Church History

Divine Purpose Church started from what was formally New Prospect A.M.E Church. The original church was built in 1942 by the members of the church after 1.6 acres of land was given to the church by Mr. Newman Grimes. It is said that the members were former members of the Wayman Chapel A.M.E Church, which was located in the fields of what’s known as the Hickory Withe Area of Fayette County, Tennessee. The church was described as “old and barely standing” because the building was propped up with old telephone poles. There was an obvious need for a new place to worship and the need would be met with a donation from within the membership. Land was donated from within the congregation and the building was erected in June, 1946 for New Prospect AME Church.

During many years, the church was given pastor after pastor as it was the custom of the A.M.E Church to appoint pastors to the church at their discretion. For many years the members of New Prospect A.M.E Church gave monetarily to the Denomination as instructed and in the minds of the younger believers, the practice of often changing pastors and giving more and more money became undesirable. Towards the end of 1999, bold and determined officers had a business meeting to discuss a future that would allow them to settle with one pastor and focus on growth and personal development. They decided they wanted to be an independent church free of any Denominational dictatorship. Two officers led the church in a difficult fight that ultimately caused a split in membership leaving only 12 people to fight for change. The struggle was difficult as the people were sometimes threatened to be locked out of the building, told they couldn’t leave the Denomination, told that they had to leave the building they had built and paid for and ultimately left to wonder how things would end.

In July of 2000, Elder Ron Alexander was contacted by a deacon of the church and asked to preach on Sundays as they went through their process. For several years before this endeavor, Elder Alexander had been their “Youth Day” Speaker. The deacons called him in to minister to the people as they awaited an outcome to their endeavor to be free of the Denomination. Upon learning of their struggles and desires, Elder Alexander mentioned the struggle to his pastor, Dr. Herman Powell (Early Grove Baptist Church, Memphis, TN). Dr. Powell was familiar with top Executives within the structure of the A.M.E Denomination and was able to help bring closure to the ongoing struggle. In September of 2000 after much prayer, Dr. Powell’s assistance and obviously the favor of God, caused the A.M.E governing council to grant the church their request to become independent and elected to sell them the building that they had been worshiping in for many years. In the process, the people asked Elder Ron Alexander to become their pastor. On October 8, 2000, Dr. Herman Powell, Pastor Ydell Ishmon (Boston Baptist Church, Memphis, TN), and Rev. Charles Mabin held an Installation and Organizational Service for the purpose of officially reorganizing the church and installing Pastor Ron Alexander.

The church operated under the name New Prospect Baptist Church upon official reorganization and remained as such until December 7, 2003, when the name of the church was changed to Divine Purpose Baptist Church after Pastor Alexander revealed to the congregation that "We are no longer Prospects (possibilities) but are called of God to fulfill His Divine Purpose". The congregation welcomed the name change.

In 2006, Pastor Alexander was consecrated to the Office of Bishop. The "Episcopal" order of church government was duly adopted and implemented. Upon witnessing the transforming power of the Holy Ghost in life of the church, Bishop Alexander found that God was transitioning the church and moving it from what is known to be the traditional Baptist Church. The church soon dropped "Baptist" from the church name in 2007. On September 22, 2007, Bishop Ron Alexander was installed as Founder and Presiding Prelate of Divine Ministries International Fellowship. Divine Purpose Church now proudly serves as the mother church to several other churches and ministries.

Divine Purpose Church has been renovated over the years. In 2020, the church was blessed to secure funding for a new building and in 2021, the building process began and was completed at the end of August of 2023.  After a month of prayer and preparation, we marched into the new edifice on October 1, 2023. God is consistently leading us as our history continues to grow in Him.