Upon arrival at Warner Temple AME Zion, where we would be having a concert the following afternoon, we had our first rehearsal with Uncle Jeff. Like a commander over his troops, he kindled into flame our enthusiasm and channeled our energy and focus into singing with authority and unity. “God is your audience,” he reminded us, “they’re just fellow participants,” as he waved over the empty pews that next day would be filled with worshipers. With the time zone change and springing the clocks ahead, we lost two hours that day, but no time was lost in light of the eternity we have to praise a God who reigns forever.
DAY 2 (Sunday): Glory, Glory, Hallelujah
We settled into the hotel for the night and woke up to join a morning service at Freedom’s Way Ministries. It was an honor to worship alongside not only their own congregation and talented musicians but also a gospel choir from another college also on their spring break tour. In a spirit of faith, thankfulness, and total dependence on God, we took time during the service to lift up Pastor Calvin and cry out to God for his need for physical healing, confident that He hears us in His goodness. As individuals, a choir, and the universal body of Christ, we are a living sacrifice of the service of worship, and we would do well to follow Pastor Cal’s example of surrendering to God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2). The people at Freedom’s Way welcomed us and fed us a wonderful meal before we headed back to Warner Temple.
The afternoon concert began with Warner Temple’s own gospel choir, whose black and red color scheme coordinated with ours (unplanned by humans but known in advance by God :). Their choir and ours ministered to each other arrangements of Psalm 23, different but both powerful. We ended after two hours of musical worship with an integration of the two choirs proclaiming that “every praise is to our God.” After another wonderful meal provided by the church, we left for the hotel to begin twenty-four hours of free rest time, which we planned to spend in fellowship with one another, exploring the beach, visiting historic sites and memorials in Wilmington, and resting to start up rehearsing and singing again. — Nina