New program brings Christian worship to you

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE-You don’t have to go to a building to attend church now. The church can come to you. A new church movement called a marketplace ministry is a strategy that some churches have developed to reach a larger base of worshippers.

The purpose of a marketplace ministry is to reach out to families in need of a place of worship who would otherwise not be able to attend church.

&#8220I saw a need for more outreach churches in the community and so I started Heart of God,” Antoine Jasmine said.

The church often stages outdoor worship services in and around the community and Jasmine says he believes his church has the largest amount of community involvement because of their ability to travel.

&#8220We started out in Vacherie with a crusade to reconcile people with God and some of the people became members of the church that night,” Jasmine said.

&#8220At the moment we are growing and are looking to build a permanent church in the area,” he said.

Pastor Jasmine describes the church as, &#8220A church that provides outreach support to families that has the ability to be a primarily mobile, active church.”

Jasmine said Heart of God is an interracial, non-denominational church that many will be comfortable with.

&#8220I want the church to make a fresh new start in the New Year with a new facility and larger congregation,” he said.

The building is located at 2925 Hwy. 51, Suite A in LaPlace. The phone number is 651-7844.

Services are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays, Sundays at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesdays.

One of the main ways that the church inspires worship is through Pastor Antoine Jasmine’s love of music and the arts.

Jasmine also runs &#8220Choice International School of Music and Performing Arts. While the school is separate from the church, Jasmine often uses his love for the arts and music to help inspire worshippers.

&#8220We make it a priority to also help with music education programs at an elementary school level,” he said.

Choice International works with St. John Parish Schools to provide music education because the parish does not currently have music education as part of its regular curriculum.

The school has been is business about 2 ? years and currently has about 150 students.

Choice International is the only school for both performing arts and dance in the tri-parish area and they are currently accepting students.

Voice classes and hip-hop dance are some of the classes available and the school is at 924 Carrollwood Drive in LaPlace, Suite C. The phone number is 985-653-7232.

It is a 501 (3) organization and they are looking for corporate sponsors and grants to help the school grow.

&#8220We are an independently operated school and all of our money comes from current donors and sponsors. We want to grow the school and give more kids the opportunity to learn, but we need help to do that,” Jasmine said.

Jasmine said if it hadn’t been for his church helping him through music school when he was young, he would never have learned music or dance either.

&#8220I just want to give the kids of St. John Parish the same chance I got to learn to appreciate music and dance. Music is therapeutic. It is stress a reliever and it helps children become more confident and helps them improve their test scores and their school performance. I don’t think they should have to give those chances up, ”he said.

While many classes like hip hop dance and acting are free, some of them do have nominal fees involved.

&#8220We want to give every child who wants to learn about the arts the chance to do so, but for those kids whose families can’t pay for the nominal fees involved, we offer assistance,” Jasmine said,

Other classes include Latin dance, ballroom dance, and other recreational dance and music classes for adults.