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Faith In Brooklyn for November 28: Brooklyn congregations named In top ten ‘Most Gospel’ churches

November 28, 2018 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir shows excitement as members prepare to sing the national anthem at President Barack Obama’s second-term inauguration in 2013. Photo Courtesy of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
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The First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, which is nearing its bicentennial in four years, is among several Brooklyn churches named in the radio station and website 1190 WLIB Top 10 ‘Most Gospel Churches.” 1190 WLIB identifies itself as “New York’s Gospel, inspiration and information station.”

First Presbyterian Church joins the Brooklyn Tabernacle (Downtown Brooklyn), the Temple of Restoration (Boerum Hill), the Christian Cultural Center (East New York) and United Pentecostal Deliverance (East Flatbush) in the Top Ten.

First Presbyterian Church attributes much of this accolade to its longtime minister of music, Amy Neuner, whom Pastor Adriene Thorne credits for having shaped the church’s music ministry and choir over many years.

The Brooklyn Tabernacle also is known for its choir ministry as well as its graceful sermons, according to WLIB. The six-time Grammy Award-winning choir, under the direction of Carol Cymbala, sang at President Obama’s 2013 inauguration.

The Temple of Restoration, a Pentecostal Ministry, also restored a former Lutheran church building at 490 Pacific Street. Restoration’s ministry started off with just a handful of people and currently has multiple locations, including at 490 Pacific St., with thousands of visitors and members attending service weekly.

Each day of the week has a different prayer and theme: For example, financial restoration on Mondays, health restoration on Tuesdays, and family restoration on Thursdays. The temple also provides a 24-hour prayer hotline.

The Christian Cultural Center [incorrectly named in WLIB’s story as the Christian Culture Center] began 40 years ago as a small congregation in Williamsburg.

The senior pastor, the Rev. A. R. Bernard, brought  his experience from a banking career into his ministry. WLIB’s Melissa Gabriel writes that the CCC “is infamously known for vibrant, modern and energetic sermons normally led by Pastor A. Bernard,” and also notes, “This church is the middle ground between personal life and personal mission, which is spiritual growth.”

United Pentecostal Deliverance is “an intimate church designed for all worshippers who enjoy shouting their love for Jesus to the heavens above. Providing a slew of passionate worshippers, United Pentecostal Deliverance encourages every visitor and member to leave their nerves at home and be prepared to dance their sins away!” writes Gabriel.

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Pro-Cathedral in Heights Celebrates Being ‘GRATEFUL’ with Dessert Cabaret

St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church is celebrating both the renovation of its parish hall and its designation as Pro-Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island this Friday night, as the landmark parish hosts “GRATEFUL,” a fundraiser cabaret and dessert event.

Attendees will enjoy homemade desserts and raise a glass to parish successes in ministry and service to its neighbors over the past year.

St. Ann’s fundraising cabaret brings in some all-star performers. Award-winning instrumentalist Micah Young will accompany Broadway singers Michael Winther and Tracy Michailidis on the piano as they perform classics from the American Songbook. Stand-up comedian Diana Yanez will kick-start a fun evening.

GRATEFUL takes place on Fri., Nov. 30, from 7-9 p.m. in the parish hall of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, 157 Montague St. (just west of Clinton Street).

Register through Brown Paper Tickets to attend GRATEFUL at any level.

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Faith in the Brooklyn Eagle Archives:

German Lutheran Church In Heights Marked Its 35th Anniversary

The religion section of the Monday, Nov. 30, 1891 Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported the 35th anniversary of Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The congregation had been founded on the first Sunday in Advent, 1855, which in that year, fell on Dec. 2 (as it does in 2018). According to the church’s website, Zion Church was established “when twelve German immigrants together with Pastor Friedrich W.T. Steimle worshiped in small stable on Washington Street.”

The article indicated that Zion was celebrating its 35th anniversary “by appropriate services, morning, afternoon and evening,” [although a count of the years between 1855 and 1891 would indicate 36 years].

“The Zion society is now a large one, but its growth has come from small beginnings. The present church building is capacious and is the original one erected in 1858. In those days, however, the congregation did not nearly fill it. Now, while the edifice is not by any means too small, it is always well-filled, the list of church members is considerably over two thousand, and the society is free from debt. The present pastor, Rev. E.C.J. Kraeling, has been in charge about five years.”

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The Brooklyn Eagle covered the installation and dedication of the Charles Jones Peabody Memorial Organ on Nov. 29, 1925. Built by Ernest Skinner that year, the organ was donated by George Foster Peabody, Charles’ brother. Peabody had died in February of the previous year.

The Peabody Memorial Organ as it is called, “comprises 4,718 pipes, ranging from 2 inches to 32 feet in length, as well as 20 chimes and a 61-note celesta,” according to the website of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, which the parish is now named.

The 1925 Eagle story begins, “As a monument memorial of a philanthropist, an active church worker and a devoted Christian, what could be finer than a great church organ in a place of worship he loved? That is the thought that actuated the $50,000 gift-installation by the heirs of Charles Jones Peabody in Holy Trinity Church. The dedication service yesterday was impressive. At the morning service, the pastor, the Rev. John Howard Melish, said of Mr. Peabody, ‘He was one of the foremost patrons of the arts, education and music that Brooklyn ever produced. It is indeed fitting that his memory be preserved through the universal appeal of music.’”

Bishop Stires, preaching at the evening service, said, “Music is the only universal language in the world today. It is the best means known to man to symbolize his highest ideals both of mind and spirit. This instrument is the most appropriate instrument to commemorate the life of Charles Jones Peabody, for the beauty and power of his personality will continue to express itself through the organ.”

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