Min. leya elijah-eller
Leya, was born and raised in Muskegon, Michigan. She is the oldest of three daughters born to Dr Dwight and Bernadette Elijah.
She found her passion for dance and the performing arts at a very early age. In fact, she cannot remember a time in her life, when she was not dancing, singing or performing! She began dancing at the at of 16 in her parents church in Angleton, Tx. She began to dance across the country as her father would invite her to minister during his concerts. Later that year the Elijah family returned to their hometown of Muskegon and founded Faith, Hope & Love International Church. It was at this same time that she began to assisting her parents by leading the fast growing children's ministry, which in 2 years would grow to over 250 children and a staff of 30 under her her leadership. She coordinated the ministry's Children Celebration Services which were formal events attended by even the local mayor and other branches of local government.
At the age of 18, she was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and given only a few years to live. While praying and believing for her healing, she stopped dancing and poured her heart into the childrens ministry. Although, after being healed from cancer within that year, she had gotten married and had a baby, and felt she could not return to dancing.
At the age of 19, she was asked to assist in starting and overseeing the Teen Ministry, 911 Power Teens. Under her leadership this ministry achieved incredible success, growth, respect and visibility throughout the entire city.
After 5 years in hiatus and multiple health issues, God called her back to dance and she returned in a mighty way. The anointing on her life had increased and she now ministered under a powerful prophetic anointing as she danced.
Over the years she has choreographed countless dance and production pieces. She had the privilege to coordinate and lead arts programs for Muskegon Heights Public Schools, including her own summer arts camp. She has traveled to preach many places and has assisted many dance teams in transitioning to new levels of creativity, professionalism and excellence. She has mentored dance ministry leaders in how to lead, grow and be set apart.
After moving to South Carolina in 2005, she found herself at a stand still in ministry and it was in this place that God would shift and elevate her once again. After speaking with her pastors, she was released to to take all God had given her beyond the four walls of the church. She took her years of dance, childrens and youth ministry experience and her experience with theatre and the performing arts and set out to do a dance musical. Establishing Pee Dee Community Art Team with prayer and faith, the beginning was a challenge and explaining a vast and albeit unique vision of blending the church and the arts didn't come easy or even always welcomed. A few different methods were tried before she would discover the "Dream Team" who are now affectionately known as PDCAT. Deciding it must be time to retire, she decided to do one last dance musical. This time it was all or nothing. She brought together a production team of willing and able person, a choreography team of qualified dance teachers and dance ministers and auditioned for RESTORED: A Dance Musical. The result, was an incredible team of powerful young artists coming together to present a dynamic masterpiece to an almost packed house! And it was so... Pee Dee Community Arts Team was officially formed and she took her place confidently as their Artistic Director. In just a short time, she has led them in 2 productions and they have performed with recording arts as back-up dancers!
Yet in still with all these accomplishments she finds pride in her 3 greatest masterpieces... her children: Me'Ara, Dwight and Nathaniel!