The New Sound of Music
by Yolande Morris
On the first Friday of March, hundreds of young adults gathered for the first-ever Night of Worship in the auditorium of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, a church renowned for its Grammy Award-winning choir.
MVMNT (Movement) is the largest gathering of young people in New York City. In the diverse crowd, you’ll find a mix of students, professionals and creative artists – actors, singers, and musicians – who were lured to New York by the bright lights of the concrete jungle. Now they spend their Friday nights spreading a different light throughout the city.
Until a few years ago, the world knew Jeannie Ortega for her hit pop single Crowded but since joining the MVMNT Worship Team, Jeannie has focused on telling others about the love of Jesus. Growing up, music was Jeannie's only escape from the horrors of her abusive home. When Hollywood Records signed her to their label, she was still in her early teens and spent the next several years recording and touring with artists like Rihanna and Papoose.
“Regardless of the success, I was still the same broken little girl inside,” said Jeannie. “Eventually, I fell madly in love with Jesus and could not stop talking about Him everywhere I went. It was not until I gave my life to Jesus that I found true fulfillment and joy.”
Brandon Camphor grew up a few hundred miles away in the Washington, D.C. area. He went to church regularly with his family and from an early age, he had a strong desire to do more to reach his generation through music. Despite starting his own successful gospel group as a teen, he began feeling an overwhelming sense of fear whenever he thought about the future.
“I had a season of life where I was running so far away from the call of God on my life,” said Brandon. “I wanted nothing to do with singing for the Lord. I was broken, confused and hurting, but despite it all, when no sermon or song could reach me the love of God pursued me. His love lifted me when nothing else could help.”
Now, there’s no more running from the past for Brandon and Jeannie. As they opened the night with the popular hymn Total Praise, there was an overwhelming sense of peace throughout the auditorium. Then, halfway through their set, Alexandria Fuentes, another worship team member, shared her testimony with the audience.
“The truth is that I have found that worship is such a powerful weapon that shuts the mouth of the devil, combating his lies and tactics,” said Alex. “When I choose to worship through the storm and lift my hands in the blazing fire and sing despite how I feel, I tell you God is always so faithful.”
As the team sang Great is Thy Faithfulness, hands went up all around the room in appreciation and agreement. Collectively, these singers have brought a new sound of music to downtown Brooklyn and lives will never be the same again.