Minister compares worship to 1st-century church

caines | 10/25/2012, 5:30 a.m.

Singing is a command given to everyone, minister says

Minister Aldanzo Pratt, 58, of Magnolia Park Church of Christ in Opa-Locka is our pastor of the week who would rather not be referred to as pastor. He is a man of God who does not answer to the name reverend. His church members mostly call him brother because they believe that we are all brethren. Pratt, and other ministers of churches of christ, live by Matt. 23: 8, where Jesus says But you are not to be called Rabbi for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. Pratt says he and other church members believe in staying true to the New Testament of the Bible and keeping their church as similar to the 1st century church as much as they can. Sarah Lewis, 47, said Pratt is a great leader and he only takes his orders from God. "Many religions change over the years because of cultural changes," Pratt said. "But if we don't see it in the New Testament, we don't do it." When attending a Church of Christ worship service, you may notice that there are some differences from many other churches. Along with the minister being treated the same as everyone else, the churches also have worship service without instruments. There are no choirs and all church members sing a cappella. According to Pratt, in the New Testament, all commands that were music-related lead to using the voice; there are no examples that include instruments, according to Pratt. Even if you cant sing, you still sing because youre singing to God and he loves it, said Nathaniel Brazil, 65. "Singing, the command, is given to everyone; not a few Pratt said. It is not given to any one person. It is given to the entire church," Pratt, a former horn player and music group manager, has wholeheartedly embraced a cappella music. Incorporates love for music He is the founder of the National Academy of Christian A cappella Music a non-profit organization that assists in the development of Christian A cappella music interests and also The Christian A cappella Music Awards, a ceremony founded by Pratt and his wife Ruby Pratt in 1992. At the ceremony one of the goals is to bring about awareness of A cappella music, performers are recognized and encouraged to continue to perform. Pratt has been a part of the music industry for numerous years in the 1970s he was a back up musician for several R&B bands and it was very hard for him to adhere to Gods call at the time. Now music is more of a hobby, and he puts his ministering first. I think music is a catalyst for saving souls because people do identify with music and are able to actually be ministered to by spiritual songs, Pratt said. If I was not involved in music, I would still minister and help people in being saved. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com