“Somewhere in between here and heaven”: Transcendence and singing in the spirit in two primitive Baptist churches
This thesis is concerned with the bridges forged between a spiritual realm and the everyday—the experience of transcendence. This bridging is explored within the particular experiences of members of Hollow Springs and Philadelphia Primitive Baptist Churches in Caldwell County, North Carolina, who gather each Sunday for song, prayer, and the Word. Entering the church building as individuals, they become a spiritual group, bound through their individual and collective spiritual and worship experiences. The goal is unity in the Spirit, through the Spirit as it dwells within each congregant. It is communication with God and communication with one another through God—spiritual knowledge and understanding, eyes to see and ears to hear, a soul-soothing foretaste of eternal salvation and immortal glory in Jesus Christ. It is a brief experience in the sacred realm of the Holy Spirit. This, while often resisting description through mere words, is the nature of experiences explored herein.