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Page 1 - Cover Article; Trade Review, January 2001

Page 2 - Cover Article; Trade Review, January 2001

  Business / Leadership
  Christian Living
  New Release
  Social / Political
  Christian Contemporary
  Southern Gospel
Video / DVD

Trade Review

Cover Feature

January 2001
Page 21, 22

Gary Randall, President & Vice Chairman of Pamplin Communications Corporation

by Jerry Kirksey

Created in 1995 as a private holding company for the uncommonly successful Christian Supply Center, Inc., Pamplin Communications Corporation (PCC) is today one of the most influential and diverse multi-media entertainment companies in the business. PCC subsidiaries and divisions include Pamplin Entertainment, Pamplin Music Company, Pamplin Broadcasting, Christian Supply Centers, Red Hill Records, Pamplin Records and Crossroads Music Labels, Sonlite, Horizon, Mountain Home Records and Cathedral Records, and Pamplin Distribution and sales.

All of the above began as a dream of Dr. Robert Pamplin, Jr. and Pastor Gary Randall. It is the goal of these two dedicated Evangelicals to reach and influence 25 percent of America through family-oriented, positive entertainment. What they have accomplished in only a few years is almost unbelievable.

Gary Randall is President and Vice Chairman of PCC. Gary and Dr. Pamplin began this Evangelical adventure in 1993 when they formed a new company to acquire seven Christian Supply Center stores in Portland, OR. This chain has now grown to 25 stores scattered throughout Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

Gary Randall has been a fan and supporter of Southern Gospel Music since age 10. Gary told me, "I can still remember as a 10-year-old boy, I saw JD Sumner at our church one Sunday night. For the next forty years or so, I tried to hit JC's low notes, but I still can't do it. Those were, of course, very impressionable years in my life. The Southern Gospel groups sang with a warmth and conviction that has never left me."

"In the years that followed, I would arrange and direct Christian Chorus, bands and orchestras in performances ranging from classical to pop rock. I would, however, never move away from my deep love and commitment to Southern Gospel music. I love the music and the people who sing it."

Gary and I discussed how and why Pamplin made a decision to bring Southern Gospel Music into the Pamplin organization. Gary stated, "When Bob Pamplin and I started Pamplin Music Company a few years ago, we committed to impact as many people as possible through Christian music. In developing our pop labels, it had not occurred to us to pursue entry into the Southern Gospel market. Through our distribution relationship with Chris White and Mickey Gamble, we were introduced to this market. As the idea of purchasing Crossroads began to take form, I became increasingly aware of not only my own personal interest in the idea, but the apparent providential timing. I sincerely believe God has led us to this."

"It is important to us that people who are giving their lives and talents in the Southern Gospel field know and understand our motives for involvement. We are not trying to fix or improve anything. Southern Gospel does very well without us. Neither do we see this as a huge financial opportunity, although we do feel we can be successful. We do, however, feel spiritually directed to bring support, encouragement and opportunity to those who are called to the ministry in Southern Gospel Music."

Gary Randall is an ordained minister and he has served more than 25 years as a senior pastor in Seattle, WA, and Portland, OR, and as a youth pastor in Seattle, WA; Salem, OR; and North Hollywood, CA.

"We believe that everything we do have the potential to change somebody's life."
~ Gary Randall

Gary has served on the board of the Oregon Association of Evangelicals since 1984 and presently serves as Oregon State Chairman for the National Association of Evangelicals and as a member of the National Board of Administration. The NAE serves 50,000 church and 27,000,000 members nationally. He has also served on the Portland Youth for Christ and is a Regent at Western Seminary.

Gary has been involved in humanitarian causes in third world countries. He gave significant assistance in raising funds for the Mission of Mercy Hospital in Calcutta, India and raised the primary funds for the Teen Challenge Center in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, Vietnam. He also built 143 churches, mostly in third world and emerging countries.

On the home front, Gary is perhaps best known for The Gary Randall Program, a half-hour talk show that was seen on KOIN-TV in Portland, OR, from 1978-1990. The program was the first and only Christian talk show produced by a major network affiliate. The program was distributed to twenty other major cities in America. It was also seen on The Family Channel and Inspirational Network. Gary also produced a children's television series, which was purchased by the NBC network. It is a series that promotes family and personal values.

On the personal side, Gary and his wife Marjorie has been married for 39 years. They have three children: Stephanie, Michelle, and Gary Todd. They also have three grandchildren.

I have had the privilege of talking with and getting to know Gary. We met on a couple of occasions at the Crossroads offices in Arden, NC. Recently I was in Nashville, TN, for the grandopening of the new Pamplin offices. This afforded me more time to visit with Gary. We discussed some of what lay ahead for Pamplin and Southern Gospel Music. One thing he told me really thrilled my heart. Gary said, "I think the Crossroads family of labels will be our leading labels next year." Gary continued, "Over the years, Crossroads has led the industry in Top 40 radio hits as well as being the first Southern Gospel label to sell their entire roster of artists into the general market accounts, including Wal-Mart. In 2001, Crossroads is planning to extend its audience reach by exploring cross marketing opportunities between their artists and the sports world - combining singers with athletes to further reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

Pamplin has also demonstrated their commitment to Southern Gospel Music with the opening of new offices in Nashville, which will house Southern Gospel labels along with other Pamplin divisions and subsidiaries.

As I have said many times, the best thing about Southern Gospel Music is the quality of the people in it. The quality of our product must be first class, but that would be meaningless if the people behind the product were not real.

Speaking for Singing News, we are proud and excited about having a man like Gary Randall come into our industry. We know he will make many major contributions to Southern Gospel Music.



Copyright © 2003-2004 Gary Randall, PO Box 461, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034. All rights reserved.