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Monday, July 28, 2008

"A Celebration of Praise" Praise Dancers Win Over Souls For The Lord

Any time is a good time to sing the Praises of the Lord!"

That was the theme of "A Celebration of Praise," held in the auditorium of the Kingsport Renaissance Center on Saturday, July 26, 2008.


The event was sponsored by Kingsport's Full Gospel Mission Church, as a fundraiser, and some of the Tri-Cities' best Praise Dancers performed in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

"Even though it's a fund raiser, events like this are good for the community," says event organizer Johnnie Mae Swagerty. "It brings people out in fellowship, folks from Kingsport, Johnson City, Greeneville, Bristol, Gate City and points in between."

There's also a human side to the fund-raising, too.

"All church congregations have a history of helping each other in times of need," says Johnnie Mae. "We're raising money to repair the driveway in back of our church. The asphalt has just come up, and we're trying to put concrete down.

The dumpster man keeps pushing it up and back every time the container is emptied, so we're raising money for pay for a "concrete" repair. We're also wanting to work on our 'Kitchen of Hope,' too. We have people in wheelchairs that come down to the Soup Kitchen, and we want to fix that up to better serve them."

The Praise Dancers in concert were crowd favorites. Sould Out from Greeneville, Tennessee, led by Angelia Rodriguez.. New Vision Youth Kids from Kingsport, led by Johnnie Mae.. P-O-G (Princesses of God) from Johnson City, led by Danielle Issacs.. Anointed, led by Kay Thorpe.. Destiny Diamonds, the grandchildren of Letitia Hayes.. and Angela Rodriguez of Greeneville, who also served as the Mistress of Ceremonies. Mr. William Tarter provided the musical direction for the program.

There were also door prizes given away to lucky visitors.

One of the highlights of the program, was a fashion show. "We have five ladies from four different churches, that came out in their best wear," says Johnnie Mae, who was also one of the models. "We had four-year-old Layla Welch, the granddaughter of Letitia and Edward Hayes model sportwear for us." Also, Olivia Swafford of Full Gospel Mission #1.. Cheyenne Hayes of Nashville, she's with Destiny Diamonds, one of the Praise Dancer groups, and Mrs. Fulgram from Full Gospel Mission Church #2 modeled the latest fashions, and the audience loved them.

The Kingsport community is fast developing an appreciation for the art of Praise Dancing. It's an art form that actually dates back to medieval times, when the Children of God, performed dances to show appreciation to the Lord.

"We just want everybody to keep uplifting us," says Johnnie Mae. "He will see us through with whatever our needs are. We ask the Lord's Blessings on us and supporting us, esepcially all the youth and the churches that are represented here."

"This kind of event lets everybody know that we are doing something in Kingsport to lift up the Name of the Lord."

"We're just putting together a good time for the Lord."