Out of Darkness, Into Light


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frank's picture

Cambridge Youth Minister Spreading Fire with "Stay Lit" Album, Message of Positivity

Karlos Cobham Stays Lit for Jesus

Poverty. Prejudice. Climate change. The threat of nuclear war. “There’s a lot of darkness going on in the world,” said 28-year-old Karlos Cobham.

But for the Barbados native turned Cambridge youth minister, there is an opportunity for hope.

“What if we, as one people, were to keep our lights on instead of complaining about all the darkness? What if we were to shine our lights and take our light into dark places and eradicate the darkness going on,” Cobham asked.

That is the message of his ministry at First Holiness Church, where he runs the Destiny Youth Ministry program.

“Ministry at the First Holiness Church strives to build a community for the youth where they can grow and develop in a caring environment,” the church’s website reads. “The ministry seeks to develop youth so that they can fulfill their destinies in Christ and identify God’s calling in their lives, to become leaders and be ‘sold out’ for God.”

And regardless of one’s faith, or lack thereof, it’s a message of positivity that Cobham hopes to spread through his new music album called “Stay Lit,” featuring eight tracks, including a single by the same name.

“So the whole thing with ‘Stay Lit’ is not allowing darkness to take over their circumstances, whether it’s at home, school, work. If [people] were to shine their light and see the positiveness in the other person, in what’s going on, it’s going to help someone else out of their dark situation,” Cobham said.

It was a dark situation Cobham found himself in not too long ago.

“I was not always connected to Christ the way I should be. I always grew up in a church from when I was small, but that does not mean I was always connected to Christ,” he explained.

“I used to party, be in this popular group that led to a promiscuous lifestyle and peer pressure and pride,” Cobham said. “But you know what? Stay lit. It showed me that I need to stay away from things that affected me negatively.”

For Cobham, one of those things was low self esteem. It’s an issue he now sees in the young people with whom he interacts.

“They’re scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and they want to be like this person or that person,” he said, “but God wants them to be who they are.”

With a focus on his faith and church life, Cobham said his life turned around. He came to the United States in 2013, has led the youth ministry at First Holiness ever since, married four years ago, is a member of Cambridge Community Television, and now has a 3-month-old baby girl. And in 2014, he released his first album project called “L.M.I.Y. – Let Me Introduce You,” which earned him a nomination for a Barbados Music Award in the “Gospel Artiste of the Year” category.

Cobham’s message and personal story is one he hopes resonates with a wide audience, but particularly with young folks, he said. “We just want to encourage people before they go back to school and work to keep shining, to do what they’re created to do, to stay lit, stay on fire.”

The Stay Lit album release party will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1 at the Sonia live music venue, 10 Brookline Street in Cambridge, and will feature other musical acts, including International Show, Arielle Chanelle, Disciple and Twyse. Information can be found on the Facebook event page. Tickets are $15 by Aug. 25 and $20 at the door. (Doors open at 6:15.)

“I’m welcoming the churched, the unchurched, I just want people to come on out, to have a good time, but to leave fired up,” Cobham said. “I just want to shed some light on somebody so that their dark situation won’t take them away from their purpose.”

To learn more about First Holiness Church and the Destiny Youth Ministry, visit firstholiness.com. To learn more about Cobham, visit karloscobham.com. And to listen to the new Stay Lit single in its entirety for free, click here.


mholbrow's picture

Good luck KC.