ABOUT ALWAYS ONE MINISTRIES
Chris Bousum, Brent Bousum, and Jay Karp were part of a local indie-rock band called Strange Reflection. In 2010, after playing in shows with other bands, the trio decided to put on an all day, "festival" that would feature 8 bands in 8 hours. That first festival was called, Kingdom Come Festival. The event was less than stellar, as the trio had to learn a great deal, if there were to be a second one. If not for the constant encouragement of Josh Randolph, the lead singer for News From Verona (later renamed Pioneer), who headlined the first KCF, there would not have been a second one.
Josh helped convince them to do it again. But, if they were going to do it again, they'd need help. They got reinforcements with David & Angie Leyda, and Chas Kidwell. The three of them caused a huge infusion of energy. Jay also arranged a meeting with Pastor Bradley from Family Worship Center. The purpose of the meeting was to seek his blessing and advice. The meeting went well, and it also led to the contact information to an accountant to set up a 501c3 non-profit status...but, we had to create a parent ministry to be the "host" of KCF.
Always One Ministries was officially created in 2011. It is now officially a 501c3 non-profit ministry and began putting on events as an organization shortly after receiving that status.
Always One Ministries (A1M) began a couple of concert series, one called "The Pit," and another one called "Revolution Next." The Pit shows were for metal shows and featured the tag-line, "Hard Music for a Hard World." They were revolutionary in that, secular bands were added to the Christian bands. The thought was to include both, so that the Christian bands would have a chance to plant some seeds and minister to, not only the secular bands, but to their fans as well. The Pit shows were very successful at the beginning when we held them in secular buildings.
While things were going great with "The Pit" events, A1M also started a series of shows, that were designed to go to churches and inspire their youth groups to step up in their generation. These events would provide a concert, and allow the hosting church's youth pastor a time for a message. These shows were called, "Revolution Next." The Revolution Next shows were successful, but...not many churches were interested in hosting them outside of the first couple of great shows.
While The Pit and Revolution Next shows were going, our focus was still 100% on Kingdom Come Festival. That was our "Super Bowl." The addition of Angie, Chas, and Dave to the staff made a huge world of difference. Kingdom Come Festival 2011 saw an increase of 800% in the crowd size, and the overall production of the event was infinitely better than in 2010. We had learned a great deal from that first event, and it really showed in 2011.
Snags began to set in on the other two events. We lost our "Pit" venue at the Kokomo Events Center when they sold the building to Ivy Tech. When we started doing these shows at churches, attendance dropped off the map. No longer were the secular fans coming, and the secular bands were reluctant to play in churches because they knew their content was not church friendly. After a few more lackluster efforts, The Pit, went into hiatus.
Revolution Next, as successful as the first few shows were, never got traction. Just little interest from churches to bring us in. So much like The Pit, Revolution Next shows sort of faded into oblivion.
Kingdom Come Festival remained our focus, but the "festival" aspect of the event, inspired Chris to want to start another one in the fall which would be more of "The Pit" style of bands. Pit Fest became our 2nd big annual festival.
The first Pit Fest (2013) was an indoor affair in a building at Grissom Air Force Base, and the show was phenomenal and a massive success. The following years would see the event moved outdoors to it's current home at Woodland Church of God, where we've been ever since.
Pit Fest was not the only thing we started in that time. We had been hanging out with The Protest at a Burger King in Tipton after a show was cancelled at the last second. While there, and after discussing the need to do something MORE than just put on shows, especially with Christmas coming. So the Protest guys and us, hashed out a plan. A plan that would involve a day of Christmas outreach. Helping families that were struggling during the day and then a FREE concert that night. We came up with the idea of the bands playing in the concert delivering the gifts to the families. We then realized that if they were struggling they may not get a big family-style holiday meal. So now, on a Saturday before Christmas, some of our bands come in and deliver gifts to families. Later a bus will go and pick up those families to bring them to the church for a big holiday meal with the bands, our staff, and invited guests. Then we open the doors for a big FREE show that is part rock show and part Christmas party.
We have the three primary things going on every year, Kingdom Come Festival, Pit Fest, and the A1M Christmas Outreach, but last year we added another series... a series called, The Danger Room.
The Danger Room is an event unlike any other we have tried. The Danger Room, of course, has a concert, but also sets aside a time for "open mic" opportunities for those in attendance. This time has allowed for some amazing moments of testimonials, songs, poetry, and more. There has been some great "cook-off" challenges that the attendees were judges for. There has also been a time of worship to end the night.
Always One Ministries is a 501c3 non-profit ministry that hosts a variety of events. Every single dollar we raise, goes directly to the costs of putting on these events. No member of A1M is compensated for their time. Many of the staff members do not even bother seeking reimbursements for out of pocket spending. Annually, A1M events cost about $40,000 - $50,000, all of which is raised through fundraising efforts like our Golf Outing, Bowling Outing, and others. In addition to the fundraising, we also rely heavily on individual and family donations.
If anyone is interested in making a donation, please click on the DONATE tab on the left. If you would like to make a donation and want a receipt for tax purposes, we would be more than happy to do that for you as well.