Kerry Joe Allen
History is not filled with spectacular things that happened on February 4, 1954. But in the small town of Conway, Arkansas, the late Shirley Allen gave birth to Kerry Joe Allen, who is fondly known by many as K.J., Joe, Kerry Joe, or Bro. Allen. A village of godly people helped to rear him, including his late grandmother, Alberta Allen, and his aunts.
Although he spent some time in the Catholic Church and attended many other churches, he accepted Christ as his Savior and was baptized by Elder Fred Hobbs in 1969 at Christ Temple Church of Christ Holiness USA (COCHUSA) in Conway. Currently Bro. Allen continues to faithfully attend and serve there as minister of music, Sunday School superintendent, and a trustee. But if you stop by to visit, you probably will see him involved in a variety of roles—whatever his hands can find to do for the Lord.
Bro. Allen gained an appreciation for music at an early age. In fact, music was always in the air, as his mother sang soprano in a group with her five sisters throughout the city of Conway. Although he attempted two piano lessons on two separate occasions (and never was able to get past the first lesson of Teaching Little Fingers to Play either time), he eventually taught himself to play music by ear because he wanted to play the blues like his uncles, and he mastered many instruments—piano, drums, and most notably the guitar.
He has taken advantage of opportunities God has given him to use his vocal and instrumental gifts, including but not limited to singing in school and community choirs; playing for numerous choirs, quartets, weddings, and other events; founding the Central Arkansas Voices of Praise (a community choir in the 1990s); and co-directing the community Easter Sunrise service for more than 30 years. In addition, he has encouraged others to sharpen their own musical talents by working with others to lead the charge in starting the COCHUSA Southwestern Diocese (Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas) Music Workshop, which has met annually for the last 15 years. God also inspired and used him to do what had never been done in the Church of Christ Holiness USA—two CDs recorded live at conventions in Tulsa, Oklahoma and in Jackson, Mississippi (COCHUSA Live in 2000 and I Will Make the Darkness Light in 2003). He wrote and performed on both recordings.
Bro. Allen has provided leadership to all levels of the Church of Christ Holiness USA. In his current role of Ambassador for the COCHUSA, he visits churches within the denomination (approximately 150 churches) across the country in hopes of lifting spirits with encouraging words and songs. He also serves as the chairman of the Kerry Joe Allen Scholarship Board.
You may find this hard to believe, but Bro. Allen also managed to find time to serve in and retire from the United States Air Force and the Arkansas Air National Guard after more than 37 years of honorable service. Down through the years, many thought he worked for the church full-time, but his leadership and musical service to the church have been joyful service to the Lord in addition to his other obligations.
Perhaps the only thing that’s more important to Bro. Allen than music is his family. He has been
married to Dianne for 44 years. Together they made loving and living for God their family’s top
priority. Dianne also has devoted her life to her church and to providing educational opportunities to
young people. You will always find her encouraging young people to study God’s Word and to
pursue higher education. Kerry and Dianne have three daughters and two granddaughters.