pentecostal teens

interesting new york times article on the pentecostal church working to get teenagers (free registration required).

the first few paragraphs:

When Frankie Lora chuckles, his bass guitar bounces and he loses the beat. Sometimes the pianist next to him stumbles and can’t keep up with the choir. And one singer gets so emotional that she veers off into tearful shouts of praise.

If music is the motor that drives Pentecostal worship, the band and choir at Ark of Salvation for the New Millennium, a little storefront church in west Harlem, could use a tuneup. Ragged and off-key at times, they are easily outclassed when they sit in with the seasoned musicians at other churches.

Yet they grab attention for one simple reason: They are often the only teenagers in the room.

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