The Praisin' Puppets began as a team of 6 in 1997. Our team has varied from 14 - 19 members, depending on age range and graduation. Each August, we accept new members who meet the age requirement of 5th grade or older.
When we first formed the puppet team we made a list of names, but we couldn't decide on one. So, we presented these names to our church congregation and they chose our name, "Praisin' Puppets".
In the beginning of our ministry, we only performed on the third Sunday of the month at our home church. This mostly consisted of a variety of puppet skits and songs. As our group grew, so did our variety of ministry. We began to write our own skits and choreographing all of our movements to stick and creative signing. This is why we've started to add "Youth Ministry" onto our name—we do far more than puppets now.
With the variety of ministry we've incorporated into our puppet programs, we began getting invitations to perform in areas outside our home church walls. Since 2001, we have been traveling and doing ministry in other churches, picnics, nursing homes, craft shows, banquets, etc... and the invitations continue to come, Praise the Lord!
We continue to perform at our home church every third Sunday of the month, along with our hour-long Easter Dawn Service each Easter morning at 7:00 A.M. God has graciously expanded our horizons and has kept us very busy doing his work. We are all very excited that God has chosen our group from such a small town to travel to so many places and giving us the opportunity to share Jesus with so many people. It is such a blessing to be working with a team of youth who are so willing to share their Faith in Jesus Christ!
Annually in July, we attend the National Fellowship of Christian Puppeteers Conference (F.C.P.) held at different universities in the eastern United States. At these conferences, we enjoy learning new and exciting ideas. F.C.P. has helped develop our skills in creative signing, stick movement, and black light.
In July 2002, we had the opportunity to perform at F.C.P., which was held at Western Carolina University, NC. At the end of our program, an awesome Pastor came out and preached a wonderful message and an eight-year-old boy came to know Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. God is Good!
We returned to the conference in 2003, which was held at the same place, and did another ministry program plus we taught 2 classes in creative stick movement and 4 classes in creative signing.
In 2004, F.C.P. was held in Harrisonburg, VA at the Eastern Mennonite University. We performed a creative signing song plus taught 4 classes on creative stick, and 3 classes on puppetry and props.
F.C.P. returned to Harrisonburg, VA for the 2005 conference where we taught the same classes as 2004. Josh, a Praisin' Puppets graduate, has also been teaching creative sign at the F.C.P. conferences since 2003 and returned with us in 2005 and 2006 to teach 6 classes on creative signing.
At the 2006 Conference, we performed a 30-minute program that was very well received. This photo is our performance of "Redeemer".
In Oct. 2002, we had the opportunity to teach black light classes at the North Carolina National Pentecostal Conference in Falcon, NC. We also performed the Friday night of the conference and also Sunday morning.
At the 2003 F.C.P. Conference, we taught 2 classes in creative stick movement and 4 classes in creative signing.
At the 2004 and 2005 F.C.P. Conferences, we taught 4 classes on creative stick, and 3 classes on puppetry and props.
Josh, a Praisin' Puppets graduate, has also been teaching creative sign at the F.C.P. conferences since 2003 and returned with us in 2005 and 2006 to teach 6 classes on creative signing.
May 31st, 2008 we are planning a FREE night of worship and ministry to benefit the American Cancer Society at our church York Springs United Methodist Church, PA, from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Sasha, who is the daughter of our director and has been apart of this team for 10 years, is doing this night of ministry for her Senior Project.
The cost is FREE but we will be taking a love offering raising money for the American Cancer Society. If you don’t have anything to give, don’t let that stop you from coming out and enjoying this awesome night of worship. We appreciate your prayers just as much as financial gifts!
The night will include Praise and Worship, Black Light Puppetry, Creative Sticks, Creative Signing, Human Video, and a Special Creative Signing/Drama song created and taught by Sasha, and much more!!
The program will end with a power point presentation remembering those who passed away from cancer, honoring cancer survivors, and praying for those who are fighting it right now. If you would like to include information on your loved one please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In Jan 2003 and May 2003 we did a 1-hour performance as a Saturday evening ministry in our home church. This was an outreach to the community and to those who don't attend church.
In November 2003, we held a benefit at our local elementary school to raise money for an 8-year-old little boy who had cancer.
In November 2006, we held an hour and half of ministry to raise money for the families affected in the Amish School Shooting here in Lancaster County, PA. It was a great turn out and we raised $700.00 for the cause.
Each ministry was a great success that pulled the community together to worship.