About | Ebenezer A M E Liturgical Dance Ministry | United States
Praise the Lord with the Timbrel and Dance…”
High praise is a natural part of the worship experience at Ebenezer A.M.E. Church. It has always been the vision of our co-pastor, Reverend Dr. Jo Ann Browning, to include dance as part of the worship experience. Prior to 1987, Pastor Jo Ann taught and ministered through dance beginning the Ebenezer Liturgical Dance Ministry with a faithful few. In 1987, Reverend Dr. Grainger Browning and Reverend Dr. Jo Ann Browning appointed Sister Faye Chandler, Director of the Ebenezer Liturgical Dance Ministry.Pastor Jo Ann was the first teacher in the Liturgical Dance Ministry. Sisters Faye Chandler, Audrey Jackson, and LaTina Johnson-DeVeaux, along with others, were the ladies that built upon the foundation established by Pastor Jo Ann and formulated the purpose for the Liturgical Dance Ministry at Ebenezer. The Liturgical Dance Ministry ministered at prayer breakfasts, homeless shelters, hospitals, trial sermons and ordination services. Other ministering events included the Kennedy Center, Howard University School of Divinity, the Black Family Reunion on the Mall, and at our annual Women’s Retreat.In 1990, Sister Joan Cambridge-Syers formed the Ebenezer African Dancers as part of the Ebenezer Rites of Passage Ministry. The African Dancers ministered at the Rites of Passage Crossover Ceremonies, African Liberation Sundays and also during our Women’s Retreat. In addition, they ministered at schools and community outreach programs.
In 1994, Reverend Jo Ann Browning expressed her desire for the two dance ministries to come together as one. Sister Chandler was appointed Director of the Dance Ministry, and Sister Syers, Director of the African component. Because of their willingness to “Let Go and let GOD”, GOD was able to reveal HIS vision to them and they unselfishly came together as one body – as the Liturgical Dance Ministry. As the ministry continued to grow, it was organized into components. The African component became “Royal Priesthood” and the Youth component was segmented into groups by age, under the leadership of Sister Joyce Chesley-Hayward, the first Youth Coordinator.
In September 2003, Sister Faye Chandler’s journey with the Ebenezer Liturgical Dance Ministry ended as she began her final steps toward completing her Masters in Divinity. At the time of her departure, the Ministry had grown to well over 100 adult members and approximately 75 youth. A group of dedicated women who had informally assisted Sister Faye for years, formally became the Coordinating Team. The concept of the Coordinating Team was blessed by the Pastors and became the directing entity of the ministry. The Coordinating Team provides direction, guidance, support and instruction to all components of the Liturgical Dance Ministry. In 2007, the Young Adult component, Restoration, was birthed under the direction of Coordinating Team member Sis. Kendra Bibbins. The purpose of this new component is to support the young adult ministries of the church with a particular emphasis on Young Adult worship services and bible studies.
The Liturgical Dance Ministry is under the umbrella of the Music Department led by Minister Ricky Dillard, Senior Minister of Church Worship and Music Administration.
The vision of the Ebenezer Liturgical Dance Ministry continues to unfold daily. Although it may tarry, we will work, worship and wait until by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the vision accomplishes itself.