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About Us

The Knoxville Fellowship Luncheon (KFL) is a weekly luncheon that will meet at 12:00 noon every Tuesday at the Clinton Highway Golden Corral restaurant in Knoxville, TN. The KFL's mission is to provide a platform for Christians to share their story of how God has touched their lives.

The KFL is an outreach of a group of Christians and is designed to touch the lives of those who would not go to church but would fellowship with members of the community who would share testimonies relating to the impact of Jesus Christ in their personal and professional life. The KFL is not affiliated with any denomination or organization. An offering of support will never be requested. Men and women of every church affiliation, or with no church affiliation, are invited. The focus is to provide an opportunity for Christians to share their faith in Jesus Christ.

KFL Goals:

  1. Provide a platform for Christians to share their story of how God has touched their lives.

  2. Create an environment where anyone will feel comfortable and will receive encouragement and help in their search to find purpose in life.

  3. Highlight other activities and organizations that can provide Christian training and discipleship.

   
 
 

John Brown

John is retired from the U.S. Army, JVC Professional and is co-founder of the Knoxville Fellowship Luncheon. His individual decorations include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. After a distinguished military career, he continued his education in the field of electronics. Once he completed his studies, he began his new career with Bondurant Brothers Company located in Knoxville at the time video recording was in its infancy.  Following his tenure with Bondurant Brothers, he was employed by JVC Professional Products Company for the next 27 years. Before retirement John served as General Manager of Government Sales & Marketing. John and his wife Susan make their home in Knoxville.

Most of my Christian life has been that of a “gap-ER”. I came to know Christ at the age of 12 years and followed Him diligently for about 18 months. Somewhere around my sophomore year in high school, I chose the wrong path. At first the path that I chose was exciting, fun and adventurous. My departure from the faith/backsliding, led to many years of sadness and heartbreak.

When God made each of us he left a need in our heart that only God could fill. I had been searching for something to fill that space for many years. About 8 or 9 years ago, I attended Corryton Church where Rocky Ramsey was preaching the Word of God. After that service, I ask God to forgive me, in the name of Jesus Christ and to return to me the “Joy of my Salvation”. Sometime later I found a place where they offered what I had been searching for, some place where people would hold me accountable for what I did or did not do.

 
  Rick Anderson

I formed a personal relationship with God when I was only 5 years old, ironically after being told that I would not be able to graduate with an older brother into a higher grade at Sunday school. The teacher didn't realize that my mother had taught me to read and write at the same time as my brother and thought that I couldn't possibly read at such an early age. I was heart-broken and felt that God must be punishing me. I chose to leave the Sunday school class immediately and walk home, planning never to return. I didn't even get out of sight of the church before stopping to sit and cry on a road-bank while listening to the ringing church bells. A sweet old lady from a nearby home noticed me and asked why I was crying. After hearing my story and trying to console me, she suggested that I pray deeply about it and ask for an answer. That day, I learned through speaking directly to Him in prayer that relationships with others paled in comparison. I was answered and comforted in a way that I have experienced many, many times since and although I have lived through periods where I attempted to find the comfort I longed for from other sources, I came to realize that only God could provide the grace to see me through truly difficult times. From that point on, I consider my life to have been continually blessed, even through some troubled times.

I met and soon married Debbie, the most spiritual young lady that I had known up to that time in my life. I was seventeen years old and only a junior in high school, so at first, the idea of marrying at that age seemed absurd to me. Using scripture, Debbie soon convinced me that if we placed our trust in Him and lived by His rules we could overcome all obstacles. The two of us prayed and presented the plans for our future together to Him and asked for His approval and blessing. Our plans were to include my graduating from high school in three years, serving four years in the U.S. Air Force, obtaining a college degree then obtaining a good job. At some point after we became financially secure, we also hoped to add one or two children to our family. With God's blessing and a whole lot of answered prayer, we followed that plan exactly. My son was born during the third year of our marriage, just after I achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant in the Air Force. I enrolled at the University of Tennessee immediately after my discharge from the Air Force and graduated with honors three years later. I soon obtained employment as an internal auditor at United American Bank, followed almost immediately by a better offer which I accepted from the Tennessee Valley Authority. Debbie also had a good job at BellSouth/AT&T. Times were good, or so we thought.

Unfortunately, we started thinking that our own hard work was responsible for our success and our relationship with the Lord began to suffer. That is when our lives began to change. I started spending more and more time at work and less time in prayer. Family time almost disappeared and I even quit taking vacations. I had no time for family, friends or my Lord. My marriage, though always solid, was stressed. I became less close to my son and he began to have trouble at school and didn't choose his friends wisely. In 1990, my wife started having stomach ulcers which were eventually treated through two surgeries; taking much of her stomach and some of her bowels and leaving her unable to absorb enough nutrients from either food or dietary supplements to maintain her health. As a result, her body began to leach nutrients from her skeletal system and organs. She became critically anemic to the extent that she needed occasional blood transfusions, monthly iron infusions, and weekly blood tests and vitamin D shots. One of her doctors finally diagnosed her as having a degenerative disease called osteomalacia. Over a six-year period, this eventually made it impossible for her to walk without help and then only under great pain. She broke ribs by merely coughing and broke a wrist while attempting to open a can of biscuits by striking it on the edge of the kitchen counter. Eventually, Debbie's major organs also began to deteriorate. Through all of these trials we regained and even strengthened our relationship with God and our love for each other and we miraculously never felt the deep despair that most would expect. That could only have been the result of God's grace. Rather than feeling sorry for ourselves, we often spoke of all that we had to be thankful for and found time to laugh and reminisce about the good life that God allowed us to have together. God had clearly drawn us back to  Him and I thank Him for giving us a second chance. I lost my wife after twenty-eight wonderful years of marriage, but I know that neither of us regretted a minute of the time God gave us and I know I will see her again in heaven. What a blessing she was!

I retired from the Tennessee Valley Authority in 2004 after a successful career as an accountant and manager with responsibilities over payroll, employee relocations, travel expense reimbursement and both executive and travel expense credit card programs.

My decision to retire early was primarily to become a care-giver to my sister-in-law, Linda Hickman, but also to be available to my parents and in-laws whom I expected would soon need my help. During the last few weeks of my wife's life, she had asked and I agreed to keep several promises, one of which was to "take care of her sister, Linda". I really didn't know Linda very well and certainly had no idea why she might need to be taken care of, but Linda turned out to be another enormous blessing from God. Less than two weeks after my wife's death, Linda asked me to start attending church with her at First Baptist, Powell. I agreed and soon discovered that Linda was even more spiritual than Debbie and she brought me even closer to God and she eventually asked me to follow her to my current church home, Corryton Church. We became as close as a Christian man and woman can be without being married and still remain in God's blessing. Linda was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2000 and I truly believe that is the reason that my wife had asked me to take care of her. Linda fought the cancer valiantly and far outlived the doctor's prognosis. In that extra time, Linda and I were able to take several wonderful extended vacations together and she was able to enjoy the birth and even the first birthday of her first grandchild. Linda has now also gone home to Heaven and I know she will be waiting there to greet me. I learned so much from her about what it really means to be a Christian. I thank God for Linda!   

I am presently a part-time farmer (another amazing blessing from God) and I am blessed to be able to spend a lot of time with my son and also with my parents who are both in their eighties. I never could have imagined what a blessing that would be. I am a co-founder of the Knoxville Fellowship Luncheon and I personally designed, published and perform all maintenance for this website.

 
 

Zach Henry

After growing up on a small Georgia cotton farm, some very rocky teenage years, a hitch in the navy and a time in college, I eventually retired from the faculty of the University of Tennessee in 1998. My career revolved around electronics, instrumentation, process engineering, and physical properties and characteristics of biological materials - but my greatest satisfaction was teaching and advising young men and women the realities of professionalism and the setting and reaching of appropriate life goals. 

Instruction from my Christian parents resulted in my early understanding of the need for Jesus Christ in my life and I accepted Him completely as my Lord and Savior at an early age. God has blessed me with a great life, a great wife, and children and grandchildren that are beyond and above the normal expectation of any parent. Throughout my life, Satan has plagued me with temptations beyond that which I could have ever imagined. These temptations, many times, have been overwhelming beyond my power to overcome. I am thankful, beyond all ability to express, that God has always been my Shield, my Defender and my Comforter in every time of need. My prayer is that God will continue to give me strength in the struggles of life.

Currently, my wife and I have a Christmas tree farm that gives us an opportunity to relate to many young families that need a relationship with Jesus Christ. In addition, I am an editor of a quarterly international third world publication relating to the food production and mechanization needs. This allows me to have a grandstand seat to view the critical physical and personal needs of all areas of the world where basic needs are not satisfied, including those where Christian missionaries are striving so hard to present Jesus Christ, and an in-depth look into the way that every third world university is approaching these problems.

A special blessing from God is the opportunity to be a part of a group of young men that call themselves the “Truth Seekers” as we all grow in our spiritual development.

 
  Phil Lawson

 

Phil was the founder and senior partner of the Tennessee offices of WIMBERLY & LAWSON, a labor and employment law firm representing management. He discontinued the active practice of law on December 31, 2004. His labor and employment law practice included an emphasis in collective bargaining, contract administration, arbitration law, federal wage and hour compliance, human resource management, dispute resolution, and strategic approaches to employee relations. He helped his clients implement innovative approaches to employee relations management. Phil served many years as a hearing committee officer of the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee and served as an arbitrator/mediator with the American Arbitration Association. Phil has lectured and taught widely on a variety of aspects of labor, employment law and leadership and writes a column, The Eagle’s Nest, in The Liaison, a publication of The Smoky Mountain Paralegal Association. Phil is a founding member of the KFL and is responsible for speaker selection and scheduling.

 
  Jim Novak

I was born and raised in suburban Chicago. I grew up in a Christian family. I received degrees from Illinois colleges. I met my beloved wife of 38+ years while a student at the University of Illinois. I was a practicing licensed structural engineer before "temporarily" joining the U.S. EPA from which I eventually retired in 2002. My wife and I moved to our home in Tennessee in 2003.

My faith was first tested in high school. My focus became worldly, and I lost the true purpose of life. I went through life as a good person, but was not a true Christian. I was blessed in so many ways, but as far as my faith, I felt that I was just going through the motions. I do not know if a person becomes wiser the older he gets, but I can attest that I became more and more retrospective the older I got. I should have been happy, but I felt empty inside. Something was missing. My relationship with God was missing.

My faith was restored after a true practicing Christian invited me to his church. I was reacquainted with the Word of the Lord. I experienced true fellowship and learned so much about practical application of biblical scripture. My relationship with God was restored.

 
  Bill Anderson

Bill is the owner of Anderson Pump; this is an “Installation and Service Company”, which serves customers who utilize well pumps for home or business to include irrigation needs. Bill is semi retired and is assisted in the daily operations of the business by his son James.

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in 1952 during Bible School and followed Christ’s teachings diligently for a time. Early in my Christian life like so many other young men of my age group, I drifted away from those teachings. During this time, I met and married my wife Effie; we have been married for over 45 years. Shortly after my marriage, I asked God’s forgiveness in the name of Jesus and started to live my life as God had meant for me to live. It was during a “tent-meeting” that I found my purpose in life and I have been growing ever since.

Serving others and meeting new people every week at our church have mightily blessed my family and me. Presently I serve as Chairman of the Deacon’s Committee at Corryton Church and am a member of the Truth Seeker’s class.

 
 

W. A. (Junior) Roberts

 

My place of birth was Corryton, Tennessee in the year of 1920. I was the 8th child born into a family of 9 children. We children learned at an early age what it meant to "earn your living by the sweat of your brow." We were blessed by having a good Christian mother who taught us the value of learning about Jesus Christ and the importance of accepting Him as our Lord and Savior. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of 12 years old and became a member of Corryton Baptist Church.


During World War 2, I served 3 1/2 years with the United States Navy. After the war, I returned to Corryton and continued my employment with Robertshaw/Fulton until retirement..


There have been many times I have been unfaithful and strayed from my Lord but He has never been unfaithful to me and He has always been waiting for my return. What a loving God we serve! Junior has now gone to be with our Lord in Heaven.
 

 

Thank God for people like Junior Roberts. They’re the quiet individuals, laboring faithfully but inconspicuously giving seemingly insignificant yet sacrificial gifts, who accomplish the most for the Lord. They don’t receive much recognition, but they don’t seek it. They only want to hear the Lord say, “Well done.”

 

And Junior’s legacy is the example he left to show us that in effective ministry it’s often the little things that count, the individual people, the seemingly insignificant gifts, and the inconspicuous service. God delights to use such things, because He has “chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence”  (1 Corinthians 1:27–29).

 
  Claxton Zachery

I was born 1919 in the Corryton, Tennessee community. I was one of 4 children, 2 brothers and one sister. My father was a farmer and heavy equipment operator and my mother was a homemaker. We children were raised in a Christian home and I was led to Christ by one of my teachers, Sally Zachary. I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior at the age of 13 and followed Christ in baptism. I was baptized at Corryton Baptist Church and have tried my best to be a Christ follower ever since I made my commitment.

During World War 2, I served my country from 1944-1946 in the “Pacific Theater of Operations” with the United States Navy.

My wife and I were both Christians before we were married and Jesus Christ has been sufficient for us. During our life together there were 4 children, 3 sons, however, we experienced the loss of our stillborn daughter. I have served in my church as Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, Treasurer and a member of the Choir.

God has blessed me with excellent health and he gave me the athletic ability to excel in sports, especially baseball, where I tried to teach the importance of good sportsmanship and respect toward others. You can find out quite a bit about a man by the way he plays the game. I have enjoyed my life on earth and my family has experienced the many blessings that God has promised to all of us that follow his Word. From the day that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I have never intended to do wrong. I am at peace!

Young men and women, carefully consider the choices that you make early in life. Bad choices lead to difficulties in life. Plan your life around the teachings of Jesus Christ and you too will find that Jesus Christ is sufficient.

 
  Ersel Underwood

I have been a member of Corryton Church for 50 years. I was born in 1927, into a family of three brothers and one sister of which I am now the only survivor. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of 13 and followed Christ in baptism. I shall never forget my baptism, it was on a cold winter day and the baptism was conducted in a local creek. 

After graduating from high School, I enlisted in the United States Navy and after “boot camp”, was sent to the South Pacific, where I participated in the last battle of Okinawa, at the close of World War 2. After the war, I continued my education by attending Business College. After Business College, I worked at the K-25 plant located in Oak Ridge, TN for the next 10 years. Then came a career change and I entered into the insurance business and retired from a management position at Home Beneficial Insurance Company in 1992. 

My wife Edna and I have two children and three grandchildren (one grandchild is deceased) and we have three great grandchildren. During my lifetime I have found that there is no greater comfort than to have the peace, joy and love that comes from knowing and having a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ.