NIAGARA FALLS -- First Baptist Church was looking forward to a musical start to the new year.
The church on Main Street held its monthly "Gift of Music" concert series last Sunday, featuring music from the group Step In Time.
Monty and Marsha Jones, a husband-and-wife duo from Lewiston, performed songs that included music from the Scottish poet Robert Burns.
"It was a very fine people performance," said James Flood, music director for the church. "They do a very fine program of all Celtic music."
The concerts are normally held at 2 p.m. every second Sunday of the month in the church, 554 Main St.
A reception follows the performances.
Pianist Anne Davis, who teaches at Villa Maria College, is scheduled to perform at the event in February.
The concerts are free, although freewill donations are accepted.
The church first began holding concerts in the late 1980s as an extension of its nutrition program, which offered food and music to area senior citizens.
When the nutrition program ended, the church continued the concerts, which typically attract about 50 people.
"So we're moving along well here with our concert series," said Flood.
He also said the church's search for a new pastor has been moving along, as well.
Church members hope to hire a new pastor in the fall. The congregation has been without a full-time pastor since August and have invited guest pastors to deliver sermons on Sundays.
"We have no trouble filling the pulpit on Sunday," said Flood, adding that the congregation wants to hire a permanent pastor already in the area.
"We're on a very positive course," he said. "We have to take our time and find the right person. Upstate New York is not like every other section of the country. We have our own problems, socially and economically. Someone who is from the area would have a better feel for our type of area.
"We want to get someone who is going to be a good pastor. We have a very positive feel here, so things are definitely pointing upward."