Keyboardist Myron McKinley has performed with the likes of Chaka Kahn, Mary J. Blige, Harry Connick Jr. and Whitney Houston. On a recent Sunday at First Baptist Church in Pittston, he added Pastor James Breese to his resume.
Currently the musical director with recording legends Earth, Wind and Fire, McKinley was in Northeastern Pennsylvania when the group performed at Mount Airy Casino in the Poconos. Bob Lussi, well known West Pittston funeral director and prominent member of First Baptist Church, invited McKinley to attend the Sunday morning service in Pittston and he obliged. Lussi picked him up and brought him to First Baptist.
Lussi, who along with his wife, Jane, has attended several Earth, Wind and Fire concerts and has met the group on several occasions, knows the band is the favorite of Pastor Breese. Three years ago, he brought Pastor Breese to Atlantic City to attend a concert and meet the members of the group. Two years ago, through the efforts of fellow parishioner Tim Nulton, a plaque with the mounted drumsticks of Earth, Wind and Fire drummer John Paris was presented to Breese on the occasion of his 10th anniversary at First Baptist.
McKinley’s visit was a surprise not only to the First Baptist congregation but also to Pastor Breese himself.
McKinley, who also performs with his own group, the Myron McKinley Trio, accepted an invitation to sit down at the piano and played his interpretation of “Amazing Grace.” He dedicated the song to his mother, who passed away two years ago.
McKinley then accompanied Pastor Breese, who sang “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” based on the Gospel of Matthew and made popular by Mahalia Jackson and Whitney Houston.
Both First Baptist performances can be enjoyed on You Tube. Search Myron McKinley Amazing Grace, and Mr. Myron McKinley/Rev. James Breese “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”