Today I had the unique joy and honor of participating in an interfaith prayer service at the Historic Ebenezer Baptist church. I participated not only as a parishioner, but as a guest member of the house band, a composer of spiritual music, and a creator of interfaith liturgy.
A number of years ago I wrote a song called, “Rise Up.” Since then it’s become a “standard” part of the worship service when two of Atlanta’s preeminent faith communities: The Temple and Ebenezer Baptist Church join forces for a pulpit exchange in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend– one of Atlanta’s most important civic holidays.
In those moments of artistic doubt, when I wonder whether the music that I write actually has the potential to change the world, I come back to experiences like the one I had today. Surrounded by some of Atlanta’s finest faith-based musicians, on the dais of the pulpit once occupied by Martin Luther King Jr. and “Daddy” King before him, supporting an interfaith choir more than 100 voices strong. In these moments I know that music is one of the most powerful platforms that I have for adding my voice to the conversation. It’s humbling and emboldening, authentic and surreal, all at the same time.
If you want to hear the recorded version of “Rise Up” featuring the Mt. Zion 2nd Baptist Church Choir you can download it for free by clicking here.