Worship Leader Brings Simon Cowell to Tears With Heroic Example on 'America's Got Talent'

Michael Ketterer
Worship pastor, Michael Ketterer scores golden buzzer from Simon Cowell on "America's Got Talent," Jun 5, 2018 |

Former United Pursuit member-turned-worship pastor at Influence Church, Michael Ketterer gave "America's Got Talent" one of their most emotional episodes of the season on Tuesday, which emotionally moved judge Simon Cowell.

Ketterer, a father of six, five of whom he adopted from foster care, brought Cowell to tears after his soulful rendition of James Bay's "Us." Cowell choked up when telling the singer how inspiring his life has been to every one on the show.

The judge called Ketterer an "amazing human being."

"Michael, as a dad I can't imagine what you've done. And the fact that you're on this show and you really need this — I don't know, you're a really special guy. I don't know, there's something about you," Cowell, a proud father to his 4-year-old son, Eric, said through tears on Tuesday's episode.

The other judges echoed the sentiment.

On Wednesday, after his performance on the AGT quarterfinals, "I Am Second" released a powerful video sharing Ketterer's full adoption story. In the White Chair Film production, the worship leader and his wife, Ivy, talked about the powerful experience they've had as parents who adopted their five sons through foster care.

In the video testimonial, he spoke of the role of "father," which was something he was not used to, having grown up without a consistent fatherly presence in his life. Ketterter shared how his children have shown him the "transcendent, healing power of a father's love."

Ketterer was awarded the golden buzzer by Cowell on "America's Got Talent" in June after his rendition of the Bee Gees' song "To Love Somebody."

Upon hitting the stage, Ketterer shared of his family.

"My family is the reason I'm here," Ketterer told the judges before belting out his number. "One of the things that happens, especially because my children came out of foster care, when you're surviving, you can't dream. And that has been one of the most rewarding things — providing them with a home and a safe environment where they are free to dream."

"I'm here because I want to show them that if their dad can live out their dreams then nothing is impossible for them," he added.

According to his church's website, Ketterer and three other artists from the ministry (Melody Noel, Whitney Medina and Matt Gilman) make up the group Influence Music, a record label and artist collective under Influence Church. The group released its debut album, Touching Heaven, in May.

Before moving to California in 2014, Ketterer lived in Tennessee and was a part of the Christian group United Pursuit.

Follow Jeannie Law on Twitter: @jlawcp Follow Jeannie Law on Facebook: JeannieOMusic

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