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Atlanta Church Goes Viral After New Year’s Eve Swag Surf Service – Essence


The dReam Center Church of Atlanta in 2017 | Getty Images

An Atlanta church has gone viral over its New Year’s EveSwag Surf’” celebration. “When the clock hit midnight, Murphy led his congregation in a back-and-fourth bounce while the song” was blasted out to the dReam Center congregation via speakers,” local outlet the Atlanta Daily World reports.

The Sunday night service also garnered attention due to playing Unk’s “Walk It Out” rap hit as well within the sanctuary. Murphy did tell everyone to “keep it sanctified” while dancing. Soon thereafter F.L.Y.’s “Swag Surfin’” began playing.

Of note, even though it’s been over a decade since the song “Swag Surfin’” was released, it has become almost ubiquitous with Black gatherings. “[I]t’s the rare 21st century pop song that’s consistently at the center of ceremonies with high degrees of blackness,” The Fader reports, adding “it is unifying enough for folks to call it a negro spiritual with some earnestness.”

After the brief moments of levity, Bishop William Murphy preached how “‘you will have to walk in territories that you ain’t never been before,’ but you will have the ‘strength you need to walk it out.’”

But not everyone was pleased with Murphy’s celebratory choices. Critics took to social media, with one user writing on X, “Swag Surfin & Walkin It Out at church is insane…there’s a time and place for everything.”

Murphy has caught wind of the negativity, responding during an interview with “The Bigg Tigger Morning Show” aptly stating, “I got word somebody was mad.”

In response, Murphy is “proud” of how his church chose to “honor” God. “It was absolutely divine. I’m a church boy,” he stated.

Murphy was also quick to relay how the dReam center church will be celebrating 18 years on Jan. 15, according to Atlanta Black Star. And “[h]e credits the church’s longevity to being able to reach old and young folks, as 150 people got saved that night.”

“We’ve had to be very creative in how we engage culture,” said Murphy. He then referenced Proverbs 11:30, “That doesn’t mean you’re a smart guy, that doesn’t mean you’re the smartest guy in the room, it just means if you’re going to touch people, you gotta use wisdom.”

Murphy went on to further elaborate how he was using Acts, Chapter 3, to teach “about a ‘man struggling since he came into the world. … and the Lord said tell the church to walk it out. And that’s how we go there.’”

This isn’t the first time Murphy has used hip hop culture as a way to reach younger generations. As the Atlanta Daily World notes, “In 2017, he preached in front of a replica of the “Pink Trap House” which was made famous by Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz.

Per the educational pillar of the dReam center, “we covenant to have a perpetual focus on the increase of both biblical and secular knowledge.  We will provide biblical and secular outlets for educational advancement to both partners and the community.”





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Javier Ortiz

Navegando entre las corrientes de la información con pasión y destreza, soy Javier Ortiz, un Experto en Artículos Web que teje palabras con la intensidad de un golazo en el último minuto. Mi paso por la Universidad Antonio de Nebrija templó mi pluma con el calor del conocimiento. Como un cronista de la vida moderna, mis escritos surcan desde los campos de fútbol hasta los extremos del deporte, desde los engranajes de la economía hasta los laberintos de la política, y desde los misterios de la religión hasta las alturas de la espiritualidad. Cada palabra es un punto en la red, tejido con la fibra de la autenticidad. Únete a mí en este viaje donde las letras se convierten en senderos de emoción, donde el fútbol comparte espacio con la adrenalina, donde el motor económico se conecta con el engranaje político y donde la esencia humana encuentra su refugio en el vasto mar de la espiritualidad.

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