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The play was part of a night of family entertainment, an outreach ministry of Frank and Kathleen Crosby’s church and ministry. This leg called Fresh Start.

The pastoral couple has long been involved in the performing arts, not only hosting, directing and overseeing the ministry, but very much engaged on the stage.

Pastor Frank is not only a talented musician (who plays various instruments), stage performer, martial arts instructor, but a strategic planner in Kingdom evangelism. Pastor Kathleen can sometimes be labeled as a one person show, with her animated and charismatic personality presenting creatively her love for people and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The love of Christ is elevated towards the kids in a city, whose environment has not been the easiest place for kids to live and fulfill their dreams.

“This is why the emphasis on children is so important, says Kathleen. A lot of times, young people are the afterthought of the church, but if you look at society, they market to kids. If you can get a kids demon oppressed that demon can tear up that kid for life.

Children are dear to God’s heart. He (referring to Jesus’ earthly ministry) reached out to them, pulled them in, and set them on his knee. That meant something, they are valuable.”

The matriarch of this pastoral & performance duo reminds that children are the next generation. She says they shouldn’t be an afterthought. They should be in the plan.

The variety show was marquee-d with the Hebrew word Chazaq [pronounced Ha Zack] which means to be strengthen, fortified, encouraged, built-up or to be comforted.

“So many people today are sad, mad, depressed, and disgusted, continued Pastor Kathleen. They really need that breath of God. They need the joy of the Lord.  They need the laughter which does good like a medicine, to go into those deep places of their heart and do something supernatural.”

It is evident that the Crosby’s evangelistic program is not traditional, not only was the Gospel hope revealed in drama, but the stage yielded stand-up comedy, puppets, interpreted dance and audience participation activities. However drama remains the core of this outreach and Kathleen Crosby’s word to other churches and ministries.

“We live in a sight and sound generation. Look at Jesus’ ministry method. He drew in the sand. He was very creative in his expression. Through this method, People see things. They hear things.  They take things in. In process, they discover something.

It’s our job to reach a generation in a way they can hear and comprehend God In a creative way. If we look at creation, it all screams out God’s glory. So why not do something to reach people in a creative way so they will say, Hey that was God---that just spoke to me.”

Aunyay Fussell – Moore, 13 years old, one of the Crosby’s most promising pupils says tonight’s presentation was epic. She believes that the cast did a real good job on this first performance of Friday night.

She was thankful for the night’s audience while expressing hope that everyone had a good time and was ministered to by the Holy Spirit. She was glad she and the cast had a hand in changing people’s lives.

A dramatic person by nature, the young teenager, loves using her talent for the Lord. Her word to her peers, “Never change who you are. Be bold. Be courageous and always look to God. Stand out and make a difference.”

Aunyay says she loves the Lord and remembers intimately her salvation and Holy Spirit experience. It was a second time of accepting Christ that was most memorable. She says she wasn’t sure the first time, but now is. She talks to God, prays, and reads her bible every day. Ardent about being filled with the Spirit Aunyay says everything in her life is working. She proclaims, “And it fills good and its fills wonderful.”

Her character’s dream in the play was to be a veterinarian. In real life, she is pursuing a career with the Air Force as a Security Forces Specialist.

Robin White, Aunyay mothers, says that she’s thankful her daughter is doing drama and can tell the effect on her life. She’s also grateful her daughter is around positive people and doing positive things. She believes on top of that her getting closer to God was most important.

Her motherly words to other parents, “Encourage, encourage your children. If they feel they want to jump over the moon let them. Even if they fall, we will always be there to pick them up.

Encouraging families is one of the goals of Fresh Start. For the evening event, held at Pastor Eric Butler church on Rudderrow Road, the overall purpose of the event was to reach the community, although, the ministry’s hidden purpose is to restore hope.

“But you can’t do that without relationships, said Pastor Frank. So our goal is to touch a thirteen block radius and to develop a really good relationship with the people within.”

The ministry incorporates youth from all over Camden. Currently, there are about fifty youths that participate, performing in their relative sections of the city. Many live in the city’s toughest neighborhoods.

Fresh Start’s goal is to reach and touch 5,000 kids. They have started with 10 percent. Pastor Frank shared a recent event. The ministry in partnership with other organizations and the blessings of Camden’s Mayor ---Dana Redd, took 500 city kids over the Delaware River, to attend a Philadelphia 76ers basketball game, which was a first for a lot of the kids.

The ministry also was able to establish a positive relationship with the Philly Sport team organization. With this, the ministry is sponsoring a contest which will have the kids write letters of appreciation to all the organizations that help organized the trip.

Others involved in the February 21 event were Abra Watson, Ayanna Chism, Chasen Bynum, Grace Crosby, Khileedah Mitchell, Letti Piniero, Malik Moore, Nafees Norris, Shonda Toliver, and Stefahn Khalid.

For more information about this ministry, you may contact the Fresh Start Worship Center Camden NJ.


1 Chronicles 19:13 Be of good courage (chazaq), and let us behave ourselves valiantly (chazaq) for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in his sight

It was Pennsauken NJ, Camden city by vicinity, on the stage of the Urban Promise Ministries, a cast mostly of youth adorned in camouflage and kakis, trekked imaginatively through forest, jungle, and props on a journey of life. The theme was “chasing dreams” with the plot set with young explorers making their way while protecting their dreams from predators and problems inhabiting the jungle of society. The correlation was with real life, not just living in the challenged city of Camden, but just life, period, especially as a youth in today’s world of challenges.

ChazaQ (Haz-zaK)

By Terrence Clark―Chief Editor,

Voice of One Online ©2014

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