Worship leader/renaissance man Carlos Whittaker just released a book called Moment Maker, and yet one of the biggest moments of his life was made this week as he led worship for U.S. President Barack Obama, among others, at the White House's fifth-annual Easter Prayer Breakfast.
Whittaker was among 150 Christian leaders invited to the event, which was started by the Obama Administration in 2010 specifically to reflect on the Easter holiday. Whittaker was the event's sole musician.
Via his vast arsenal of social media outlets, Whittaker admitted he hadn't "been this nervous about 2 songs... well... ever," but said once he started singing, the nerves faded.
"What an amazing 8 minutes," Whittaker said of his two-song set. "To hear the East Room of the White House shouting, 'Nothing but the blood of Jesus!' at the top of their lungs was one of the top moments of my life."
Besides playing for the President, Whittaker sat at the same table as the President, and later shared a few moments privately with Obama in the Red Room.
Despite the tremendous opportunity, judging from subsequent social media posts, it seems Whittaker's keeping a level head.
"Walked out of the White House... after dining at the same table as [the President], after leading an intimate room in worship, after rubbing shoulders with dignitaries, after spending a few moments alone with [Obama], after feeling like a pretty deal for a minute... and immediately got crapped on by a bird," Whittaker wrote on his Facebook page, following it with the hashtags #ThisIsRealLife #ThisIsTheBestLife #MayWeAllEnjoyOurBlessingsAndAlsoEnjoyTheCrap.
When asked by MIKESCHAIR frontman Mike Grayson how he landed such a gig, Whittaker responded on Twitter: "I've basically asked myself that question every 6 months of my life. How does this stuff happen to me? #TomlinWasSick?"
During his time in Washington, Whittaker spent time with fellow attendees Cameron Strang (President of RELEVANT Media Group) and author/speaker Bob Goff. Other invitees included Al Sharpton, civil rights leader Rev. Joseph Lowery, Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore and Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
Orlando megachurch pastor Joel Hunter gave the opening prayer, and in a controversial move, the President tapped the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, Gene Robinson, to deliver the closing prayer.
In his remarks to the gathered, Obama took a moment to reflect on the shootings at two Jewish facilities in Kansas on April 13: "Nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers. No one should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to pray."
Obama, who identifies as a Christian, continued, "This Easter Week... we recognize that there's a lot of pain, and a lot of sin, and a lot of tragedy in this world. But we're also overwhelmed by the grace of an awesome God. We're reminded how He loves us so deeply that He gave His only begotten son, so that we might live through Him."
The President thanked the assembled leaders for their continued service, saying, "You don't remain on the sidelines. I want to thank you for your ministries, for you good works, for the marching you do for justice and dignity and inclusion... You have made a difference in so many different ways..."