UNION — A new gospel group whose members include a mother and daughter and a cousin will have their debut headlining an evening of gospel music this Saturday.
“Purified’s Coming Out Program” will be held Saturday at 6 p.m. at Michael Glenn’s Chapel at 361 Meansville Road, Union.
Presented by Chambertown Community Lighthouse, the program will be headlined by “Purified of Union,” a new gospel group composed of Calandra Rice Still, her daughter Zah’Koreya Jones, and her cousin Angela N. Curenton.
Still is a native of Union and a 1996 Union High School graduate who started singing at the age of 9 at McBeth Baptist Church as a member of the “Sunbeam Choir” directed by Josephine Hill and Shirley O. Epps. As her talent developed in the years that followed, Still sang with other choirs and praise teams, eventually being asked to join “Redeemed,” a gospel quartet out of Spartanburg.
Today, however, Still is a member of Purified of Union which she formed and serves as lead singer for while also serving as its manager, a step she said she took because of her relationship with her Lord and Savior and in gratitude for all He has done for her in her singing career.
“By God’s grace more doors opened for me, so I gave my all to Christ and started my group,” Still said. “I am manager and lead singer and have an awesome relationship with Christ.”
Another member of the group is Still’s daughter Zah’Koreya Jones who, at 18, is the youngest member of Purified of Union. It is the first singing group Jones has ever been a member of. She said she joined the group because of the encouragement and example of her mother, and because like her mother she too wants to put her singing talents to use serving Christ.
“My mom has been singing for years, and after hearing me just around the house she always told me I was going to sing,” Jones said. “After briefly singing with someone else, my mom decided to start Purified of Union. With faith, support from family and friends we have continued to share our love for Jesus. I am young, but I still know all of my help comes from the Lord.”
The third member of the group, Curenton, is also a native of Union and is a 1991 graduate of Union High School who began singing when she was 10, singing on the Copeland Harmonizer of Bethesda Baptist Church under the direction of the late Ms. Willie Bell Rice. Curenton said that Rice “instilled Christ in me and made me stronger.” She later went on to become a member of “The Golden Stars” singing both lead and back-up.
A few months ago, however, Curenton received a call from her cousin, Still, who asked her to join a quartet she was singing with. Curenton agreed to do so and soon became part of the process that lead to the formation of Purified of Union.
“I said sure I would love to,” Curenton said. “I went to rehearsal for the first time (and) I was so excited, it’s like I fell right in with the group, we were like family. As time progressed, me and my cousin stayed together and went on singing for the Lord where she came up with the name Purified.”
Curenton said her motto is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Saturday’s concert is called a “Coming Out Program” which has a double meaning. First, it is Purified’s debut, and second, but most important of all, Still said it is an opportunity for the community to come out and support the message of Christ as expressed through song.
“Please come out and support and enjoy the works of the Lord,” Still said. An invitation that Curenton also extended, inviting everyone to “come out and hear some good old gospel singing and give God all the praise for what He has done and gonna do.”
In addition to Purified of Union, who will be assisted in their performance by Jazmon Garrett and April Garrett-Weaks, Saturday’s concert will also feature performances by the following gospel groups from the following communities:
• The Voice of Harmony from Cowpens
• The Joylites from Gaffney
• The Sensational Carolina Boys from Spartanburg
• The Mitchell Family from Spartanburg
• Divine Harmony of Andrews will be the evening’s special guest.
• There will also be “Praise & Worship” by Vincent Downing & The Family
The evening will be hosted by Andre Tate.
For tickets and information call Calandra Still at 864-621-9710 or Angela Curenton at 864-762-2192.
Early Bird tickets are $7. General admission is $10 and $4 for children.
While the concert will begin at 6 p.m., doors will open at 5 p.m.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.