For a normal weekday service, Carrubbers Christian Centre (CCC) in Edinburgh, Scotland gets just a few people attending church, but for the two weeks Alabaster Box was with them, they had an average of about 250 new people walking off the streets to join the service every night.
Alabaster Box was originally in Edinburgh to participate in the Fringe Festival. But while the group was there, they also held evangelistic concerts with CCC headed by Pastor Wayne Sutton
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The evening concerts, dubbed â€œThere is Hopeâ€, also featured some Scotland-based gospel music ministers like Steph Macleod, Ellyn Oliver and the Carrubbers house band among others.
During the concerts, loudspeakers were placed at the entrance of the church, which is strategically located on the high street and very close to one of busiest Fringe Festival centres.
So the live music blurring in the loudspeakers attracts people into the church for two hours of free music, soft drinks and pastries in a dinner setting.
Because this is being done close to one of the busiest Fringe Festival centres, it works as an innovative soul winning strategy for the church.
Once the unique afroppellla sounds from Alabaster Box gets to the streets, people just rush in droves, and the â€œThere is Hopeâ€ team members sit by their tables and minister salvation to them as they enjoy the music and some refreshment.
This would be the second time Alabaster Box is doing this with CCC during the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. The first time was in 2015 when the group first went to the Fringe.
Pastor of CCC, Wayne Sutton said he was very excited about the success of 2015 evangelistic concerts with Alabaster Box and that was why the church chose to do it again this year.
â€œYou guys make evangelism very easy. Once we have your music in the loudspeakers at the entrance people just walk in even without invitation, and we only speak to them once they come in,â€ he noted with gratitude.
He said the church is excited about the fact that they could take advantage of the festival and ride on the uniqueness and power of Alabaster Boxâ€™s music to be the voice of Christ during the world acclaimed Fringe festival.
One of the church leaders, Malcolm McGregor added that â€œon the first night we counted not less than 250 new people coming in and staying throughout and so far the least we have counted is about 220 per night. This is awesome.â€
Some members of the â€œThere is Hopeâ€ team also noted that Alabaster Box makes their work very easy because even though people are spoilt for choice during the Fringe Festival, it did not take much to convince people to come to Carrubbers once Alabaster Box starts performing.
The leader of Alabaster Box, Samuel Dowuona said the group is primarily a ministry focused on the great commission, so the evangelistic concerts with CCC is a greater fulfilment to them than even the paid concerts at the Fringe.
At the evangelistic concerts, Alabaster Box also did duets with brilliant Glasglow-based minstrel Ellyn Oliver and Steph McLeod.
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A couple who travelled from London to Scotland just to come to see Alabaster Box, later wrote on Facebook â€œWow! Such an awesome performance tonight. A wealth of vocal ranges. Worth running from the station to see you guys. You deserve a mega-huge audience. Thank you so much!!â€
Three female friends who gave their lives to Christ one of the nights walked up to the group and said they had to surrender their lives to Jesus simply because they could not believe that Alabaster Box could make such beautiful and authentic sounds in church without any musical instruments.
The group also spent their time at the Fringe Festival raising the flag of Ghana so high that the organizers even offered to give them a free stage to perform a few more days to keep audience coming.
Alabaster Box used their final performance at the Fringe to observe a minute of silence for the late former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, a man whose name featured on every day of the Alabaster Box concerts at the Fringe, particular when the group explain Ghanaian day names with the audience.
Source: Samuel Dowuona