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TBN's “Praise the Lord” Welcomes Japanese Worship Group Heavenese

LOS ANGELES (October 24, 2012) — On October 25 Trinity Broadcasting Network's award-winning music and ministry program Praise the Lord welcomes the Japanese worship group Heavenese. Started by Japanese pastor Marre Ishii, who with his wife Kumiko leads an unconventional church in a combination night club and cafe in Tokyo, Heavenese is in reality a high-octane stage show produced by gospel music legend Andraé Crouch, combining the culture and history of Japan with an exuberant fusion of rock and hip hop that glorifies God and presents a clear gospel message.


“I'm excited about being a part of Heavenese,” said Andraé Crouch. “Their music is so different and innovative, but so fresh and cool. It's true worship.”


Heavenese's appearance on Praise the Lord is part of a U.S. tour that is taking the group both to Kansas City and the Los Angeles area, sharing their music and telling how God is touching lives in Japan in the wake of last year's devastating tsunami.


After traveling to the U.S. in 1994, where he served a ministry internship at Calvary Chapel in La Habra, California, Marre Ishii returned to Japan to begin ministering in music and the Word of God. The idea of starting a church in the Kick Back Cafe, the night club and restaurant Marre and Kumiko opened as an outreach to youth, grew out of the realization that Japanese young people have no understanding of the western concept of “church,” but love music and hanging out at coffee shops and night clubs.


On Sunday mornings at the Kick Back Cafe, Pastor Marre's house band serves up over an hour of worship music, and then Marre follows up with a message from God's Word. “People can come in not knowing what to expect, and not feel threatened,” Marre recently told ASSIST News Service. “Then they can ‘kick back’ and have a good meal so that we can be friends with them and eventually they will be drawn to the Lord.”


The band Heavenese is an outgrowth of the move of God that many of Tokyo's youth have been enjoying at Marre and Kumiko's church. TBN Vice President Matt Crouch said that the group also represents an unprecedented surge of the gospel message that is happening all over the world.


“We are excited to welcome Heavenese to TBN's Praise the Lord program, and to hear how God is moving among the Japanese people,” he said. “At TBN we've had a 40-year commitment to the global impact of the gospel, and we never tire of finding new ways to partner in that outreach.”


Host Arthur Blessitt welcomes Pastor Marre and Kumiko Ishii and Heavenese to TBN's Praise the Lord program, October 25, at 7:00 p.m. (Pacific Time).


Media Contact
Colby May, E-Mail: cmay@tbn.org; Tel: 202-544-5171


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