Pastor Jim and Carol Cymbala were newly married and quickly launched into ministry despite their lack of formal training. While pastoring in New Jersey, they were asked to also take on a small, struggling church on the verge of closing down in Brooklyn, NY. The church had a handful of members, who met in a rundown building. After pastoring both churches for two years, they felt led to give themselves full-time to the struggling work in Brooklyn.

The early days of their ministry were filled with discouragement and challenges of every kind. Pastor Cymbala found himself on the verge of giving up and desperately cried out to God for a breakthrough. God clearly revealed that the church was to be built on the foundation of prayer, and this would be the source of the blessing and breakthrough that were needed.  As a result, a new emphasis on prayer was established in the church, and the mid-week prayer meeting became recognized as the most important meeting of the week. God was faithful to bless the small congregation as they witnessed him answer prayer, move powerfully in their meetings, and add to their congregation with testimonies of miraculous life transformation.

Today The Brooklyn Tabernacle is still in the heart of downtown Brooklyn and is a multi-ethnic, non-denominational church with about 10,000 people who attend services each week. The church continues to emphasize the importance of prayer as the engine that drives the church, as thousands join together each week to pray for needs around the world. Over the years God has given the church a worldwide platform to proclaim the gospel through the music ministry of The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. Thousands of visitors come through the doors of the church each year to witness how God is able to unite people of all races and backgrounds in his love.