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Purvis Community Center raising money for new sign

Purvis Community Center, located on Highway 17 between Thomson and Wrens, is playing host to a concert on Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. to raise funds for a newly erected sign.

Purvis Community Center, previously known as Purvis School House, was built in 1936 by the Warren County Board of Education for the educational needs of children in the Panhandle of Warren County. After the school moved to the City of Warrenton in the 50's, the old school house was abandoned.

Many years later, a group of people went to the Board of Education with an idea to put the old school house to use on a regular basis. The Board of Education agreed to turn the property over to them if and only if they formed a Board of Trustees and Officers and with the understanding that they were solely responsible for maintaining the place.

Since that time, almost 25 years ago, Purvis School House has operated as Purvis Community Center, a non-profit organization "where people can come and have a great time with Gospel, Bluegrass, and Country Music," nearly every weekend.

On the weekend of the 13th Louisville local, Hank Murphy will add Contemporary Christian to that list. Also performing with Hank will be the Wesleymen Quartet from First United Methodist Church of Thomson and Adoration from Goldsboro, N.C. The three performers will take the stage in an effort to raise money for the center's new sign.

The previous sign was destroyed in a terrible wind storm over two years ago. Just a little more than three weeks ago, the new sign was erected and now stands on Hwy 17 greeting the center's visitors.

The sign, which was estimated to cost no more than $1,000, ended up costing almost twice that much. Volunteers with the Purvis Community Center raised $1,000 for the sign with a concert on June 23 and are now left with the task of collecting the rest of the balance.

They're hoping that bringing the Wesleymen Quartet back for a second concert and the addition of the group Adoration and soloist Hank, who won second in The Augusta Chronicle singer-songwriter competition, will draw an even bigger crowd, fill the 300 seats that could originally be found in the Bell Auditorium in Augusta and raise the rest of the money needed.

They also have other ulterior motives for Hank, a senior from Jefferson County High School. They hope that while Hank helps them in their outreach to different age groups, the experience their providing Hank with will ultimately help him to reach out to a larger audience.

"We're trying to get more youth involved," said Organizer Ralph McGahee. "And we're trying to give him exposure."

McGahee sung gospel for 20 years with two groups, The Singing Witnesses and Southern Song Masters. He traveled and performed on stages all over Georgia and South Carolina, including Purvis Community Center's stage.

Thomson's Bill Howard, bass singer for the Wesleymen Quartet, has special ties to Purvis Community Center also. Apart from performing on its stage numerous times, his mother, Thelma Poole, was once a school teacher during the old Purvis School House's earlier days.

"This place has a history from way back when," said Mr. McGahee.

Hank's shot at making his name part of the center's extensive history is quickly approaching. He will join the long list of performers before him including Mr. McGahee and Mr. Howard and groups such as Hovie Lister and the Palmetto State Quartet, Les Beasley and the Florida Boys and the Anchormen Quartet.

"We've had topnotch groups from around the state," said Mr. McGahee.

Hank's name will be among performers from the 44 groups that comprise the Southern Gospel Guild and CSRA Guild.

To listen to Hank, the Wesleymen Quartet and Adoration live in concert, contact Mr. McGahee for tickets at (706) 547-6767 or by mail at 2291 Hwy 17 N. Wrens, GA 30833.

A $10 donation will be collected prior to the concert or at the door and tickets will be mailed or delivered in person.

Concessions including BBQ plates, hamburger plates, hot dog plates, coffee and a variety of cold drinks will be available.



Web posted on Thursday, November 4, 2004


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