WASHINGTON, D.C. – Musicians and scholars will lead “God’s Gonna Trouble the Water: Freedom’s Call and Response in African American Spirituals” on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. ET at Washington National Cathedral to commemorate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The evening will feature musicians, narratives, reflections and speakers from the Cathedral, Howard University and Wesley Theological Seminary. Musical selections will include “Wade in the Water,” “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” “Wake Up This Morning,” “Go Down Moses,” “This Little Light of Mine,” “We Shall Overcome” and “Alabama,” John Coltrane’s searing response to the Birmingham church bombing of 1963. The event is free and open to the public with a reservation.

“Spirituals tell the often untold story of a people in their struggle to survive and be free from the tyranny of slavery,” said the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, Canon Theologian at Washington National Cathedral. “Through rhythms and song, enslaved people crafted a music that served as a testament to their faith and humanity as it contested the ideologies and institutions that enslaved them. We dedicate this night to honor their faith and their lives and to call on a time when all God’s children will be free.”

“God’s Gonna Trouble the Water” is part of an ongoing series on racial reconciliation at Washington National Cathedral. The program is one of the first from the Rev. Andrew Barnett, the Cathedral’s associate for music and worship, who is integrating jazz, gospel music and global song into the institution’s worship and music programs.

Media interested in covering “God’s Gonna Trouble the Water” should contact Natalie Longwell, West End Strategy Team at 202-776-7700 or via email at [email protected].


WHAT: God’s Gonna Trouble the Water: Freedom’s Call and Response in African American Spirituals

WHEN: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW



The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, Washington National Cathedral

The Rev. Dr. Rosemarie Logan Duncan, Washington National Cathedral

Prof. Kehembe Eichelberger, Howard University

Stanley Thurston, Artist-in-Residence, Washington National Cathedral

Prof. Eileen Guenther, Wesley Theological Seminary




Washington National Cathedral is a house of prayer for all people called to serve as a spiritual home for the nation. It seeks to be a catalyst for spiritual harmony in our nation, reconciliation among faiths, and compassion in our world. Learn more at www.cathedral.org.