This blog contains a bit of self indulgence but bear with me. “I’ve never been this homesick before” is a line from a Dottie Rambo classic. And, it was quite appropriate as Brotherhood made their way to the big Apple – New York City. You see, it was a homecoming for me. This native Bronxite (NY Yankee turf) had mixed emotions and feelings about going home again. Not only to my hometown but to my home church! It was where I heard about and received Jesus Christ as my savior, “cut my teeth” on gospel music, had extended family and learned to trust Him at all times.
My father passed away when I was just 15 years old and I missed out on father-son things. But I did have good “father figures” in the church (thank God). However, I truly saw faith in action through my mother, Vickie. A prayer warrior, she always had a smile, was willing to help someone in need and cared genuinely about others. Being an only child, Mom managed the household on a tight budget but I never felt I lacked anything. She was also my friend who played games and made me always feel secure. When not doing chores, I would see her reading the Bible, preparing a Sunday school lesson, write cards of encouragement or speak with someone on the phone who had a need. Her strong faith and dependence on our heavenly Father showed me what a Christian should be on a daily basis. I know it’s near Father’s Day but… thanks Mom!
And, now for Brotherhood’s NYC concert ministry tour! We are bodily tired but spiritually refreshed after a fabulous and miraculous weekend. It was not just gospel music but worship and altar work – just like the old times! We witnessed in the subways and Phil even led 2 men to Christ on the streets outside the Bronx church! We are no longer strangers in a foreign land as New Yorkers (and New Jerseyites) welcomed us with open arms and hearts. And, we consider ourselves an eclectic gospel group as Brotherhood covers the gamut – southern, country, hymns, praise & worship. We just don’t do hard rock, hip hop or rap but do appeal to a broad body of believers.
Brooklyn (Coney Island) got us started Friday night, Saturday took us to Nutley, NJ. Then we had a Sunday doubleheader - AM in the Bronx and PM in Ossining (Westchester). Nearly 400 miles travelled in this local area! But the concert ministries were a blast and a blessing, praise God! Favorites included, “Give It Away”, “He Made A Change”, “Roll Away” and our latest “Jesus Messiah”. Kids, youth and adults enjoyed the candy tosses as we “gave them away”. They all joined in singing worship choruses of “His Name Is Wonderful”, “There’s A Sweet, Sweet Spirit”, “Mansion Over The Hilltop” and Brotherhood’s acappella arrangement of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus/In The Cross”. Afterwards we had a chance to meet and greet the folks. Some of their comments were, "It was a breath of fresh air", "Can I join you guys and be your sound man?" and "The people were totally blessed and I know that our pastor will have you back again!".
Altar ministry was a major highlight as many came forward to receive salvation, baptism in the Holy Spirit, rededication and healings of all kinds (physical, emotional, etc.). Yes, you can return home and yes Jesus Christ does live and dwell in the “city that doesn’t sleep” and deeply needs Him. We encourage the church of NYC to arise and go forth and prosper. The enemy has no hold on you, so take the city in Jesus name!
Being made honorary citizens, Brotherhood will always keep you in our prayers. We expect to hear great things from the Big Apple in the near future. Remember that this is “our temporary home, it’s not where we belong”. Our home’s in heaven just waiting for you and me!!! Amen.
Remember... be at the Father's House on Father's Day!