October 9, 2019

Witherspoon Presbyterian Names New Music Director

WITHERSPOON WELCOMES GITTENS: The historic Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church has announced the appointment of Michael Raymond Gittens as its new music director.

Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church (WSPC), 124 Witherspoon Street, has named Michael Raymond Gittens as the new music director for the historic church, which is one of the oldest African American Presbyterian congregations in New Jersey.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Gittens has over 30 years experience performing in churches, recitals, and concert halls. He studied music at the Juilliard School of Music and at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College. He has performed organ recitals throughout New York City, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and at St. George’s Episcopal Church. Gittens has also appeared in solo performances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.

At Carnegie Hall, Gittens served as a guest choral conductor in concerts with artists such as Elton John, Sting, Diana Ross, James Taylor, and Don Henley. He also has been an accompanist, arranger, and songwriter on several gospel music recordings.

In addition to his new role at Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church, Gittens currently serves as a choral assistant at the Princeton Theological Seminary.

“I give thanks and honor to God for blessing me with my musical abilities and for leading me on this new journey to Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church,” said Gittens. “I am looking forward to working with the pastor and members of the church to bring a ‘joyful noise unto the Lord’ with our choirs and other performance offerings.”

“I am delighted to welcome Michael to our congregation,” said Pastor Lukata Mjumbe, designated pastor for Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church. “He is a talented musician and we are blessed that he has decided to share his gifts with us. I am looking forward to the creation of a robust music program under his leadership.”

Worship service at WSPC is on Sundays at 10 a.m. and is open to all visitors. For more information, contact the church at witherspoon@verizon.net or visit www.witherspoonchurch.org.