“I Was Concerned”: Watch Simon Cowell Stun This Nervous Worship Pastor by Slamming the Golden Buzzer on ‘Surprising’ Performance


Michael Ketterer, a pediatric mental health nurse and United Pursuit member-turned worship pastor at Influence Church, certainly has his hands full as a husband and dad of six.

But this inspiring father wasn’t about to let that get in his way of pursuing his dreamings.

“My family is the reason I’m here,” Ketterer told the “America’s Got Talent” judges before his act. “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.”

He believes that by being a role model dream-chaser, he will inspire his children to do the same… and Ketterer did just THAT when he took to the stage to perform his breathtaking version of “To Love Somebody” that left the audience roaring in applause and all four judges on their feet.

“Well, Michael, you know what, when we find singers on these shows, is it about being technical or is it about being relevant? And sometimes, for me, it’s just about being real and a surprise,” said Simon Cowell immediately following the audition. “If I’m being honest with you, because you were so nervous, I was concerned for you; but I think sometimes actions speak louder than words,” continued the notoriously tough judge as he slammed the Golden Buzzer.

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Ketterer’s jump for joy and the tears in his family’s eyes really said it all as the downpour of shimmery, celebratory confetti covered their awestruck faces.

Afterward, Cowell came on stage to offer the worship pastor one last sincere tidbit of encouragement.

“Something about your voice–I genuinely mean this–is special,” said Cowell. “And everything was perfect. You deserve it.”

Watch Michael’s stunningly beautiful performance in full below: 

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Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.