Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir to Perform for Obama at Inaugural Ceremony

Inauguration Credit Steve JurvetsonBrooklyn, New York — The renowned Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, known both for its award-winning music and testimonies of changed lives, is scheduled to perform at the upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama.

According to reports, the Grammy-winning choir had been invited to the Inauguration in June of last year by United States Senator Charles Schumer of New York, who serves as the chairman of the 2013 Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Schumer, a Democrat, states that he is a “frequent visitor” of Brooklyn Tabernacle Church.

“I am honored for the opportunity to plan the Presidential Inauguration festivities, and today I’m pleased to invite Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir to perform at the 57th Inauguration in January,” he stated last year upon extending the invitation. “As a frequent visitor to their wonderful congregation, I know from first-ear experience how amazing this choir is, and I know they will wow the whole nation, too. I know this invitation is music to their ears, and they will send their talented, Grammy award-winning singers to represent my hometown Brooklyn in the nation’s capital. I look forward to Pastor Jim Cymbala’s decision, as I know the choir will showcase the best that New York has to offer.”

The choir is set to sing their unique rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” at the Inaugural ceremonies on January 21st at the U.S. Capitol.

“It definitely is, of course, humbling and such an honor being selected,” spokesman Jeremy Castro told reporters. “It wasn’t something we pitched. It’s just good to know that … the choir and the ministry of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, that it’s actually having impact in the city of New York and in the nation enough to be asked to be a part of this occasion.”

The Brooklyn Tabernacle is one of the most-known megachurches in America, with an approximate 16,000 members. Jim Cymbala has pastored the church for over 30 years, and his wife Carol directs the choir.

Their appearance at the Inauguration comes at a time when Passion conference founder Pastor Louie Giglio bowed out of his invitation to deliver the benediction at the event following criticism from homosexual advocates. Giglio had originally accepted the invite, but decided to drop out two days later after an old sermon was brought to the forefront where he stated that Christ can set men free from the sin of homosexuality.

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In his statement issued Thursday, Giglio outlined that homosexual behavior is not a focus his ministry, and that he feared his appearance at the Inauguration might turn the occasion into an argument over the issue.

“Due to a message of mine that has surfaced from 15-20 years ago, it is likely that my participation, and the prayer I would offer, will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration,” he wrote. “Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years. Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.”

There has been much disagreement among evangelicals regarding whether Giglio should have backed out of the ceremony, including his reasoning for doing so.

Photo: Steve Jurvetson

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  • Monique Dominique

    New International Version (©1984)
    I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent

    Luke 15:7

    Like the title of their song says, “God is working.”

  • Richard Dominique

    Like Pastor Jonathan Cahn, the author of the nation-awakening book,the Harbinger, being invited to speak at the inaugural breakfast, the invitation of BT’s Choir is,similarly, God-orchestrated. If Manasseh, ancient Judah’s longest reigning and most wicked king can be brought to repentance, so can President Obama. Borrowing the title from the Brooklyn Tabernacle’s song, “God is working” indeed, but, of course, we need to pray hard.

  • Jan

    Are we not called to be salt & light in this dark world? How can we show Christ’s love unless we are willing to go into the Lion’s Den to speak God’s Truth in word or through music? Jesus went into the homes of those who most needed to hear the Good News & the Pharisees condemned him for it.

    • Joseph Frank Gambino

      Jesus didn’t go into the houses of State Officals, He went into the houses of everyday people, and He left them changed people. When Jesus called Herod (a State Offical) a “Fox” no ‘religious’ people condemned Him for such language. As for speaking God’s Truth through music, I assure you that they won’t be singing “The Old Rugged Cross”. And I find it interesting that Sen Schumer is a “frequent visitor” to the Brooklyn Tabernacle. I guess he’s wanting to hear the Gospel preached…OR they’re not preaching the Gospel at BT. I asked around and found out that BT is mostly a Black Church. You might know that most African-Americans support President Obama. It’s interesting, however, that you realize the area around President Obama can be equated with going into a “Lion’s Den”:):)