Singing a new song: Jesus House choir prepares for debut at Oklahoma shelter

The new Jesus House choir called “Reaching Out” is preparing for its debut at the homeless shelter's second annual Block Party on May 18.
by Carla Hinton Modified: May 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm •  Published: May 11, 2013

“And he has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”

— Psalm 40:3

Mia Stevens is singing a new song these days.

Recently surrounded by other members of a new local choir, the 23-year-old enthusiastically sang the words to a worship song:

“From my heart to the heavens, Jesus be the center. It's all about You, yes it's all about You.”

Stevens, 22, is one of the leaders of the Jesus House choir called “Reaching Out.” Rick Denny, the homeless shelter's executive director, said the choir will debut May 18 at the second annual Block Party at the shelter, 1335 W Sheridan.

Stevens said she had been clean from drugs for about a year but relapsed and was court ordered to participate in the Jesus House's residential treatment program for homeless people suffering from addiction and mental illness. The young woman, who once auditioned for the reality TV show “American Idol,” said her singing abilities were noticed by Jesus House staff and she was asked to be part of the new choir.

Being a part of the choir — something good and positive and inspiring — “feels good,” she said. Singing faith songs of hope and inspiration helps drive out the memories of desperate times and a troubled past.

“I feel worth something again. I feel like I have purpose,” Stevens said, smiling.

Denny said the choir was something he knew he wanted to begin when he became the shelter's director in 2011. He said the choir made up of about a dozen people will travel with him to various churches and other organizations where he is invited to speak. Denny said he is hoping that each of the choir members, like Stevens, will be given a sense of purpose. He said the choir also will show the general public that being homeless doesn't mean that one is without hope and a future.

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by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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It's an opportunity to make music and worship God, which is what I live for. To share this with the residents is just awesome.”David Flores,

a musician and Hillsdale faculty member,
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