Spirit Led Performing Arts Ministry of Power House Ministries

by Terry Watson | April 29th, 2015
Spirit Led Performing Arts (SLPA) Ministry (Photos by Howard Gaither)

Spirit Led Performing Arts (SLPA) Ministry (Photos by Howard Gaither)

Spirit Led Performing Arts (SLPA) Ministry is an auxiliary ministry within Power House of Deliverance Garden Cathedral with a sole purpose to nurture and develop the artistic gifts of youth and young adults. It is also their goal to ensure that each participant grows naturally, spiritually and physically in the word of God, as well as the arts. The group performs on Sunday mornings for morning worship and various special events within the ministry. They are also available to perform within their community.

The ministry began in 1992 as Spirit Led Dance Ministry. It has since evolved into Spirit Led Performing Arts, encompassing dance, mime and drama. They are inspired by the direction of their pastor, Bishop W. L. Washington and the direction GOD gives Elder Kim Simmons. As God speaks through Bishop Washington, it permeates to the hearts of the SLPA leaders. The program offers liturgical dance and mime from ages three to adult. Upon request they have offered African, tap and hip-hop dance classes.

The testimony of SLPA according to Elder Simmons is rooted in the talents that have evolved, the lives that have been changed and the spiritual growth that has occurred while young men and women grow to fulfill their God given destiny. “Our desire is not to be just another performing arts group, but a performing arts ministry that changes the lives of its members and its members assist in changing the lives of others,” she says. “My role within the ministry is to oversee all capacities of the ministry. I create pieces for various events throughout the year, instruct teachers in their creative pieces, encourage the parents and most importantly help to ensure that all members are growing spiritually.”

Bishop Washington says his vision for the ministry is to see them minister beyond what the norm of dancing is. “When they dance, they actually bring people’s mind into what they are doing and allowing them to see Christ in it,” he says. Bishop Washington also would like to open a school in the near future where they can teach the scripture reference behind the dance, and utilize it as a soul winning tool. “It’s not just a message within the house but it is also an outreach that gives our kids something to do with their gifts and talents given by God,” he says. “It is God ordered, God sent, and God approved.”
What amazes him the most is to see the generations of children that have come through the SLPA and moved on, but have also came back to dance again. There are mother-daughter combinations with parents who dance with their daughters, both of which have roots in the SLPA.
The mime ministry, Bishop Washington says gives the young men of Power House a foundation which is directed by Travis Moore. Moore says, “This is a ministry that focuses on empowering people, with God’s truths, through movement and dance. Consistently praying and rightly dividing the word of truth is encouraged by all participants. This ministry has encouraged me to raise the bar in my personal life. I understand that I have a generation of young men from all ages that are heavily involved in this part of ministry while under my direction. It also gives me an opportunity to show them that living this Christian life is possible.”
In her role of administrator for SLPA, JoAnn Gerald believes the ministry of Spirit Led Performing Arts (SLPA) brings the word of God to people who may not be reached through the actual preached word. “It is our responsibility to grasp the attention of the people by using our dance and mime forms of worship. Our pastor counts on our area of ministry the same way that he relies on our worship team and choir,” she says. Gerald is a member of the mother-daughter team that serves the ministry. Her daughter, Raymonda McNair is an intermediate and adult instructor. Gerald says led by God to participate because of the opportunity to worship God through the expression of dance. “I watched Elder Kim Simmons sacrifice and give her last to make sure that every child or adult that wanted to participate could. She did everything from picking them up and bringing them to practice to taking her own money to purchase any garments that they needed and feeding them if there was a need,” says Gerald.

Raymonda McNair has been dancing with SLPA since she was 7 years old. Now 27, she says being in the ministry has made her into the woman that she is today. “Elder Simmons, along with Bishop Washington has molded and shaped me on my journey through life,” she explains. “The main aspect of SLPA is giving back. I am blessed because they love and respect me and look at me as the role model they need in their lives to be wholesome and Christ like.”

Elonda Burnson, who serves as an administrator for SLPA says her children have been impacted by the ministry. “The teachers encouraged my daughter while she was in the ministry and now she is in college. The things they taught her she uses as her motto. My son is also an active member of the ministry. The teachers are like second parents to the students. It’s more than a ministry, we’re family.” she says.

Seylah Martin serves as a teacher assistant for beginner I and II classes. She helps to correct mistakes the students may make during practice and help them to understand their movements. She is also an intermediate dancer and active in teen church. “My goal is to help our ministry flourish by doing whatever is necessary and helping out as much as I can. I want to give back to those who have given unto me,” says Martin.

Kiericka Edwards who serves as a teacher for the beginner I and II classes shares that SLPA isn’t just a dance ministry, but a crazy family who can always have fun and fellowship with one another. “There are things that I can talk to our members about that I can’t discuss with my other friends and family. It is great when we get together and watch old videos of performances and see how much we have grown spiritually and how the instructors have grown when it comes to choreography,” she states. “We believe God has us in His hands and we have a great man of God, Bishop Washington that believes in us even more.”

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