Wednesday, September 30, 2015


As fall sets in, Brotherhood's schedule gets busier and busier. Fall is typically the start of an annual life cycles' end - just before winter. Brotherhood sees it a little bit differently. It's the best time to bring the gospel message in song since everyone is back from vacations, settled back at churches and home before the holidays roll around. Our schedule will take us to some new places and new faces that I'll share about briefly.

Before leaving for our NY/NJ tour, we had a great kick-off concert at Longwood Community Church of God. It was a "warm up" for what was to come in NYC and enabled us to test new material locally. We met new folks and old friends who enjoyed and were blessed by our unique blend and presentation of the Word in song - our brand of gospel music. One dear friend was so glad that we bring back the classics that have been forgotten or seldom sung such as "The Lighthouse" and "How Great Thou Art".

Brotherhood was very anxious to return to our friends and family "up north". And what a time we had!!! It has always been a destination we thoroughly enjoy - ministry, fellowship, food, friends, etc. But this tour was memorable and will be cherished for a long time.

Besides our 4 concerts in 3 days, Brotherhood was able to provide evangelism training (led by Phil) Saturday morning and then "hit the streets" right afterwards in Coney Island (Brooklyn). Their pastor was quite pleased  by those who came for training from the church (13). He didn't even have a sign up sheet so he had no expectation level. I believe the one hour spent at the projects netted 10-12 new believers and rededications. Praise God for those who are taking an outreach approach to winning souls to Jesus Christ. If the people don't come to you or your church - you go to them!

Besides singing, each Brotherhood member had an opportunity to share the gospel message. John on Saturday night, Dan on Sunday night and Phil on Friday night & Sunday morning. Mel, our bass, shared with the children on Sunday morning in the Bronx. He has a soft, tender heart and can effectively speak to kids. With tears flowing, he shared a personal story when he was a youngster that really ministered to them.

While praying and preparing song selections for the 4 churches, John felt led to change things up a bit and break right after singing "Healer" for an altar call for healing. That's not done at regular gospel concerts but again, Brotherhood is eclectic and unique.

In Brooklyn (Coney Is.), the pastor asked if we could do an evangelism training on Saturday AM. That's Phil's "hot button"/ passion, so he led a training session & then took teams to the local projects (low income housing). We had a splendid time with divine encounters producing approx. 10 people making decisions for Christ or re-dedications. The church will do follow up work, too. P.S. So good to see Aldo after so many years.

On Saturday night, we returned to Nutley, New Jersey after a few years absence and was rewarding in many ways. the genuine love we shared in word and song was just what the people needed and was so rewarding in many ways. many were hearing Brotherhood for the first time & I believe the pastor was equally encouraged. At altar call, it was the first time we ever heard a request "to be a better husband" - amen to that!

Sunday morning in the Bronx was special to John because it's always a homecoming celebration. That's where he was born & raised with many precious memories around the altar, choir, Christmas programs, Sunday School, youth, etc. It's where he received Christ and was baptized in water. Quite an overwhelming, joyful sight to see church growth & leadership taken by young couples and their children. My close friend's grandson now sings on the praise team - led by his mother!! I think we're getting older! It was fun having Vinnie, their bass player, join Brotherhood on "Mansion Over he Hilltop".

Can't forget the great fellowship & Italian food that many folks prepared - what "northern hospitality" - praise God!

Our final stop was at Ossining in Westchester County (just north of New York City) and that was a blessed event. We reacquainted with pastor, family and friends who thoroughly enjoyed our brand of gospel music. Dan brought a challenging message, as well. Again, altar time was special & John had the opportunity to pray with some old friends from the Bronx (they're all over the place!). One is a 103 year old who sat in the SS class taught by John's mother! Sis. Panzitta is still going strong and looks wonderful.

We look forward to hearing great things form the NY/NJ area. the people are hungry for the word and it's not as dark as you think. In fact, keep revival in America in your prayers!!

Remember... be blessed and be a blessing.