Leaders from the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and from the music programs for Ipswich Public Schools addressed the Gordon College undergraduate and graduate classes of 2010, respectively, during the 118th graduation ceremonies.
On Friday, May 14, Carol Cymbala, founder and director of the world-renowned Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir in New York, spoke at the 5 p.m. Baccalaureate Service in the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel. On Saturday, May 15, at 10 a.m. on the quad in front of Frost Hall, Jim Cymbala, senior pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, addressed the class during the Commencement Exercises. This year an estimated 343 students will receive bachelor’s degrees in the liberal arts and sciences from Gordon.
“We are honored to have these gifted and influential leaders address our students,” said President R. Judson Carlberg. “Each is highly respected in his or her field and will undoubtedly inspire our graduates as they transition into the next phases of their careers.”
Though she cannot read or write music, Carol Cymbala began the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir with nine people in the early 1980s. Since their first performance, the choir—which is comprised of attorneys, former street people, nurses and ex-crack addicts from various ethnic and economic backgrounds—has grown to 250 voices and gained international acclaim and attention. She has received five Dove Awards and six Grammys and composed hundreds of songs, 51 of them recorded on over 23 albums, and many translated into languages such as Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, French, Portuguese and various African dialects.
Pastor Cymbala has trained pastors, small-group workers and missionaries throughout New York City, Haiti, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Israel. Many leaders for these works have emerged from the Brooklyn Tabernacle congregation, which itself represents many parts of the world. Through his leadership as senior pastor, the Tabernacle has moved to a 250,000-square-foot New Smith Street Campus in Brooklyn and provides a wide range of ministries and social services for their urban neighbors, including a youth center, adult literacy programs, activities for seniors, outreach events for preteen children, and many others.
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Gordon College 2010 Baccalaureate Address