by AT News Team
The well-known gospel singer who is pastor of the Palm Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church near Melbourne, Florida, will be part of a prayer service at the National Cathedral during the inaugural festivities for President Barak Obama’s second term. Pastor Wintley Phipps has performed for United States presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.
Phipps is also founder and chief executive officer of the Dream Academy, a nonprofit that provides educational assistance for some 18,000 at-risk children in ten cities across the country. It focuses on the children of prisoners with the goal of “breaking the cycle.”
The 58-year-old ordained minister has produced 22 albums since 1984 and was nominated for Grammy Awards in 1988 and 1989. He has been interviewed on the Oprah Winfrey Show and appeared on Robert Schuller’s television program, singing as well for Billy Graham Crusades, at Rosa Parks’ 77th Birthday gala at the Kennedy Center, at the Vatican, and at the 1984 and 1988 Democratic National Conventions.
The Dream Academy raised $2.6 million in the most recent year of record, including nearly $900,000 from government grants, a million dollars from individual donations and over $600,000 from benefit concerts. Board members include a number of prominent Adventists, such as Admiral Barry Black, chaplain of the United States Senate; Dr. Ben Carson, a medical school faculty member at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; Dr. Leslie Pollard, the president of Oakwood University; and Dr. David Williams, a faculty member at Harvard University.
Phipps was born in Trinidad and grew up in Montreal, Canada. He graduated from Oakwood University and completed a seminary degree at Andrews University.
The Palm Bay Church has a membership of nearly 600 and is located near Interstate 95 in an outer suburban county of the Orlando metropolitan area. It is affiliated with the Southeastern Conference.