May 13, 2009

13CN: Adventist Pastor Featured on Public Broadcasting News Program

Adventist Pastor Featured on
Public Broadcasting News Program
Wintley Phipps is profiled on “Religion & Ethics Newsweekly”
capHe’s sung for Presidents – including Barack H. Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan – and at Billy Graham’s crusades. Now, Wintley Phipps, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, has also been introduced to America’s homes via a weekly religious news program.
Phipps, 54, is pastor of the Palm Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in Palm Bay. Florida, and also a popular gospel music artist who’s been nominated for the prestigious “Grammy” award in the recording industry. He’s also the founder of the U.S. Dream Academy, which works with at-risk youth, including the children of prisoners, seeking to steer them into a better future, as an interview broadcast nationally on “Religion & Ethics Newsweekly,” a Public Broadcasting System program produced at WNET-TV in New York City, noted.
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AMAZING GRACE: Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Wintley Phipps’ ministry of music has brought him before U.S. Presidents and prisoners. Recently, he was featured on “Religion & Ethics Newsweekly,” a PBS news program. [Photos: Courtesy PBS]

The program, which airs nationally on 405 PBS stations and is seen by approximately 525,000 viewers, seeks to give viewers “distinctive, cutting-edge news coverage and analysis of national and international events in the ever-changing religious world,” according to its Web site. Dr. Barry C. Black, Jr., the 63rd Chaplain of the United States Senate, is another Seventh-day Adventist pastor who has been featured on the program, which is now in its twelfth year.

“Music is almost to me an echo of the sounds of the divine world,” Phipps told Kim Lawton, the show’s managing editor, during the interview. “And when you hear these sounds, it stirs something deeply spiritual within you. Music also is the most powerful way of impressing the human mind with hope.”
As Lawton noted, “Hope has been a hallmark, not only of Phipps’s musical career, but in his charitable efforts as well. … Born in Trinidad, he says hope was crucial in overcoming his own at-risk childhood.”
Phipps noted, “I was born to a troubled home. And I used to get away from my parents’ troubles — I had a little red tricycle. And I’d go in the back yard of my house and I would turn the tricycle on its side and use one of the backside wheels as a steering wheel. And I would sit there for hours. And I would dream that I was flying to faraway places in the world and meeting important people when I was six, seven years old.”
Once Phipps had committed himself to Christ, the Lord made that dream into a reality. Along with singing for presidents and world figures, he’s had a ministry in prisons and at several Seventh-day Adventist congregations.
“I’ve never had a manager or never had an agent,” Phipps said. “And yet some of the most wonderful moments that a singer could ever dream of have happened to me. And I believe it’s providential.”
The “Religion & Ethics Newsweekly” Website ( not only features the segment of the program featuring Phipps, but also an extended tape of the original interview. It also offers links to Phipps’ U.S. Dream Academy, as well as to a 2001 profile of Phipps currently posted on the Adventist Review Website.
             -- Reported by Adventist Review staff, with information from “Religion & Ethics Newsweekly”