Like King David, the Rev. Stephanie Butler Adams praises God through dance, scriptures and the written word.
In fact, her love of the Lord and desire to help hurting people inspired the Rev. Adams to establish Spirit of Praise Sacred Artistry International in 1997 and now she shares her gifts around the world.
“We are a Christian-based Consulting Ministry that instructs and empowers people from various cultural backgrounds and levels of spirituality in the principles, disciplines, and guidelines of Sacred and Liturgical Arts including dance, the Word, writing and more,” she explained.
Her ministry’s wide-ranging curriculum offers customized training for every age group. Also, she can develop tailored programs for worship arts ministries in churches, regardless of size.
“We provide structured teaching on worship, protocol, biblical foundations of dance, and arts discipleship in a variety of ways such as Group Choreography, Individual Dance Ministry, Conference Speaker/Facilitator, Leadership Training, Global Evangelism and Mission Outreach Training, Artistic Consultation for Dance Ministries and Writing/Editing Consultation,” said Adams, who is an ordained Itinerant Elder in the A.M.E. Church.
She also presents a monthly workshop for children ages 7-12 called ‘Sky Kids’ where 70 or more youth attend to become exposed to the ministry of dance. In addition, Adams reaches more young people through the Long Beach Unity Music and Arts Festival (LBUF).
She shared, “My husband, Stephen, is the president and CEO of the LBUF and I serve as the executive director. LBUF is a non-profit whose mission is to use music, the Arts, and healthy lifestyle initiatives to bring diverse communities together.
“Our Youth Internship Program employs 20-30 select High School students to be trained in the areas of event production, stage management, artist coordination, community outreach, and life skills. These interns go on to produce our annual Long Beach Unity Festival, which attracts 2500+ people.”
But, people have always been important to Adams, who noted that she was a corporate executive consultant before founding Spirit of Praise when her passion and motivation for success shifted. “God had blessed me to receive dual degrees in Dance (B.S.) and Journalism (B.A.) and given me opportunities to study and travel the world with many of the top choreographers in the field.” She described herself as ‘happy, but not fulfilled.’
“I stumbled upon Romans 12:1 that told me I should, ‘present my whole body as a living sacrifice--holy and acceptable to God; which was my reasonable service.’
“I was hungry for knowledge of the Word of God and restless about my spiritual walk. I had a burden for hurting people around the world, and I just wanted God to use me. He chose to do so by marrying the passion for world missions and dance,” she recalled.
As she prepared to unveil her ministry, she received spiritual support from many people including her late mother, Mary E. Butler, the Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant, Dr. Patricia Morgan, Bishops Peter Morgan, John Bryant, and Carolyn Tyler Guidry, and her 10 brothers and sisters.
“But, most influential were all those who discouraged, discredited, and dismissed the ministry of dance early on; all those who attempted to capitalize on the anointing God had place on my life; all those who tried to convince me that I could not continue to dance, pastor, and preach, especially not as a young, single female.”
“Those experiences and encounters are like jewels to me! It built character, and personality. I developed a supernatural ability to tune out negativity and negative people. I still practice this today,” she declared.
“My inner belief is that I am here on earth, collaborating with God to bring joy to the world!”
To meet the Rev. Adams and personally experience the work of Spirit of Praise Sacred Artistry International, attend their conference set for Thursday, March 20, through Sunday, March 23, at UC-Irvine (UCI) and Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church (COR).
Officially called ‘The Dancer in Me Worship Arts and Music Training Institute,’ the ecumenical event will present workshops and sessions on ministry in the Word, entrepreneurship and liturgical dance, music and worship.
Also, the Rev. Adams will launch her third published work, a children’s book entitled, “The Dancer in Me” and will be joined by gospel recording artist Lamar Campbell and a host of professional dancers, singers, and musicians from across the nation and abroad.
The four-day event is co-sponsored by UCI and COR Church led by Pastor Mark Whitlock and where Adams serves as assistant minister of Worship Arts and Christian Education. Also, she is the international director of Liturgical Dance for the Music and Christian Arts Ministry (MCAM) of the A.M.E. Church.
For information or to register for the conference, visit spiritofpraiseinternational.com. To learn about LBUF, visit lbunityfestival.com.