Digging deep in DeKalb
Maranatha Christian Center not only has a new look with the recent opening of the new Family Ministry Center, but some new faces as well, as they welcome worship tech arts pastors Rose and Emmanuel “Manny” Awuku to their staff.
Rose was born and raised in the tiny town of Denham, Indiana, where she says she always wanted to be a worship leader. “My parents took me to church as a kid, and when we walked in, I looked at the worship leader and told them, ‘I want to do that,’” she remembered. “My desire for ministry started there - God began to develop that in my heart.” Rose began taking music lessons, first acoustic guitar, then keyboard and vocal lessons. By the age of 16, she was working as a full-time worship leader, and it was around this time that she met her future husband, Manny. Originally from England, Manny moved to Indiana on a soccer scholarship and soon after meeting Rose, they began working as a team, with Manny working the tech end, before eventually learning guitar himself. Now he also writes music.
After the couple married, they accepted positions at a church in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Rose left her home for the first time to pursue her dream and her calling. “I had worked as a worship leader for several years, but when we moved to New Mexico, we were on our own, and that was a scary move,” she said. “But it was an amazing experience of growth.”
It was actually through social media that the couple learned of a position open at Maranatha. The Awukus were members of a Facebook group where Maranatha Pastor Steve McMichael posted the worship leader job opening, and after seeing it, Rose gave him a call. “It looked like such an awesome opportunity,”said Rose. “After a call with Pastor Steve I knew it was going to be a great fit and I was really praying I’d get the position.”
And obviously Pastor Steve and the people of Maranatha thought Rose and Manny would be a great fit too. They made the move to Texas and began work in October, and hit the ground running. One of the first things she did was to launch a YouTube channel, City Bright, with Maranatha Youth Pastor Christa Chinchilla. The purpose of City Bright is to showcase people, their testimonies, and to give them a platform to share what God is doing in their lives. “I love social media and believe it can be used in a good way,” she says. “We can give people something good to watch.” There are also plans for the near future to launch a live stream of worship services.
Rose also has her own YouTube Channel, Rose Awuku, where she showcases her music, and a website, www.roseawuku.com, where you can find more of Rose’s music, along with videos, her blog, make-up tips, and a powerful testimony that goes much deeper than a girl raised in a small town in Indiana. And having received nine years of vocal training herself, Rose also gives voice lessons.
Rose says she feels like she and Manny have found a home in DeKalb, and are excited about their future, and the future of Maranatha. “I think God is a fun God and he wants us to have fun in our worship,” she says. “So we have fun in church. We are joyful worshippers. Our goal is to go in, have fun, and dig deep with what God has for us.” She also feels like Maranatha, as well as DeKalb, are places she can grow and realize her vision and her dreams. “So far it’s been amazing,” Rose said. “One of the things Maranatha has been so big on is having that (progressive) vision. The staff here never want to settle. They always want to be progressing forward and one of the reasons I accepted this position was for that reason…. God is a big God and he can do big things, so let’s not just do the little stuff. Let’s do the big stuff.”
Maranatha welcomes you to join Rose and Manny and the rest of the Maranatha staff at worship services, beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings.