(CNSNews.com) – A “faith briefing” at the White House this week saw Christian music artists hold an impromptu worship session, singing songs of praise near the Oval Office.
In social media posts, some participants, including Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) recording artists, described learning more about the administration’s faith-based initiatives, and having what they called an remarkable experience of singing praise songs in that location.
Several phone-captured video clips were posted, included one by Christian rock and pop artist Tauren Wells showing attendees singing, without accompaniment, the Hillsong Worship song, “What a beautiful name.”
Other clips included snatches from “How great is our God” and “Thank youLord for saving my soul.”
“What a privilege to declare the name of Jesus in worship and in prayer today at the White House,” Wells posted on Instagram. “I was challenged, informed, convicted, & inspired at the faith briefing w/ many peers in the CCM industry. The church has a great opportunity to rise with grace & truth in this hour.”
“Yesterday shook me,” posted Bethel Church worship leader Jenn Johnson. “I came into the meeting at the White House w/ no agenda but to love & pray. I was overcome to tears w/ deep conviction to pray more for, not only our president but also the men & women leading beside him.”
“What a special moment yesterday at White House for a faith briefing with some of the nations‘ top Christian Music Artists as we all broke out in song and prayer right there in the White House, just steps away from the Oval Office,” said Christian businessman and political consultant Ryan Higgins. “We can’t let politics stop each of us from doing our biblical part inside of the government.”
“Completely moved and inspired by what we got to be a part of today at the Faith Briefing at the White House,” said Christian musician Sarah Reeves. “The media can portray such a distorted picture of our leaders but today we prayed, worshiped and learned a bit more truth behind the scenes. Truly proud to be an American. Thank you to our president and leaders who fight for our freedom daily.”
“Wow. What a day. Had the honor to go the White House for a Faith Briefing with key administration officials and faith leaders,” said Bethel Music director of events, Dominic Shahbon. “Specifically, to hear about faith initiatives that are happening. Great things are taking place whether the media tells us or not! Let’s just say that I’m leaving Washington, DC stirred, hopeful, convicted and informed with TRUTH.”
Christian singer and songwriter Kari Jobe said attendees had learned about “incredible things that are going on behind the scenes that media and news never talk about. Projects to rescue victims of Human trafficking, rehabilitate former inmates, take care of foster children, help neighborhoods and communities that are falling apart, help rebuild cities after tragedy .. just to name a few.”
“I don’t engage in political jargon & conversations – but I do engage when the Holy Spirit puts a burden to pray or do whatever He has spoken and obey Him,” she said. “I was moved and reminded to pray every day for our leaders and government.”
Ben Calhoun and Daniel Olsson of the Illinois-based Christian rock band Citizen Way said those they met with at the White House “told us how it really is and they aren’t afraid to call on the name of Jesus either. Let’s lift our nation’s leaders up to the Lord together!”
Members of We Are Messengers, an Irish worship band based in Nashville, Tenn., said the visit had given them “a genuine sense of Hope for this nation.”
“God is in control and has people at the very top level of Government who are working day in and day out to reach people with the love of Christ, to raise up the lowly, to take care of widows and orphans, to re-energize communities and faith communities all across the USA,” they said. “We need to pray for this Government and unite with them in the Work they are doing.”
“What an amazing day at The White House,” said Pastor Paula White, an evangelical advisor to the president who reportedly organized the briefing. She said the day “closed out with a time of worship and prayer! I wish everyone would come up and experience this! #realnews.”
The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives was established by President George W. Bush a week after taking office in January 2001, as a way to enhance the capacity of faith-based and community groups to provide federally-funded social services, by removing legal and institutional barriers preventing them from doing so.
President Obama renamed the initiative the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and also established an advisory council.
President Trump in an executive order last May renamed it the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative, to empower faith-based organizations and “promote religious freedom.”
A number of key government departments now have Faith and Opportunity directors. They include the departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security, Labor, Commerce, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Veteran Affairs and USAID.