Our Beginnings

Father and Son Elbert Eugene Spriggs, Sr. lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A factory worker and scoutmaster, Mr. Spriggs was well respected by all who knew him. His strong religious beliefs were reflected in a life of good deeds. In 1937 a son was born to him, Elbert, Jr., whom he called by the nickname “Gene.” Mr. Spriggs was delighted to have a son and hoped that his namesake would grow up to follow in his footsteps.
In Chattanooga in 1975, the First Presbyterian Church on McCallie Avenue closed its doors with a sign stating, “Closed for the Super Bowl.” This was “Super Bowl Sunday” evening service (called vespers). When we were turned away by that sign, it was the last time we went to church. We started having our own meetings, which we would never close for the love of the world and the things of the world.
The early ‘70s would not have been such a special time in the Chattanooga area without The Yellow Deli. Remember those luscious fruit salads, great sandwiches, fresh salads, and homemade desserts?
California, 1971. The Jesus Movement was in full swing. There was an excitement there such as Gene had never seen in all of his religious childhood. It was easy to get involved — praising the Lord, witnessing on the streets, and passing out Jesus tracts to the endless stream of hitchhikers traveling up and down the coast of California.
We are a spiritual brotherhood whose love for one another stretches across the boundaries of nationality, race, and culture. Our spiritual life and the love we share comes from the God who is love, the One who made every good thing.