Leading God's Generation
Some artists spend years toiling under the glare of a regional spotlight, all the while yearning for a broader exposure for their ministry. As many will testify however, it takes more than simply desire and talent to expand to that next level. Indeed, if you listen carefully enough, you will hear some voices in the Gospel industry bear witness to the fact that God’s purpose is not necessarily for every ministry to be exalted to the national stage.
To hear one perspective of this issue, GospelFlava.com contacted Venoal “Junior” Fountain, the youthful leader and director of God’s Generation. Fountain recently emerged from his Bridgeport, Connecticut base to sign a national recording contract with Jerry Peter’s and James Bullard’s MCG Records.
MCG Records recorded the highly urbanized choir sounds of Junior Fountain and God’s Generation in a live concert in February, 1999. With accompanying studio work for the project still ongoing, a 2000 release date is anticipated. In June 1999, Fountain married choir member Janeen Pettway.
In this article, Fountain describes that path that God is leading him on, and brings in several important principles applicable to all Gospel artists. Check it out, as he testifies in his own words:
(The Testimony of Junior Fountain)
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ placed a special gift inside each and every person that would in some unique way allow us to lead souls to him. Whether it is singing, preaching, dancing, exalting, or any other gift, God’s Spirit will be manifested and the individuals will prosper in that gift. We, as the body of Christ, must use our gifts for the building of God’s kingdom; moreover, these gifts must be dedicated for the purpose of winning souls for Him.
In August of 1996, the Lord laid it on my heart to start God’s Generation. At the time, I was attending Sacred Heart University as a part time student, as well as directing the youth choir at my church. I was so occupied starting a group was not something that I wanted to do. However, being obedient to the Spirit, God’s Generation was born.
At first, I could not understand why the Lord wanted me to begin this ministry. As time passed, I realized that God wanted a ministry for young people that would allow them to be themselves, but yet hold up the standard of “holiness.” Our youth today need to know and understand that being saved does not mean that your life stops. Quite contrary, it is the beginning of life. Myself, along with the ministry of God’s Generation became, and still are dedicated to reaching souls, not limited to youth only, with this message.
From this vision, God began to show favor like never before. Doors started opening for the group to fellowship and sing beyond the walls of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Our message was being received throughout the New York and tri-state areas. To add, we established a relationship with 'Chip Off The Block' Productions and its president, H. Doobie Powell. It was then that I realized that God wanted this message to be carried to people all over the world.
As we continued to sing and travel on a regular basis, the Lord lead us into the recording studio in the beginning of the year 1998 and we released our first independent single “Just A Taste” in June of that same year. At first the purpose of recording a single was only to serve as a fund-raiser to assist in our traveling expenses; God had another plan.
Still having ministry as the purpose of our existence, God began to open many more doors for myself and the group. Our independent single began making world-wide gospel radio charts, which sparked the attention of few major record labels. “Horror stories” that are associated with record labels and the gospel music industry made it difficult in deciding whether signing onto a major record label would benefit group and the ministry. The only thing we could do was fast and pray for an answer from the Lord.
After dealing with a number of interested record labels, our prayers were answered “Junior Fountain and God’s Generation” became MCG Records national recording artist in October of 1998. Moreover, our debut single “Just A Taste” was re-released as an EP on a national level in February of 1999. I must say, it is truly a blessing to have a record label that is not only concerned with selling records; but also about music that will reach, touch, and encourage souls to come to Christ.
In conclusion, I would encourage anyone who has a desire to become a national recording artist to ask the question “why”? Is it to minister to souls in need, to become famous? Or, is it both? If God has blessed us with a gift, we need to dedicate ourselves as well as our gifts to Him. He will provide the increase and your gifts will begin to prosper if you are dedicated to your purpose. The purpose must be building the body of Christ.
Call Rea Fountain at (203)336-3027.
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