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Purpose to celebrate 6th anniversary with free concert, dinner

After six years together spreading God's word through music and their personal testimonies, the four members of Purpose decided it was time to give back to the friends and family who have supported their ministry.

With that in mind, Purpose will celebrate its sixth anniversary with a special concert on Saturday, August 5, at 6 p.m., at Gateway Church of God (formerly Russellville Church of God), 15988 Highway 43 North in Russellville. The concert will also feature special guests New Ground and Day Three and will begin at 6 p.m.

Admission is free and the evening will be filled with special giveaways. A free meal will be served after the service.

It's our night to give back to our friends. We'll have a lot of giveaways and we just want to have a fun night as a way to say thanks to those who've supported us through the years,” said Purpose member Paula McDougle.

Purpose, a gospel ministry, includes McDougle, Tim Williams, Bryon Gann and Scott King. What began as a one-time special music service at Russellville Church of God in July, 2011, has turned into an award-winning music ministry over the last six years.

We feel like our whole church is our traveling partner. It's kind of like the family you branch off from,” Williams said. “We like to think when we go out to minister, we present our own personal ministry while representing the Kingdom of Heaven and (Gateway) Russellville Church of God.”

Purpose performs more than 100 services (don't call them 'shows') each year, with some weekends seeing the group do four services.

We are not good enough to put on a show. That's not us,” Williams said. “The only thing I can do is tell my story of where God brought me from to where I am today and that's the testimony of every one of our members.

Without His grace, I'd be dead. But God saved me and this gives me the opportunity to share that story with people of where he brought me from,” he added.

Although each member of Purpose still maintains a full-time job outside of music, the group has seen consistent growth since that first concert in 2011.

At the beginning God entrusted us with a little. We tried to be thankful with a little. Every year that little grew a little more,” McDougle said. “When we started, we didn't even have a sound system. Over the years, He entrusted us with more and when we were faithful from year to year, every year we saw more bookings, more chances to go into venues and share.

All we try to do is be faithful with what God gives us from year to year. As we grow, it gets heavier on our shoulders to take care of the more each year, but God has been good to give us that. Had you told us when we started that first night six years ago that we would win a contest, record a CD and have a song on the radio, we would have giggled. But we're just trying to be faithful with what the Lord has placed in our hands and take care of it,” she added.

The verse at the heart of the group's name is Romans 8:28, which reads: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The group now travels together in a sleeper bus, which means close quarters for its members. But McDougle said there's never been an issue with personalities conflicting within the group.

We have to share the same bonds with each other. Over tie, you have to be careful with who is on that bus,” McDougle said. “We are doing a ministry and if you cannot come together prior to and stay together you're not able to minister effectively. Got put us together. We're good friends and we have a good time together. Yes, each of us has our days, though.”

Williams agreed.

We are total opposites in personality. But each of us has our strengths and areas where we are weak. If we had to take off on our own, we'd never make it, not one of us. We just couldn't do it. But that's not how we were called,” Williams said.

Purpose signed earlier this year with M.A.C. Records under its Magnolia Records Division. That relationship began last year when Dennis and Leslie McKay, owners of M.A.C. Records, met the group at the Mississippi state quartet convention. The McKays invited Purpose to take part in a Gospel Music Weekend in Vernon, Alabama. That weekend included a talent search with the winning group receiving a professional CD to be produced at M.A.C.'s studio in Columbus, Mississippi. Purpose won the Vernon talent search and its relationship with M.A.C. Records was officially born.

Purpose is the total package. It's the Word, the Spirit...it's everything. It's much more than just the music. When people come to a worship service with Purpose, people come with expectations because you know it's going to be something good,” Leslie McKay said.

Purpose also won a promotional company package with Hey Y'all Media, which is promoting the group's 10-song CD, A New Day With Purpose. The CD includes seven original songs and three cover songs. The first radio release, Trust Him, written by McDougle, was released in June. After two weeks, the song broke into the top 100 of SGNScoops Christian Music Chart. That chart is based on airplay and listener requests from participating gospel radio stations.

To hear our song on the radio while riding down the road is just phenomenal. It's definitely been a fun experience,” Williams said.

Two more singles are slated for radio release later this year and the group is already discussing a new CD and considering some new original songs for inclusion in that project.

For more information about Purpose's sixth anniversary celebration, call 256-627-8784, or visit them on Facebook.



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