Praise and dancing

Special guest dancers from the Light Dance Ministry perform to “He Has His Hands On You.”

LAUREN JOOS/Special to the Guardian
Published: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:11 p.m.

The Fullness of Joy Praise Dance Ministry at Mount Olive AME Church celebrated its 2nd anniversary with inspiring performances that emphasized the goodness of the Lord.

The praise dancers — Marjorie Belcher, Sylvia Brown, Sharon Causey, Lisa Darling, Willette Gandues, Cynthia Mingo and Ruby Mosley — were joined by dancers from the community Sunday afternoon at Mount Olive for the anniversary celebration service that featured the praising of God through dance.

Most of the songs the different dancers performed to had a common theme that centered around the importance of acknowledging and praising God for his grace and mercy.

Cynthia Mingo founded Fullness of Joy in 2009, and her daughter, the Rev. AnneMarie Mingo of Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta, presided over the service.

"Get ready to experience God through the movement of dance," said AnneMarie Mingo before the processional entered the sanctuary while dancing to "We Acknowledge You" by Karen Clarke Sheard.

The processional consisted of Fullness of Joy, Light Dance Ministry and Alexis Oates of the Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church Liturgical Dancers. They danced around the aisles waving colorful "streamers of joy" as parishioners clapped and swayed to the beat.

The songs Fullness of Joy performed to were "Precious Lord;" "Jesus, I Love Calling Your Name" by Shirley Caesar; "Order My Steps" by Gospel Music Workshop of America Women of Worship; "We Fall Down" by Donnie McClurkin; "There Is None Like You" by Bishop George Searight, and "Hold On" and "I'm Going All the Way" by Sounds of Blackness.

They delivered their message in dance by performing to "For Every Mountain" by the Kurt Carr Singers.

After their performance to "For Every Mountain," AnneMarie Mingo said God is powerful enough to bring people out of whatever situation they are in. "For everything that God has brought us through, we give him praise," she said.

Light Dance Ministry members Janelle Broiles, Bianca Cromwell, T'unah Hopkins, Asja Long, Katera Long and Alexis Neal performed to "He Has His Hands on You" by Marvin Sapp.

The inspirational and powerful performance received several rounds of applause, especially when one of the dancers would stand behind another and grasp the hands of the one in front while moving in unison as Sapp sang the words, "he has his hands on you."

All of the young ladies are either in high school or attend Santa Fe College and all of them are members of Mount Moriah Baptist Church in southeast Gainesville, except for Alexis Neal, who attends St. Peter Baptist Church in Archer. Mount Moriah member Dedra Brown is the founder and director of Light Dance Ministry.

Alexis Oates of Mount Pleasant, who did a wonderful job all by herself, performed to "Encourage Yourself" by Donald Lawrence. Other members of the liturgical dance group could not perform at the service because they were out of town, said LaVern Porter, director of the group.

Near the end of the service, Cynthia Mingo received a couple of tokens of gratitude from her daughter, who was visiting for the holidays, and her son, Gerald Mingo, who was visiting from Queens, N.Y.

The service ended with all of the dancers performing to "How Great is Our God" by Chris Tomlin after brief remarks by Cynthia Mingo.

"I just give God the praise, the honor and the glory," she said before recognizing each of her fellow Fullness of Joy members. She also urged parishioners to find their own way to praise and worship God.

"As you can see, there are many ways to praise God," Cynthia Mingo said.

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