Immediately after graduating from Stow High School in 1970 and marrying Rose, F. Joe Ellis enlisted in the Army National Guard and served from 1970-1976. In 1977, he answered the call of God to preach the Gospel.
Together with his wife Rose and their three small children (Angela, Joe, and Tom), F. Joe planted a church in Canton, Ohio on July 14, 1980. Married with three small children and unable to relocate, he earned his A.A. of Theology from Indiana Bible College’s external program, while at the same time planting a new church in Canton, Ohio. Led by the Holy Spirit to start a ministry training program for those who, like himself, were unable to relocate to attend Bible college, Canton College of Ministries (now Purpose Institute) was founded in February, 1994.
He has also served as Presbyter on the Ohio UPCI District Board from 2005-2015. Having traveled extensively throughout the world over the past twenty years, the Ellises still reside in Canton, serving the church they planted, along with its five network congregations which he oversees as Bishop. The Ellis children have also continued in ministry service. They have blessed their parents with eleven grandchildren. F. Joe currently serves Purpose Institute as its President.
Purpose Institute is led by a team of dedicated leaders who are focused on key areas of the organization. These areas include vision, operations, academics, campuses and marketing. The leaders who oversee these areas are dedicated to seeing PI succeed at the local level, and are passionate about ministry training. The Global Directors provide weekly input into the direction and management of PI.
Accountability is vital and necessary to the success of any organized ministry or effort. The Executive Board’s role is to review finances, explore opportunities and guide decisions that affect the future of the organization. The Executive Board weighs potential decisions against our vision, guiding principles, wisdom about timing, and the reputation we strive to maintain for the glory of the Lord. The Executive Board is made up of ministers from all around the world who have a passion for Ministry Training.
Purpose Institute began and still largely remains a volunteer organization. The Global Team members have specific tasks and functions that facilitate different aspects of the organization. These team members help develop new initiatives, as well as, serve in ongoing organizational management. The Global Team members live in different places around the world and participate in PI campuses on the local level.