by Ireal James
The DeFloor Center in Atlanta welcomes a new experience, The Loft Forward (The Loft). Lauren Ward, founder, established the Loft Forward with the help of her sister, Kristan Ward, and close friends, Kamilah Benjamin, Taia Dawsey, Karlton Sherman, Nehemiah Ray, Karrington Dean, and Jasmine Jones in March 2015.
“The Loft was started with a purpose of bringing young men and women together in spiritual worship with God in a unique way,” Ward said. “We care about your Saturday nights and that’s when we always have Loft events.” On the last Saturday of 2016, the Loft Forward hosted its first New Year’s Celebration.
Before the clock struck 12, Pastor LaBryant Friend of All Nations Worship Assembly delivered a message on letting go of the past and moving forward in the future and led the audience in prayer before a countdown into 2017.
In addition to stage performances by Spoken word artist, Venus Blu, and Billboard gospel artist, Jor’Dan Armstrong, the event included photography, a live skit and a live art gallery. Outside of the party room, guests enjoyed a lounge and minibar where they were able to socialize with others who were in attendance at the party.
“I came once before and I really, really really liked it,” said guest, Carla Wyat. “I had a great time, but I live in Alabama so it’s a drive. I can’t come as often as I would like, but I knew that the New Year event was going to be a blast so I couldn’t miss it,” she said.
“I love the Loft,” said audience member, Daishu McGriff. “I love the fact that I have somewhere to go as a believer, to like just really enjoy the atmosphere and not necessarily go to the club. It’s like that’s not the only reason we have to like you know to dress up.”
With over 600 people in attendance of the Loft New Year Celebration, Ward says she was grateful for the turnout. “People really got to experience God,” Ward said. “We wanted people to be able to hear how they could be successful in this next year, how they could move forward in this next year– and I think the success to me, and even for our team, is that people got to experience God.”
The Loft has more to offer in 2017 that provide guests with a chance to experience God.