PK2A5482(2)In an interview with Lead Pastor, Bill Purvis, we addressed some questions; issues and thoughts to help you become better acquainted with the pastor. We hope you find this beneficial.






To provide leadership in the ministry of the local church. This means that he is responsible for seeing that the church is in alignment with the great commission. (The Great Commission is found in Matthew 28:19-20.)
Never. I didn’t grow up in church, didn’t know anyone in ministry, so at the age of 21 when God called me, it was all brand new for me.
I was fortunate to have good mentors. Dr. Rick Cagle was my first. He’s still a friend and guide in my life. Dr. Jim Lee helped me get grounded early on. Dr. A.T. Stewart and his wife Teri guided me and Debbie in marriage principles. Dr. Ike Reighard befriended me when I needed a friend in ministry. John Jacobs showed me how faith actually works. Dr. John Maxwell gave me tools and personal encouragement in leadership. I’m indebted to him and still believe he’s the best gift of this century to the body of Christ. I still stay in touch with my mentors.
I don’t think of changes as “sacrifices” in our situation (considering the early believers were beaten, stoned, crucified, and thrown to lions for their faith). Giving up a comfortable seat, a close parking place or working in the nursery doesn’t compare to their example of a sacrifice, so we’re not at a sacrifice stage, but we do continually make adjustments. We will always have to decide if tradition or comfort is more important than the souls of our children, grandchildren, or a new generation. That’s a choice that we will always face.
Keeping the whole church focused on the big picture is one. It’s so easy to think narrow, selfish, and in terms of comfort.
Yes, the expectation of some people. I cannot be everywhere at all times and personally respond to every need. Nor do I know everything going on in the church. It’s best that I don’t.
Our staff and lay-leaders use their gifts and passion for God to meet needs and help the church in all of its many ministries. We could not do all we do without them. They are the best.
I am constantly asked by pastors “If I could do ministry all over again, what would I do differently?” My book “Pray for Your Pastor” is my response to that question. I began our Pastor’s Prayer Partner ministry about 10 years into ministry. I’d do it from day one today. It’s the ministry that unifies the church and aligns us before God. Our church is a very strong church at the core. Few churches will ever reach this level. We’ve weathered storms that would have crushed most ministries and enjoyed victory because of prayer. The book is a written guide for establishing a Pastor’s Prayer Partner ministry in any church.
Yes. I don’t believe that a church without something as intentional as this in the realm of prayer will ever reach their full potential. At the present we have 1200 prayer partners. We helped 5 churches recently begin this ministry themselves. One church had not baptized more than 5 people per year for 7 years. One week after establishing this, they baptized 26 people. The bonding it brings between pastor and people is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It’s not a trick, trend, gimmick or another of the programs that churches create to keep people busy. It’s a life changing, true transformation experience. It’s totally Biblical. Jesus said, “My Father’s house is to be a house of Prayer.” That’s the goal. If we can be aligned with God, we can be in His will. If anyone is interested in beginning this in their church, simply contact us and we’ll help.
In a discussion with our staff counselors a few years back they were sharing with me the struggles our people were facing and describing how people make decisions. I took a note pad and asked about the issues and noted something I’d never seen before. Almost every single poor decision or choice that someone made came from an emotional response. From that I created a series of sermons called, The Emotion Driven Life. When it aired on TV the positive response was surprising. From that I put those messages in print and again we’ve received hundreds of letters from people who say it changed their life.
My view of television ministry has changed from what it was years ago. Initially, I didn’t understand why a church would use it. Today, I get it. First, one needs a definite call from God to do it. The majority of lost people do not attend church. Television is one of the best tools available to reach them. We’ve reached people for Christ in Iraq, South America, Australia, Japan, all of America, and around the globe. Many who visit our church came because they first saw us on television, so our local church has been helped. I believe in this ministry. Every time I can invest a dollar in this ministry, I’m eager too, because I see the results. I also hear from pastors across the country who get members because of our program. So it’s a major outreach.
I think God allows us to hear some rumors, or criticism to give us a laugh. We’ve heard the absurd from having to show a W-2 upon joining, to charging for a parking space, and other ridiculous things. Of course, they’re untrue, but you have to admit, they’re comical.
Jealousy is sin and it doesn’t make sense to me. It reveals a lot of pride for someone to question Gods right to bless whom He chooses, or be jealous of God’s favor on another. God doesn’t need to have our permission before He blesses someone. So to the question, I avoid jealous people and ignore pettiness. I choose to associate with loving, mature people.
Souls. I want people who have not been to church, or heard the gospel to receive Christ.
Ingratitude, laziness, lack of courage, and the wasting of time.
I enjoy seeing people win. I pull for anyone rich or poor, regardless of race or nationality, who is authentic, loving, loyal, and passionate for a good cause.
No, it’s a mirror, it always reveals their motives. Titus 1:15 says, “Unto the pure all things are pure, but unto those who are defiled is nothing pure.” Meaning if a person is a thief, he thinks everyone steals, if a person is a liar, he thinks others are. Pure hearts see purity, defiled hearts see nothing pure, that’s what this verse tells us. When a heart is free of greed, pride, and such, that heart assumes the best and wants the best for others. The sin we are enslaved by is often the one we search for in others.
John Maxwell, Phillip Yancey, Jack Welch, Noel Tichy, & Max Lucado. I read others, but these are always on their game.
I enjoy reading, so I try to read one or two books per week. I was recently given a kindle, so that’s like reading on steroids for me.
Not really, how could I? I’ve never deserved one single thing in my life. God has shown me mercy and grace in every area of life. No regrets, just praise to Him. I do have some dreams at the moment that I’m allowing to develop in my soul, but those are between me, my wife and God, and we’re presently living in the direction that is taking us toward them, so we’re on course. I don’t think all dreams should be made public. If they don’t involve or affect others, they should be personal and private. Of course vision for an organization has to be public to be realized. In the end, God fulfills what He has planned for us and that’s what’s awesome about this journey.
Several years ago I was mentoring a banker in Biblical leadership and he began to bring friends. It grew to the point that we moved it to a weekly luncheon where hundreds attended. It kept growing. I then decided the best strategy would be to record them and offer the teaching monthly by a subscription rate, sent to a home to office so that a person could learn at any time. It’s taken off now. We teach Biblical leadership principles that cover a large span of topics that you can apply to your life or organization. I love it! We’ve met so many successful people that say that BPL was a big part of their personal growth. I recommend it to people who are serious about personal development.
I’m blessed. Our home is normal I guess. Active and sometimes trying to get chaotic, but we direct what we can control. Our children are grown and married, so the home isn’t as noisy or busy as it once was, but we’ve adjusted well. The past three or four years have undoubtedly been the very best of our lives. Our home is our oasis. I moved my library and study home when the kids moved out. I used their rooms so they can’t return. Life is good.
She’s the love of my life. 30 years of marriage in July and I’m still the luckiest man I know. She was a homecoming queen who God prepared especially me. She’s wise, intelligent, confident, quiet, self controlled, and mature. She carries herself with a class that I find attractive. I value her opinion more than anyone else I know. John Maxwell said of her leadership, “Bill has 5,000 in him. Debbie has 10,000 in her.” That was a big and true compliment. Rick Cagle once said, “When you meet Debbie, you can understand one reason Bill has done well.” I agree.
We’ve grown together. When we began we had very little and no understanding of how a marriage worked. We were just in love. Both our driving passions have always been to learn, grow and improve, so that helped. We communicated well, and that also was a plus. We grew to understand that we were different in the way we think, in the gifts we have, and in the way we resolve issues. That was a defining stage for us.

I believe the best in people, so I get used by people I let get close to me. She reads people well, so I rely on her these days. I’m an idea-guy and I’m a generous giver to a fault. She’s observant and discerning. Like any marriage it takes constant work on both our parts to make progress. Sometimes, we bat 1000 and sometimes we can’t get on the same page. That’s life for us.

We are blessed with 3 sons and 6 grandchildren (4 boys & 2 girls). Our sons were 2 years apart in age, they look different from each other, act different, have different gifts and yet they are extremely close to each other. BJ is the oldest, Brent is the middle child and Blake is the youngest.

What are they like?

BJ lives in Southern California with his wife Loryn and their 2 children, Kellan Christian and Allie Paige. He graduated from Auburn University with a B.A. in Criminology. He’s a writer. His hobbies are surfing, traveling and anything to do with the water. He’s gifted with creativity, intelligence and a GREAT sense of humor. His wife Loryn is both beautiful and intelligent. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbus State University with a degree in Communication, and went on to graduate from San Diego Culinary Institute as a professional chef. She was a Young Life leader here in Columbus for many years.

Brent, our second son, is a gifted leader. He went to Columbus State and Troy State Universities. He’s now taking seminary classes for personal, in-depth Bible knowledge. His strength is financial administration. His hobbies are: triathlons, biking, running, swimming, & big game hunting. He’s married to a beautiful, smart girl named Carrie. She has her Master’s degree in education from Troy State University and taught school for many years. Brent and Carrie have 2 children, Emme Reese and Elijah Cruz.

Blake is our youngest son. He and his wife Victoria have 2 boys, Beau Hudson and Jack Ryan. Blake is a full time pilot. After completing his aviation education and all ratings in South Florida, he gained sufficient hours to fly various aircraft for several different companies. One of the highlights of his calling was delivering medical supplies to Haiti the Dominican Republic several times weekly to the most needy of mankind. He later would enjoy transporting doctors and transplant organs to various regions in life and death emergencies on a daily basis for a few years. His hobby is golf. He too has been blessed with a beautiful wife who is continuing to pursue her education while being an awesome full-time Mom.

Leadership and communication.
No. Evangelism to me is a command more than a gift. I do personal evangelism, but it’s not any easier for me than it would be for anyone else.
I need to see people succeed and things progress. It’s a gift that spots quickly why something is broken or how something can be improved.
The church needs it. In most churches, the pastor doesn’t have nor understand leadership gifts. In those circumstances, God raises up lay people with that gift to help the church. When I began ministry, I had that gift, but I’d never known a pastor with it, so I quenched it. All gifts are meant to edify and advance His kingdom. Today it grieves me that the world values leadership more than the church. That’s why they have better leaders. In the church, we accept gifts of mercy, serving, teaching, exhorting, and others but the two gifts we’ve downplayed and resisted are, giving and leadership. The church suffers for that too.
Almost 1200 people pray for me. They are the Pastor’s Prayer Partners. That is such a blessing that I cannot describe it. It unites us, empowers us, and results in our people loving Jesus and each other.
I love Cascade Hills. I’m proud of this church. I’m proud of what we stand for, of who we are, of the LORD we represent, and I’m not ashamed to say to the world that Cascade Hills is where I worship and experience God at every week. We have never sold out, played the game, or tried to avoid the cost of being a Christ follower. I believe Cascade Hills is the greatest church in America. If I didn’t, I’d be at the one that was. Like watching a child grow up, I’ve watched this church grow from infancy to its present stage and have loved the growth pains, the success, and this journey. You have to understand this environment to appreciate the modern day miracle of Cascade Hills Church. Columbus Georgia is saturated with churches of all kinds.

There are few cities in America with as many churches per capita as this area. Churches are everywhere you look in this region. In homes, offices, schools, restaurants, empty buildings, church houses and new ones are beginning every week. People swap churches in this area as much as 3 times in their lifetime. It’s a religious atmosphere and Cascade Hills stepped up and broke from that setting with a mindset for lost people and a cross-centered mission. This church was built from day one on lost people. We never went after a member of another church. We took the high road in gaining members and God honored this with amazing favor. We were a purpose-driven church long before Rick Warren ever wrote his book. I saw those principles in the Bible. We never picked up code words the church uses to be cool or pretend to be relevant, we were just real from the core and you don’t get that mimicking others, it comes from spending time alone with God. I love Cascade Hills. I love these people. The majority of them have stood with me in adversity and faith adventures that only God could bring us through and He always did. We’re a team here. We’re on assignment from God to obey His will and tell the world of Jesus.

Our mindset and how we think will always be the greatest obstacle to growth. We have to remember we exist for those not yet reached. We can’t fall into the trap of turning inward, that’s not the way of the cross.
That’s easy. I hear it often. Some people assume that I make every single decision or at least know about every decision made in the total ministry of the church. I don’t. We have a large staff. I don’t even know some of them. We have almost 8,000 members now. If only 30 staff members make 10 decisions per day, potentially there are 1,500 decisions in a 5-day week that I know nothing about. However, I get blamed for all of those decisions that aren’t popular. On top of this, we have lay-leaders who make decisions they feel best for their ministry. I don’t stand over them and approve every move they make. I will always stand behind the decisions of staff and lay people. It’s a lack of integrity and loyalty not to, but often times I’m defending a decision that I never knew was made. That’s part of the job, and I understand that.
I wish they did, but the answer is no. Some come because they are hurting, some for friendship, some just enjoy the provisions. I hope that in time, after healing or other things happen, that maturity will reach a point that the purpose of the church will be their priority.
No. I have said no to good opportunities because God called me here. I’ve invested my life, my money, my time, tears and daily prayers here. God clearly called me here and I know I’m in His will. I never dreamed I’d be here almost 30 years. God has been so good to us. I could only wish every pastor and church had the experience we’ve had at Cascade Hills. I’m seeing another level now that I notice taking shape at Cascade Hills that tells me God is about to do something greater in our future that he has ever done in our past.
Glad you asked, this is exciting. We’re in a 15 phase building stage and about to radically transform our property, building and environment. First of all, we’re building debt free. This excites me. We’ve broken the projects into pieces and begin construction on each phase when the money is all in hand. This way we’re not having to cut back on funding missions or ministries or operating costs. It gives us time to provide excellence in each project as well. We recently completed our outdoor baptistry which is a sample of what the other projects will look like. We’ll post photos on our website of the progress as we go along to keep people updated.
First, get your primary advice from scripture. Paul tells Timothy about the role and responsibility of a pastor, so that’s where I’d start. From experience, I’d say, (1) Keep a grateful heart. (2) Keep your priorities- family, prayer, faithfulness to the Word, witnessing & giving. (3) Be a life-long learner. Read good books and get around people who can teach you something. (4) Have a clear vision for your life and don’t lose focus. (5) Laugh a lot. Enjoy the journey.
Wow. Alright, let’s go for it. First let me say that books have shaped my thinking and my life. I believe you are shaped by who you associate with and what you read. I may leave out many books that are good, so cut me some slack, here’s some that I can remember leaving an impact on me.

Recommended Reading

Researching and reading are a big part of a pastor’s life. We asked the Pastor about some of his favorite books and which ones he would recommend..

Christian Living

Christian Leadership

Does anyone teach leadership better than John Maxwell?

General Leadership.

I enjoy secular sources because they ask the hard questions and refuse to “spiritualize” things.