At your selected time, meet your guide in front of the Trinity Church in lower Manhattan. Once the group is together, take the subway (own expense) to Brooklyn for an easy, 2-hour walking tour to discover the history of African American gospel music. Your experience culminates with a 2-hour live gospel performance.
On your walking tour, enjoy the iconic brownstone homes and stroll along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for an unbeatable view of the Manhattan skyline on the Hudson River. Along the way, your guide delves into the evolution of the genre, from its origins in American slavery to its influences on today’s Billboard charts. Pass by Plymouth Church, where the a cappella group known as the Jubilee Singers captivated New Yorkers, and put gospel music on the map. Keep your ears perked to learn about other important figures including Charles A. Tindley (aka the “Father of Gospel Music) and Thomas A. Dorsey, and how this inspirational music influenced a wide range of jazz, rock and blues musicians such as Elvis Presley and the Beatles.
After your walking tour of Brooklyn Heights, you'll arrive at the Brooklyn Tabernacle in the heart of downtown for a church service. What began with a handful of members in a small, run-down building is today a nondenominational congregation of nearly 10,000 people. It's perhaps best known for its Grammy Award–winning choir, which has catapulted the gospel genre into the hearts of people around the world. See for yourself as sermons get a boost from either the Brooklyn Tabernacle's own choir or from visiting gospel groups. You might find it hard to resist letting out a “hallelujah!” as the unified choir sings uplifting songs and hymns.
When the service is over, you are free to explore Brooklyn at your leisure with a provided map that notes subway stations and dining suggestions.
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Trinity Church, Lower Manhattan
Spanish (available on Spanish site only)
The Brooklyn Tabernacle
17 Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201