The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Author, Girl in the Song, (2015)

Daughter, Jim and Carol Cymbala, pastors of Brooklyn Tabernacle

Co-pastor with her husband Al of Chicago Tabernacle, a multi-ethnic church

Mother to 3 children


Guest Bio

Rescuing the Girl in the Song A TRUE STORY

Chrissy was raised in church and remembers the early days when her mom and dad were building their church, Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York.  Today her parents pastor a mega-church with 16,000 members and a Grammy-winning choir.  “My dad’s passion for prayer molded our church, but it was my mom’s music that filled it,” says Chrissy who vividly remembers seeing the power of God at work in many lives and gave her heart to Jesus at the age of 4.  When she was 13, Chrissy says her insecurities bombarded her mind with the question, Am I good enough? Chrissy started getting more attention as the pastor’s kid which made her feel as though she had to be more perfect.  “I had to maintain the image that I created in my mind at all costs,” she says. 

By the time she was 16, she met Al and his friend Jaye in church.  Jaye, then 21, was experienced in life and Chrissy was infatuated with him.  They began dating, but Chrissy kept the relationship from her parents. Jaye was becoming an idol in her life and by 17, Chrissy had given in to Jaye sexually.  Chrissy moved to New Orleans to attend Bible college and Jaye came to visit.  After she missed curfew by several hours by staying out too late with Jaye, she was dismissed from school.  Now back home, Chrissy discovered she was pregnant.  She jumped back into church life and hoped Jaye would marry her, keeping the secret from her parents.  Eight weeks before her due date, her mom Carol noticed the changes in Chrissy’s body and asked her if she was pregnant.  Her parents were devastated, not because of the pregnancy, but because she had continually lied to them.  To help, they sent her to a home in upstate New York to deliver the baby and eventually Chrissy decided to place the infant in foster care.  After giving birth to Susan Joy, Chrissy’s mind swirled with emotions.  She didn’t have a way to take care of her baby and Jaye offered no help which confirmed that placing the baby with another family was the answer.  Three days after she was discharged, Chrissy felt numb.  She was mourning the loss of Susan so she decided to reclaim her daughter! 


Chrissy and Susan had no where to live and ended up living with Lorna, a family friend.  One night, Lorna left for the weekly church prayer night.  While there, everyone prayed fervently for Chrissy.  That night Chrissy was at her lowest and while in bed, she felt two shadows at the foot of her bed, a dark one and a light one.  The dark figure told her she and her baby were his then instantly disappeared.  The light figure permeated the room and Chrissy felt a sweet sense of peace come over her.  The next morning, Chrissy felt an extreme sense of lightness.  Her heart was buoyant!  She knew God changed her and she was free!  So she called Jaye and ended their relationship.  Chrissy drove to her parents’ house to ask for their forgiveness.

In August that year, Chrissy accepted a job as the choir director at Zion Bible Institute in Rhode Island.  She started dating Al after her first year at Zion and they were married in 1992.  They served in other capacities in several different churches.  Today they live in Illinois and started Chicago Tabernacle in 2002 where he is the pastor and she is the director of music ministry.  Chrissy also leads the Illuminate women’s ministry in their church and loves seeing girls of all ages embrace the freedom that the love of God gives.  Because of her experience, Chrissy feels a special need to help young girls know they don’t have to be perfecrt and that God loves them as they are.

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