*Correction: In Friday's article, it stated that Brian Allen was a full-time pastor at Pleasant Gardens Baptist Church. The article has been corrected to reflect he was a full-time youth and children's pastor at First Baptist Church of Maggie Valley. 

Overcoming drug addiction and a four-year prison sentence, Brian Allen has turned his life around and formed a musical ministry based out of McDowell County.

Allen, minister and founder of the ministry Brian Allen and More Than Conquerors, returns to McDowell this Sunday to perform at Pleasant Gardens Baptist Church, where the group was formed nearly four years ago.

Allen has come a long way since his life before music. Growing up in a Christian household with a father that was a pastor for 40 years, the singer/songwriter strayed from his family’s faith and turned to drugs before serving a four-year prison sentence for trafficking in 2008.

While in prison, Allen learned how to sing and play guitar before he became saved. Upon his release in 2012, he finished a Bachelor of Bible Theology degree with Lancaster Bible College and became a full-time youth and children's pastor at First Baptist Church of Maggie Valley. It was at Pleasant Gardens Baptist Church, where his father was a pastor for 14 years, that he formed Brian Allen and More Than Conquerors Ministries on June 1, 2012. He performs original music and leads worship events with keyboard player/vocalist Jessica Smith. Allen’s wife, Jennifer, and Smith’s husband, Nathan, also contribute as speakers.

“It was originally started by just going to prisons and jails and playing music while offering our ministry to anyone who was lost and needed help,” said Allen. “Once the music exploded, we took off from there and have been spreading our message ever since.”

Now a full-time ministery, the group travels to churches, youth groups, prisons, jails, halfway houses, and, “…any door that God opens,” said Allen. “Our mission is to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world…through music, testimonies, God’s word and prayer.” Their single, “Greater is Your Name” debuted on April 12 and went to number one on the independent Christian radio chart within the following week.

Residing in Waynesville with his family, Allen and MTC are still connected with Pleasant Gardens, which has backed up the ministry from the beginning and sent them to several locations throughout western Carolina. Jessica Smith lives locally in Marion and leads a youth praise band, Kairos, at Pleasant Gardens. Nathan Smith serves as the church’s Youth and Children’s Director.

“We are very grateful and indebted to the church for their constant support and for allowing us this opportunity to spread the message of God,” said Allen.

Allen and Jessica Smith will also be featured on Cornerstone Television Network, the first Christian TV network, live on June 21 for the show “Real Life 360.” He is expecting a release party in Marion for his newest CD “Magnificent” in August.

To learn more about Brian Allen and More than Conquerors, visit www.brianallenmusic.com.