Bishop Carl J. Graham

I met Pastor Carl Graham and his wife Peggy Graham in 1994 through an African American friend of mine named Marie. When we were first getting to know each other, I asked Marie if she knew of any churches with great Gospel choirs. I had grown up Jewish, but had been exposed to Gospel music at the alternative grammar school that I attended in Branford, Connecticut call Whitewood. I still remember my kindergarten teacher Mae Brown, her son Chuckie and the Gospel songs and Spirituals they sang to us during "morning meeting." Meeting Marie, brought me back to that time. Marie suggested we go to the Abyssanian Baptist Church in Harlem. About 20 minutes into the service we looked at each other and shook our heads. With so many buses dropping off tourists, the service felt more like performance than worship. At the next break in the service, we politely headed out onto the street.

Marie suggested that we head over to East Harlem where she and her then-husband sometimes sang at a small Pentecostal church. We walked up the church stairs as the Holy Tabernacle Radio Choir was mid-song. The music was so moving that I felt as if I floated into the sanctuary. After service we met the music director who invited us to sing with the Holy Tabernacle Radio Choir. Without any hesitation we

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