Observance of the Christian year has greatly increased in the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. during the past twenty years. A growing number of well-trained pastors, educational resources offered by the denomination, and innovative use of art forms have all been instrumental in overcoming the historic Baptist resistance to such observance.
While music has always been among the most important elements in black Baptist churches, there has been little uniformity in practice, largely because local congregations depended mostly on pastoral leadership and lacked professional directors of music. Recent years have seen the introduction of instruments other than the piano and organ and the prevalence of popular music styles. There is a new emphasis on the other arts as well, as reflected in colorful clergy and choir vestments and in the introduction of drama.