Hunter Street member launches evangelism ministrycomment (0)
February 19, 2009
By Greg Heyman
Paul Armstrong started singing in churches when he was 12, leaving him little doubt about how he could serve God.
“There is absolutely no time in my life I can identify where I am more centered in what God wants me to do than when I’m sharing through music from the stage,” Armstrong said.
And though he spent seven years as a bivocational music minister and sang periodically in churches, it was quite awhile before Armstrong, now 44, answered the call to use his music for full-time ministry.
He remembers receiving God’s call to ministry as a 17-year-old attending Bellevue Baptist Church, Gadsden, in Etowah Baptist Association.
But there were other considerations that came first, including paying his way through college and making sure he earned enough when he started a family. Prior to beginning a full-time career in music evangelism in 2008, Armstrong sold safety equipment for 18 years.
Two years ago, he and his wife, Caroline, felt God was leading him to pursue music full time, but they trusted that her work as a regional sales manager with a pharmaceutical company would be sufficient to support their family.
“Paul had talked about it as a desire of his heart for several years. I knew this was the direction God had for us a family,” she said.
Although Armstrong had sung in churches whenever possible — often receiving love offerings — he said his focus had been more on earning a steady income than on what God’s plan was for his life.
Ironically the calling of Armstrong’s then 13-year-old son Hunter to preach was a turning point for him.
Armstrong, now a member of Hunter Street Baptist Church, Hoover, in Birmingham Baptist Association, felt God speaking to him through Hunter’s experience.
“It dawned on me that I wasn’t really doing what I was pre-wired to do. Sales were good and I could have retired doing that, but was that what God wired me to do?” he asked.
Bart Clayton, a fellow Hunter Street Baptist choir member at the time and a tenor with the Birmingham-based quartet Track 7, provided encouragement as Armstrong took that leap of faith and served as a catalyst — and the producer — for his first CD, “Statement of Faith.”
Recording began in December 2006 and oftentimes was done in the same Nashville studio where singer Patsy Cline had recorded.
“Paul definitely showed that he did have the ability and talent to do this,” said Clayton, currently a member of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, in Birmingham Association.
With the release of “Statement of Faith” in January 2008 came the launch of Paul Armstrong Ministries. A concert at Hunter Street Baptist highlighted the release.
Since then, Armstrong has shared his faith through singing engagements at other churches and the sale of his CD.
“My first responsibility is to encourage the believer,” Armstrong said of his ministry. “But my next responsibility is to reach the lost through these concerts, should there be lost people there, and we always assume there are.”
He believes the CD’s 10 songs — ranging from gospel to hymns to inspirational to praise and worship — speak to a wide range of listeners.
The title song is one Armstrong has sung through the years at Hunter Street Baptist and decided to use as the name and message of the CD.
Recently the 145 Music Group in Nashville signed him to an exclusive recording agreement on its Gentle Breeze label. He hopes to begin work on a second CD as early as March.
For more information, visit www.PaulArmstrongMinistries.com.