Stranger Joins Hospital Pianist for Epic Performance: 'A Mega Song to Bring People Together'

When Pastor Mark Willhoite sat down at the piano, he could never have predicted the performance he was about to give.

When Pastor Mark Willhoite sat down at the piano while visiting a Texas hospital, he could never have predicted the performance he was about to give.

Another visitor, Vera Swain, was looking for the bathroom at the Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital in Baytown, Texas, when she heard him playing — and decided to join him.

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What resulted was two strangers, seated side by side, giving a performance that left witnesses speechless. A video of the duet recorded by his wife Sherry has racked up six million views.

"It was unplanned," Pastor Willhoite told "It was amazing... incredible."

The Willhoites perform each week for patients and visitors at the hospital. During their visit on August 18, their music caught the ear of Swain, who also volunteers at the hospital.

"She stopped at the piano and started singing," Willhoite said. "The more I heard her sing, I thought, 'this woman has got something special.'"

He asked to share one of his new songs, entitled "What the World Needs Is Love," with her.

"She began doing harmonies and adlibbing," he recalled. "She's singing a song she's never heard before... I said, 'this is incredible.'"

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All told, the pair sang together for an hour.

Now Willhoite hopes the song that brought him and Swain together will unite others. 

The duo will travel to Good Hope, Georgia, this week to record the tune with producer David W. Huff, whom Willhoite met in church 35 years ago. 

They also plan to perform it with a choir and with homeless people in downtown Atlanta.

"This is going to be a mega song to bring people together," Willhoite said. "We need to send a message that there’s not as much hate as we think there is."

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