Members of the Messiah Miracle Worship Center, a small church in Senoia, Georgia, perform music together. Photographer Ben Helton is from Senoia and was drawn to the sounds coming from behind the church's walls. He was welcomed in by the congregation, and he visited 19 times over several months.
An evangelist jumps for joy during a service. Helton shot photos with a handheld flash, creating images full of hard light, shadows and layers.
Helton found a strong family dynamic in the church, which he said isn't much larger than a two-car garage.
A long-exposure photograph of one of the church members singing.
A man named Willie prays.
Old and young worship together. Helton was initially unsure how members of this close-knit African-American church would react to a stranger, who isn't religious, taking photos of them. But he was invited back, and he said he formed close ties to members of the congregation.
A visiting pastor blesses a church member during a passionate sermon.
Children attend Sunday school.
Pastor Roger Foster, the founder of the church, plays a keyboard while Willie helps his young son keep his timing on the drums.
"They were giving me so much," Helton said. "I can't imagine another church that would let me come in and do that."
Foster's brother feels the spirit as he kneels.
A church member collapsed to the floor during a praise break, Helton said. She was helped up.
A boy sleeps at the close of a service.