The lights are dimmed and there is a standing room only crowd. DJ Shawn Rickshaw is spinning some of the hottest music ever heard and the dance floor is popping. Tasty strawberry daiquiris and pina coladas are being served. Beautiful men and women are decked out from head to toe in their sharpest attire. Sounds like a typical club scene, right? Wrong! What sets this place apart is Jesus.
On March 5, the Legends Café in Hollywood was transformed into a Christian club for the grand opening of The Christian Lifestyle, an event which promotes the idea that faith and fun can go hand-in-hand.
It was presented by GodIsObvious.com and the Shawn Rickshaw Marketing Group, which are owned by husband and wife team Eullys and Aprille Phillips-Hinnant and Christian DJ Shawn Rickshaw, respectively.
GodIsObvious.com is a promotional organization created by the Hinnants to publicize events.
The Hinnants and Rickshaw collaborated on the March 5 event after realizing the need for an innovative venue that could simultaneously edify and entertain, debunking the myth that Christians don’t have fun.
“We really want the nonbelievers to come out and see how we live and how much fun we have. Why not exemplify the father in more than just church on Sundays and bible study on Tuesdays,” Aprille said.
Her husband agreed with her sentiment.
“The goal of The Christian Lifestyle is to expose and introduce the kingdom of Jesus Christ to the world. Through this event we’re showing people better than we can tell them that Christianity is not a religion, it’s a lifestyle. With believers and non-believers alike, if you’re not showing them something different, they don’t listen,” said Eullys.
The Hinnants, who both have extensive backgrounds in entertainment, said they initially came up with the concept after hosting successful house parties at their home for almost a year.
“We had a lot of unsaved friends because of the industry and we would throw lots of parties and everyone would have such a good time. They would be like you guys really have fun. Finally it settled in my heart we really need to step out and do this,” Aprille said.
Then while the Hinnants were in a meeting with Rickshaw for a different reason, he expressed a similar desire to do a sophisticated Christian party. They combined forces and The Christian Lifestyle was born.
The exclusive party, at which everyone wore white, drew over 400 people from various cultures and age groups. Some attendees eagerly expressed how much fun they had.
“It was awesome. I had great time. I talked about it for two days,” said Deanne Cox, a Miami Gardens resident who said she’s dreamed of an event like this since she first stopped going to nightclubs after she embraced Christianity.
“I remember how I used to feel like I was at an all-time high when I first started going to nightclubs in the world, because I loved dancing and music so much. But this event superseded that. It’s like I was resurrected in a good way,” Cox said.
Chantell Stubbs, who is Cox’s friend, agreed with her.
“I love dancing but I’ve never been comfortable going to the club. It was a great thing to be able to dance and enjoy the company of friends and strangers alike in a wholesome Christian environment,” Stubbs said.
At the club the drinks were non-alcoholic; a full dinner menu was served; and the music was a variation of Christian genres including: R & G (rhythm & gospel); holy hip-hop; gospel reggae; gospel salsa and gospel house.
Rickshaw, who has been a gospel DJ for nine years and has eleven highly successful Christian mix tapes under his belt, said his partnership with the Hinnants was ordained by God.
“I met the Hinnants and it was just God. The Christian Lifestyle is works over words. We’re not just saying we’re taking Jesus out of the box, we’re actually doing it. We’re living the kingdom before actually getting to the kingdom,” Rickshaw said.
Rickshaw also said he only plays music that talks about Jesus.
“Through my music what I’m bringing to the forefront is the word of God. Don’t look at me because I’m just the opening act. I want people to accept Jesus Christ. I’m definitely the person who’s going to say gospel when other people are saying positive music or life music,” Rickshaw said.
The next party is tentatively set to take place on Friday, April 9th. The theme will be “Jazzy Jeans and Jackets.” The Hinnants, however, promised that the Christian club is just the first in a line of many great events to come.
“God is such a creative God and we’ve limited Him. Don’t limit us and don’t box us in because this is just the beginning. You’re going to get ready to see a couple of other things that we’re going to do that is just going to blow the body away,” Aprille said.
Photo: Eullys and Aprille Phillips-Hinnant