.

The changes won’t stop at timing, however. Thanks to a vote of the church’s members, the worship center will be losing about 70 seats to a raised and enlarged stage area.

With the smaller seating capacity, and an additional service, the church will have room for 200 more people without opening the overflow areas each week.

“Inviting people in the Shawnee area to visit IBC to experience the teaching of the Bible and Christian community is an important value for us,” Fisher said. “The new worship service will give us some room to accomplish this goal.”

There will also be new audio and visual equipment installed to improve the experience for the hundreds of people who watch the church’s services online each week.

The number of people who watch online fluctuates depending on the weather, but each week hundreds of people tune in.

“We decided that adding the fourth service, enlarging the stage and improving the video equipment were all very important and less expensive ways we could improve our services and have a chance to reach more people without spending too much money,” Fisher said.

The construction projects will begin and the new service schedule will begin Feb. 12.