“And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand and all women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.” (Exodus 15:20)
Dance in celebration and worship of the Lord is not new. Liturgical dance is not presented for performance or entertainment, but is an important vehicle of music ministry leading God’s people in praise and worship and ushering in the word of the Lord.
Espere Liturgical Dance Ministry was founded in 1982 by Pastor Gayle Brock and was comprised of trained dancers anointed by God. They were the first professional dance ministry in the greater Cincinnati area. Espere was called to travel throughout the Midwest and Southeastern states, ministering the word of God in the form of dance. A number of Cincinnati church dance ministries and praises dance teams were launched as a result of the tutelage and guidance of this ground-breaking ministry. Continuing the vision, in 2004 Vessels of Grace was ignited at Grace Christian Fellowship under the leadership of Deacon J. Karin Bond-Williams, a principle dancer of Espere.
An eager body of women of Grace answered the Lord’s call to serve in this anointed music ministry. Although the majority of members possessed no formal dance training, the Lord showed His ability to use His vessels according to His power and glory. As Disciples of Christ, we continue to take heed to the command and necessity; “ to praise Him in the dance…” (Psalms 149:3) and walk in the light of His calling for Vessels of Grace.
The object of dancing is to usher in the presence of the Most High King, to tear down strong-holds and to rejoice with the congregation at the awesome glory of our Father. Dance ministers deliver a message of the gospel through movement. It is imperative to recognize the responsibility, sanctity and seriousness of ministering to God’s people. As Deacon Karin often expresses, “When you dance, you become God’s instrument to write a letter to His people.”