The Calabash Group of St. Paul Presbyterian Church was founded in 1997 by the African members and friends of the Church who were looking for ways to use the rich African culture and heritage in the service and worship of the Lord. Members of the group hail originally from the USA, Jamaica, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Togo, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. However, membership is open to anyone who is interested and willing to sing in other languages - not just Africans!
The group is named after the Calabash, which is a dry gourd made from the shell of a fruit from a tropical plant. It is sometimes used as a utensil, but often as a musical instrument when covered with a mesh of beads. Just like the beads around the calabash, this group hopes that by getting together they can make a unique ‘joyful noise’ unto the Lord.
- We clap our hands because it is a way to express our joy to God. Psalm 47:1 says “Clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of Triumph”.
- We lift up our hands because it indicates a surrendering of ourselves to God. Psalm 63:4 says “I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.”
- We dance because it is another form of praising God. Psalm 150:4 says “Praise Him with the tambourine and with dance…”
Calabash contributes mostly through singing during worship service and on special occasions both within and away from St. Paul Presbyterian Church. We are noted particularly for our annual “African Thanksgiving Celebration Day”, usually held on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. This period coincides with annual “Harvest Thanksgiving” activities in some of our previous home churches, so this service is conducted in a traditional African thanksgiving style, characterized by African praise and worship songs, and of course, thanksgiving offerings to the Lord. On this day the congregation and guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable food to donate to the hungry.
Some of our captivating songs have been recorded on CD and are available for a minimum of $10 a piece. We encourage you to use this as a means to contribute to our ministry and also as a way to share the Word in song with your friends and family. They are usually available in our church parlor after worship service. They can also be obtained by contacting Paddy Ndole (see below).
Following are contacts for more information:
Yours in Christ,
For the Calabash Choir Family J