Canaan Coffman debuts as a solo artist with A Night of Worship in her hometown
By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com
DANVILLE, Ky. – Canaan Coffman knew the day was coming when some changes would be taking place. She just didn’t know exactly what they would be or when they would happen.
That time has come.
Canaan will be introducing her friends and fans to some of her new look with “A Night Of Worship With Canaan In Her Hometown” on Sunday, November 13. The event will be held at her home church, Danville Church of God. The night of worship begins at 6 p.m.
It’s new. It’s different. But it’s not a complete break from her role as a member of her family trio, The Coffmans.
The night will serve to lift the curtain on Canaan’s desire to expand her outreach in the role of a solo artist with an emphasis on worship.
“I have been planning this worship night,” she said a few hours before taking the stage with her parents in The Coffmans’ annual Coffmania. “It’s something I have been wanting to do, some of this solo stuff and kind of shifting into a new gear. It’s going to be like a soft debut, I think. I am really excited about it.”
She’s not leaving her parents. The Coffmans will continue to bring Southern Gospel whenever and wherever they can. But Canaan wants to broaden her horizons as in contemporary worship music.
“I never want to abandon my family,” says Canaan, who is 20. “I never want anybody to think I have outgrown that at all. That’s not the heart I want to have about this at all.
“I think we have all known there would come a time, at least for me, I have always thought there would come a time when this would take over. I never want to abandon my family. They have given me so many ministry opportunities and I think this is in the Lord’s will to be part of this with my family.”
Canaan says her parents, Louis and Tamra Coffman, are supportive of her new endeavors. “Oh, absolutely! From the start, they have said, ‘We will never make you do anything you don’t want to.’”
Interestingly, The Coffmans are not exactly a traditional sounding Southern Gospel trio. In fact, the group’s website, coffmansmusic.com, says, “The Coffmans’ music is rooted in Southern Gospel with a progressive twist.”
A Night Of Worship With Canaan In Her Hometown has been coming to fruition over time. Canaan believes God was tugging at her over the last 12-18 months. “There’s some stuff that was going on the last year or year-and-a-half and there were times when I felt the Lord shifting me. And there was stuff where I thought he was taking me but it didn’t work out. And so, I thought, ‘OK, I still think it was the Lord’s will to go through that stuff and it didn’t work out. So that was fine.”
But the fire burning in her heart kept getting hotter.
“It really caused me to shift my perspective to what God wanted me to do,” Canaan said of her experiences that met dead ends. “I was praying one day, ‘Lord, I don’t know what you want me to do, but I can’t just sit here. What is it I need to be doing right now?
“And it was like, ‘Bam! Do a worship night.’”
Canaan plans for her first night as a solo artist to be an event that blends elements of a concert with participatory worship. “It is a collection of songs that have been in my life, that for the past year or two have really brought me out of a dark place. There were some things I have been hoping for and praying for that just didn’t work out and how God sees us through all of that,” she says.
“Since I don’t have a lot of original material, I wanted to make it more than just about singing. It is more than just getting in front of people. There will be songs that I feel like God has placed in my life and I can share my testimony through these songs. There will be a mix of concert songs or listening songs, but there will also be some worship songs where everyone will be getting involved and cause them to get deeper with God.”
Canaan is reluctant to reveal everything planned for her setlist, saying she wants it to be “a little bit of a surprise,” but she did tease by sharing two songs she plans to bring that night.
“One of the regular songs I want people to listen to and learn from my testimony is a song called ‘Cages’ by We The Kingdom,” she says. “One of the worship songs – I’m really excited about this song and I think it is going to just change the night totally – is a song by Brooke Ligertwood called ‘Nineveh.’ And then there is going to be a special surprise. I am just going to leave it at that.”
Canaan is firm in her desire to expand her ministry beyond The Coffmans. While there are several soloists across all forms of Christian music with roots in a family group, she says she did not talk with any of them for advice. “I actually did not want to talk to anybody about this because I didn’t want anyone to change my mind,” she says with a big smile. “I knew what I wanted and I knew how I wanted to do it. I have many good friends in Southern Gospel and I knew this is how I wanted to do it.
“It wasn’t (softly saying) ‘What is your opinion on this?’ It was like, ‘Hey y’all! I am doing this!’”
Canaan’s shift to a contemporary soloist should not be considered a rejection of what she has been singing with her parents for over a decade. Instead, it’s a heartfelt desire to reach even more people for Christ.
“I absolutely love Southern Gospel. It’s my root. It’s what I have grown up in,” she says. “But I think with this new thing comes a shift in genre. The new thing is creatively something I want to experience. There are new people I want to introduce Jesus to.
“I love Southern Gospel music. I love the people in it. I love the fans and I hope they will still support me and listen to my music. But I think that is a part of this new thing. Times change. You have to change. If we did this one style forever and ever, then we would not have much creativity. I think the Lord is always doing something new in the hearts of people so we can reach different people.”
Canaan doesn’t know where her new ministry journey will lead. She’s on track to graduate from Liberty University in May with a degree in business, emphasis on entrepreneurship. Beyond that, she’s leaving everything to God.
“I have no plans,” she said when asked if she might leave Danville. “I legitimately have no clue. I have no plans to leave right now but all my plans are up in the air. I literally have no clue what is going to happen in the next year or whatever.”
But Canaan Coffman does know that wherever God leads her, that ministry will be focused solely on Him. “I never want any of my personal ministry to be based on me or any of my talents or abilities,” she says. “Sure, I am going to be singing music and I want to be as creative as I can, but I want my ministry to be based on the firm foundation of Jesus and his message.
“That message needs to go to people who can’t afford a ticket to a festival or concert. That message goes to people who are down, who are at the bottom of the barrel. I want to find those groups of people who maybe feel forgotten or need to have some light shed on them from other people.”
A Night of Worship with Canaan in Her Hometown should be a good start.
“What I want to do is make a night of worship something that my community looks forward to,” she says. “I really want the teenagers and college age demographic to have something to look forward to coming to. I am actually considering doing another one in January or February.
“I hope it is something my community will support.”
IF YOU GO …
“A Night Of Worship With Canaan In Her Hometown” will take place on Sunday, November 13 at 6 p.m. at Danville Church of God. The church building is located at 516 South Fourth St., Danville, Ky. There is no admission charge.