Reverend James A. Purnell, a pastor and long-time resident of High Point, NC passed away unexpectedly on April 14, 2019 at the age of 71.
Known as “Moe Boy” to many, he was born January 1, 1948 to Luther Williams and Mamie B. Purnell in Dillon, SC. He married the former Roberta Davis in August 1971, together they raised five children.
In his spare time, Moe Boy enjoyed gardening and was a person of many trades. He took on many tasks, like fixing cars, fixing washers and dryers, and any piece of equipment he could get his hands on. A dedicated worker, Moe Boy was currently with First Student Company as a bus driver.
His church home was Gethsemane Baptist Church, where he served as a faithful Sunday school teacher for many years under the leadership of the late Rev. Ray McCluney. He also served as the Williams family leader and knew how to affect you in a positive and humorous way. Pastor Purnell was later called in ministry. Afterwards, he was ordained and served as the pastor at Clifton Grove Baptist Church for four years. One of his most defining moments was when God led him to open his own church, New Zion Baptist. It was the opening of the church that Pastor Purnell would continue to take tremendous strides towards the ministry. Pastor Purnell was a spiritual man and had the ability to reach heaven when he prayed.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Bill Williams and Pete Williams.
Pastor Purnell will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by his wife of 46 years, Roberta Purnell of the home; five children, Brenda Dixon of High Point, NC, JoAnn (Fred) Alsbrook of Fayetteville, NC, James (Tammy) Davis, Shirley Carmichael all of High Point, NC and Garie Davis of Atlanta, GA; ten grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; three brothers, Willie Williams, James Luther Williams, and Minister Boyd (Pam) Williams; one sister, Minister Evonne Williams; a special nephew, George Davis; he will be forever loved by his aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.