Singers take the mic at Saturday night’s Praise Café

Cove Leader-Press
Psalm 148 states, “… Wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens”
Praise and worship of God was exactly what the Praise Café had in mind for their Christian Karaoke night held Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Cove Art Lab on 602 Teinert Ave. The Christian Karaoke event was free and open to anyone from any denomination who wanted to attend. Participants had over 1,000 song titles—all Christian songs—to choose from.
The idea for a Praise Café came to Steve Cole, Keven Bennet, and Ken Allen after they saw Laura Allen performing Christian Karaoke in Deland, Florida. For the last 10 years, Ken and Jenn Allen and Max and Doreen McConnell have been faithfully leading their worship every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month.
Ken Allen, one of the leaders of the Praise Café, said it’s a way to bring in people who don’t have the opportunity to sing at church. It gives everyone the chance to praise and worship God through song.
“It’s about praising and worshiping God in spirit and in truth with an open heart… It’s for God and it’s for people to lift up their voices.,” said Allen. “Sometimes people are judged by how well they sing. We don’t judge anybody by how well they sing. They get claps and praise no matter how bad it is—or how good it is—because it’s their way of lifting up. We’re here to encourage people to openly praise their Lord in any fashion they want.”
Max McConnell, another leader of the Praise Café, said just listening to the flow of the praise is beautiful. He said it’s very moving to see everyone showing their love of God. McConnell said everything that has breath can sing praise to the Lord. Their Praise Café gives people the opportunity to do so in a friendly and supportive environment.
Everything we do is strictly Christian,” said Ed Joplin, who’s been attending Praise Café’s karaoke events for eight years. “It just brings the Holy Spirit here every time we come together. It’s a great place to bring kids and families…There’s a sense of fellowship. It’s about being able to come together with everyone.”
Audrey Leon brought her two daughters Brittney (15) and Katie (12) to the Christian Karaoke event. She said that the Praise Café is a very family-oriented and safe event. She said she likes the fact that it’s judgement-free, Godly environment. Her favorite part, she said, was that regardless of how anyone sounds behind the microphone, people encourage them.
“Praise Café is a fun place where anyone with a want-to sing can,” said Samantha Apostolou. “Karaoke is always a fun way to get people together. It’s great that Cove has places for families to get together and have a great time.”
Mindy Desmond, owner of the newly opened Cove Art Lab, said that they were more than happy to let the Praise Café continue to use the building for their Christian Karaoke events. Desmond said the purpose of the Art Lab is to give people a place to share their creative talents, and karaoke fits right in. She called the Praise Café a wonderful group and said the karaoke event is great for the community.
The Art Lab offers a variety of events including photography, drawing, belly dancing, sewing and more. For more information on upcoming events at the Cove Art Lab, check out their Facebook page. The Praise Café holds a Christian Karaoke night every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month beginning at 6 p.m.

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