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  Play   Stop Rewind FFWD December 27, 2011

Testimony by Reverend Dr. Latisha D. Reeves

The Reverend Dr. Latisha D. Reeves is a native of Knoxville TN. She is currently the Minister of Missions and Evangelism at Mount Olive Baptist Church where she recently served as Interim Pastor (Sept 2010-July 2011). She was licensed and ordained by Dr. Kelly Miller Smith, Jr. Latisha has been afforded the opportunity to participate in and minister during mission travels to Burkina Faso and Nigeria both in West Africa, Wiesbaden, Germany and annually in Kenya in East Africa. She has also traveled to Paris, France and Rome, Italy.

Latisha was a single mother at age 14. She is a graduate of Austin-East High School and graduated from Knoxville College in 1993 with a BA in Psychology. May 2004 she graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with her Master of Divinity degree and in December 2009 earned the Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary. She has been featured on television and in newspaper articles with a message of hope for young people. Dr. Reeves has served as keynote speaker on several occasions for Knoxville’s annual TTOPS Conference for teen parents sponsored by the Knox County Health Dept. and most recently the Sullivan County Health Dept. TTOPS Conference for the Johnson City area. 

Statement: “My passion is to help others break free from the personal bondage of captive thinking, sexual immorality and self-degradation that has often been passed from generation to generation. The fruit of this unhealthy mindset continues to reproduce itself in our communities showing up in the form of spiritual rebellion and recycling its far-reaching affects. Most disturbing is the number of those who pass this way not ever realizing the potential, the plan and purpose nor the safety of the perfect will of our God who never fails and has placed in them the power to overcome all circumstances. The church has the answer and it is my passion for all believers to walk in the fullness of their salvation and make disciples.”

Latisha is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and has a daughter who is a 2006 graduate of the University of Louisville and attended Virginia Union Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology. Latisha continues to share her story of overcoming barriers of teen-pregnancy, domestic violence and personal pitfalls of surrounding yourself with negativity. Her goal is to please and honor God in every aspect of ministry that He has called her to serve and to worship God without fail.

  Play   Stop Rewind FFWD December 20, 2011

Tyler Sain

My name is Tyler Sain and I was born and raised in Hendersonville, NC.  I now currently live with my older brother in Jefferson City, TN.  I have one older brother and two great parents.  I played many sports in high school and raced motocross for a period of time.  After high school my plans were to do pre-pharmacy and then go to pharmacy school but God had different plans for me.  I studied pre-pharmacy for about two years in NC and then moved down to Jacksonville Beach, FL.  God started to really work on me and  I was called into the ministry and am now studying Pastoral Ministry at the Crown College in Powell, TN.  My plans are to get my Masters at Crown College and then go onto to get my Doctorate in Seminary School, wherever the Lord plans for me to go.  I am also a Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist and love the health and fitness industry.  I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior when I was about 7 years old and am letting him direct my every path.  Everything that I do know is to bring glory to him because he knows what the absolute best for me is.

  Play   Stop Rewind FFWD December 13, 2011

Testimony by Terry Gamble

Terry Gamble has lived in East Tennessee since his birth in 1955, except for a short period of time in the 1970’s. Terry grew up in rural Roane County and graduated from Midway High School in 1973. Terry lost his father at age 13 y/o from a long battle of Muscular Dystrophy and learned as an adult his family had suffered many losses due to this Muscular Dystrophy. This loss of Terry’s father had a huge impact on his life for many years.

Upon graduating from high school, Terry spent eight years in the Navy and came back to East Tennessee in 1981. He finished his bachelor degree from Carson Newman College in 2005 and his Masters of Business Administration from Tennessee State University in 2009. Terry has worked for SSC Service Solutions since 1986 as a computer programmer and now as their Director of Information Technology.  Terry has been married to the Cynthia Gamble for eighteen years and has a step-daughter and son. Terry has been a member of Corryton Church since 1995 and has served in different capacities at the church.

Terry has been a Christian since he was around 12 y/o, doesn’t know of a time in his life when he did not believe or acknowledge God.  Terry has taken his pain of a Divorce and given it to working through Corryton Church’s Adult Single’s Ministry for individuals who have also suffered the pain of a Divorce as well as facilitating with his wife a yearly DivorceCare program through Corryton Church.

  Play   Stop Rewind FFWD December 6, 2011

Testimony by Connie Reagan

(The 38-Year Journey Of Ralph and Connie Reagan)

It all started with a dare on my 16th birthday, Ralph was dared to kiss me and that is when our journey began.  Two years later we were married and God has blessed us with three children: Sonya, Tonya, and Randall, 6 grandchildren, 2 boys and 4 girls, and a new one on the way, due at the end of December 2011.  Every day at the mission is a journey with the Lord.  Holidays are a true miracle from God.  We give thanks daily with a grateful heart.  At Christmas we celebrate His birth, what a gift that was, given to us all, the best gift ever given.  Here at the mission our program is called “Pennies from Heaven” for the Bread of Life children. “When you have done unto the least of these you have done unto me”. (Matthew 25:45)

  Play   Stop Rewind FFWD November 29, 2011 Testimony by Phil Peek

Phil is a graduate of Carson-Newman College with a degree in PE/Health. He also has a Master's in Special Ed and Religious Education. He has been married to Linda Ford Peek for almost 25 years. They have three children and 5 and 1/2 grandchildren. Phil taught school for 19 years and was on a church staff for 9 1/2 years. He will be sharing about his near tragic automobile accident and how God has changed his life.

  Play   Stop Rewind FFWD November 22, 2011

Testimony by Scott Haluska

Scott and his family have lived in Knoxville for about 9 years.  He has been married to his beautiful wife Alysia, for almost 18 years.  Scott and Alysia have been blessed with two wonderful sons, Jaylen – 15 and Reese – 13.  Scott grew up in a military family, so he moved a around quite a bit from birth to age 12.  His father retired from the Marines when he has 12 in Tampa, Florida.  He spent all of his teenage years and early college years in Florida.  Yes, he is a Gator fan (God made Gators too).  Scott grew up with sports having played a huge role in his life.  He earned a baseball scholarship his senior year in high school to attend St. Leo College in Florida.  High School and College baseball were huge reason (both good and bad) Scott is where he is today.  After he completed his sophomore year in college, he left Florida and ended up at a small Baptist school in Belton, Texas, The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.  UMHB is where he met the love of his life, Alysia, who helped eventually lead him to the Lord.  After they graduated, they moved to Waco, TX and lived there for several years before God’s plan directed them to Knoxville.  Scott and his family have attended Corryton Church for almost 8 years now.
  Play   Stop Rewind FFWD November 15, 2011

Testimony by Lance B. Bracy

Lance B. Bracy is Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the Board of Professional Responsibility. He served as Disciplinary Counsel to the Board of Professional Responsibility beginning in 1976 and was appointed to Chief Disciplinary Counsel in 1979 to the present.  He has assisted the Board in the drafting and publishing of more than 140 Formal Ethics Opinions, 600 Advisory Ethics Opinions, and responded to more than 12,000 Informal Ethics Inquiries by attorneys since 1980.

Prior to his service with the Board, he was a former Assistant District Attorney General for Robertson and Sumner Counties and was engaged in private law practice in Springfield, Tennessee for eleven years.  Mr. Bracy is a member of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, National Organization of Bar Counsel, and a member and Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Association.  He has served as a lecturer at numerous CLE programs on Professional Responsibility and an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University School of Law from 1993-94.

Mr. Bracy received his undergraduate education at the University of Tennessee and his J.D. degree from the Nashville School of Law.

  Play   Stop Rewind FFWD November 8, 2011 Testimony by Matt Sanders
Born in Knoxville TN-March 27, 1989
Parents- Dennis and Sherry Sanders
Siblings- Kris and Kelly Sanders
Graduated from Gibbs High School in 2007, played baseball for all four years and earned a scholarship to Cumberland University where I played for two years before transferring back to UT due to shoulder injuries.
Will be graduating from UT in May of 2012 with a degree in Political Science.
Attended Corryton Church since April of 2011.
Baptized and became of a member of Corryton on Sept 4, 2011.
  Play   Stop Rewind FFWD November 1, 2011

Testimony by CH Qualls

CH Qualls is currently the Student Pastor at Corryton Church, where he has been on staff for the past 12 years. CH is a graduate of Gibbs High School (1995) in Corryton, TN.  He also graduated from Carson Newman College in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education.  He has been married to his lovely wife Kristin for 8 years.  They have 3 children: Raley, Karsyn, & Jackson. 

  Play   Stop Rewind FFWD October 25, 2011

Testimony by Karen Brooks

My Name is Karen Brooks. I was born in 1970 and raised in East Tennessee. I am the youngest of six Children born to Bill and Mildred Ellis. I was raised in a Christian home; a preachers Kid.  I came to know the Lord at age 12 and around age 19 felt a calling to missions. At that time it seems all doors were closed. I began to think maybe God just wanted to see if I was willing to go. I would have never dreamed how God would fulfill that calling in my life! I Have been married to my husband Ken who is also an ordained minister for 18 years now, we have two boys Caleb and Joshua age 15 and 12. I became a stay at home mom .When  our oldest child was only 2 years old we saw a tiny ad in a local paper about  a project called Operation Christmas Child  which consisted of filling a shoebox for a child in need in third world countries through a Christian relief organization called Samaritans Purse. I didn't know it then but God was about to put me on a path and fulfill that missionary calling in my life! And what a wonderful Journey it has been. After a few years we received our first letter back from a child who had received one of our shoebox gifts. That sparked up that missionary flame God had put in my heart to do more!

We began filling over 100 boxes a year as a family by doing fundraisers. We became the prayer coordinator here in East Tn for Operation Christmas child. More letters began flowing in from other countries .This led to many friendships with children and ministry leaders in other countries. This summer God placed our feet on African soil .After waiting 21 years to "GO" to the mission field.

I would love to share with you my story of how God can take little things and do great big things with them and how one small thing done for God in obedience can start a ripple effect that will impact generations to come. This is all for God's glory. There is nothing to hard for God to do!  I hope to encourage you to take time to do those "little things" as you may consider them to be that God may have for you to do because you will be amazed at what miracles God may do with them! As you will hear he has done in my life in my testimony "From a shoebox to Africa".

  Play   Stop Rewind FFWD October 18, 2011

Testimony by Sorina Riddle


Sorina grew up in Romania and as a child witnessed and suffered through the economic devastation which occurred and ultimately resulted in the break-up of the former Soviet Bloc in 1989. Times were really tough and at that time she didn’t know the loving God who provides for and comforts His children. In 1991, Sorina attended a Baptist service with her brother and they each received an Operation Christmas Child shoe box and heard the story of Christ. Her life would never be the same. She would later come to Knoxville to attend and graduate from the University of Tennessee.

October 11, 2011

Testimony by Blaine Anderson - “WHEN GOD CALLS A LAY PERSON”

I was born and raised in the Corryton community. My parents were farmers and worked very hard to make a living. I too, learned to work at a very early age. We always attended church I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior during a revival at House Mountain Baptist Church when I was 11 years old. Very active in church and led the choir. Served as Chairman of Deacons and Sunday School teacher.

Married for 50 years to my wife, Deloris Vineyard Anderson. God gave us 2 children- Tami Anderson - a nurse for Dr. Covino and Christopher Anderson - catering business and many other trades. Three grandchildren-Rachel, Adra, and Sara.


·         In 1976, I had a miraculous encounter with God. At this time I wasn't sure of just what God wanted me to do, what He wanted was my availability! I could see myself going over the world.

·         I begin to make myself available going through the Home Mission Board. Taking vacations to do mission work in MI and the Dakota's. This was a great experience getting to know Bro. Henry Chiles and see how God was using him for His Glory! This went on for several years.

·         Being involved with the TN State Brotherhood, God opened many more doors for a lay person to be involved in His Kingdom's work. In 1980-1985 the TN Baptist called for volunteer's to Upper Volta, W. Africa. I experience seeing the missions on a foreign field. Volunteering for 2 months I saw many needs for a lay person.

·         In 1982 God led me to take a leave of absent from my job at Rohm & Haas. I had been on mission trips several times to a little church at McCook, SD. The pastor, Bro. Clyde Stutts was in need of a music director, knowing a little of music I answerer the call. After about 8 months a new member came and took my place. This experience led me to know that God will provide.

·         The next few years I was involved in Lay-Renewal programs through the Home Mission Board traveling in states in the Southeast. Also, making myself available by spending time in the South Pacific on 3 different mission trips.

·         In 1991 God led me and my wife to join Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church. What a blessing this has been. I was Knox County Brotherhood Director for 4 years, serving as Chairman of Deacons and Sunday School Teacher. Worked with the Love Kitchen for 5 years. Not knowing what God wanted next we volunteered for a trip in Kenya, E. Africa in 1998.

·         In 2000 we moved to Kenya to work with the Maasai People Group through the IMB. This term turned into 2 years. When we returned to the states-we spent 6 weeks doing volunteer work in Canada.. I now work with Calvary Road Ministries returning to Kenya 2-3 times a year telling the good news of Jesus and disciplining those old Massai men. To God Be the Glory!

October 4, 2011

Testimony by John L Shepherd

Born in Westbourne, Tennessee on March 30, 1938.

Married to Elise Gentry on April 27, 1957.

Three Children: Tamie Elyse Campbell, John L Shepherd III, Mark Gentry Shepherd.

Seven Grandchildren and one great grandchild. 

Was Saved in September, 1962 and called to preach within three months of that experience. Ordained to the Gospel Ministry by First Baptist Church of Cookeville, TN in 1963. 


  • Middlesboro High School, 1956

  • BS Degree from Tennessee Tech University, 1960.

  • Graduate Work on MA Degree at TTU, 1960-61.

  • Graduate Word on PhD and MD Degree at Vanderbilt Medical School, 1961-62.

  • Th.M Degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 1968.

Pastoral Experience:

  • Student pastorates from 1963-68:    (Cane Creek Baptist Church, Cookeville,TN., First Baptist Church of Baxter, TN., Bedico Baptist Church, Ponchatoula, LA.)

  • Glen Oaks Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, LA. 1968-71.

  • Trenton Street Baptist Church of Harriman, TN. 1971-78.

  • Indian Springs Baptist Church of Kingsport, TN. 1978-84.

  • Bethlehem Baptist Church of Oneida, TN. 1984-88.

  • Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church of Knoxville, TN 1988-98 

Interim Pastorates:

  • First Baptist Church of Pigeon Forge, TN

  • Tri-Cities Baptist Church of Kingsport, TN.

  • Trenton Street Baptist Church of Harriman, TN

  • Cedar Grove Baptist Church of Kingston, TN 

In 1998, took an early retirement to become Founder and President of Calvary Road Ministries. Since then we have helped plant new churches among the Maasai in Kenya and Tanzania. We have seen thousands come to Christ and planted scores of churches in these areas.

(See web site for more information:

Denominational experience: Many associational responsibilities, two terms on the Executive Board of Tennessee Baptist Convention: Chairman of Christian Services Committee and Nominating Committee and served on Executive Committee of the Executive Board.

September 27, 2011

Testimony by Lynn Whited Hutton

Lynn is a native Knoxvillian and a graduate of Gibbs High School and the University of Tennessee. She has worked as a university special events assistant, an elementary music teacher, a youth care worker in a home for delinquent teens, a stay-at-home mom, and a church music and education director. For fourteen years she lived in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New Jersey, but came "home" in 1988, to raise her daughters, Jordan and Eden.

She is an ordained United Methodist deacon, currently serving Magnolia Avenue United Methodist Church as part-time associate pastor. She is also Director of The Refuge, one arm of the Volunteer Ministry Center, helping the homeless and the marginally housed. Her weekly religious column "Cross Currents" is published in The Shopper, a local community paper.

She lives on part of her Revolutionary War ancestor's original land grant. Her hobbies include genealogy, voracious reading, and singing with the Knoxville Choral Society. Every so often, she likes to check in with the Atlantic Ocean to be sure it is still in place.

September 20, 2011

James (Jim) H. Wilson


  • Associate Degree, Wingate (Junior) College, Wingate, North Carolina, 1968

  • Bachelor of Arts, Religion Major, Carson-Newman College, Jefferson City, Tennessee, 1970

  • Master of Divinity, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, 1975


  • Clinical Pastoral Education at River Region Hospital (one unit), Louisville, Kentucky 1974.

  • Who’s Who in Kentucky 1974.

  • Kentucky Colonel 1975.

  • Co-founder of Mountain Outreach, home building/poverty relief program, Williamsburg, Ky. 1981.

  • Deacon – First Baptist Church, Williamsburg, Kentucky 1982-84.

  • Masterlife certification, 1982.

  • Co-Founded Appalachian Outreach, home repair/poverty relief program, Jefferson City, Tn. 1985

  • Founder of Samaritan House, homeless shelter of Appalachian Outreach program, 1987.

  • Algernon Sidney Sullivan Award for community service, 1990.

  • Deacon – First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, TN 1987-Present.

  • Deacon Chairman, First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, TN 1993-94.

  • National Chairman – Campus Minister’s Fellowship 1993-94.

  • 1984- 2005 Sponsored domestic student mission trips to Buffalo, Washington D.C., Nashville (3), Chattanooga, Williamsburg (Ky.), Chicago (2), Houma (La.), Grifton (N.C.), New Orleans, Griffin (Ga.), Topsail Beach (N.C.), Rabin Gap (Ga.), Jefferson City (Tn., 6) and Katrina Relief work in Miss. and  La. (7 teams).

  • Sponsored mission trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti 1993.

  • Sponsored mission trip to work with Leprosy village near Guangzhou China 1995.

  • Vice President for Membership of the Association of Southern Baptist Campus Ministers 1997-99.

  • Sponsored mission trip to Costa Rica 2000.

  • Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award, Tenn. Higher Education Commission, 2001.

  • Community Service Award, Carson-Newman College, 2000-2001.

  • Staff Member of the Year, Carson-Newman College, Student Affairs Division, 2000-2001.

  • Sponsored mission trip to Bulgaria 2003.

  • Sponsored mission trip to Zimbabwe in May-June 2007 and 2009.

  • Serves currently on the boards of:  Tennessee’s Community Assistance Corporation; Izaak Walton League of Tennessee; Baptist Student Union/Baptist Collegiate Ministries Alumni National Network


  • 1967 - Summer Missionary, North Dakota; youth work

  • 1969 - First Baptist Church, Thomasville, North Carolina;  Summer Youth    Director

  • 1970-72 - Lakeshore Baptist Church, Okinawa, Japan; Youth Director, Journeyman, Missionary

  • Foreign Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention

  • 1972 - Vine Street Baptist, Louisville, Kentucky, Youth Director

  • 1973-75 - Buechel United Methodist Church, Louisville, Kentucky; Youth Director

  • 1976-84 - Cumberland College, Williamsburg, Kentucky; Director of Campus Ministry

  • 1984-08 - Carson-Newman College, Jefferson City, Tennessee; Director of Campus Ministry

  • 1984-present - Executive Director of Appalachian Outreach, Carson-Newman College, Jefferson City, Tennessee


Jim Wilson has been involved in Christian community service and missions in Jefferson and surrounding counties for 29 years through his work with Campus Ministries of Carson-Newman College and Appalachian Outreach ministries. His concern for reaching out to his own community began in southern Alabama with the love and nurture of a good Christian home where his dad served as a Baptist pastor and his mother as a registered nurse. His parents served as wonderful models of compassion as he was growing up. After moving to North Carolina his senior year in high school and then during his freshman year at Wingate University, he was appointed as a summer missionary to North Dakota. He later was selected as the Baptist Student Union Community Missions Chairperson for the Wingate community. After transferring to Carson-Newman College for his last two years of college in 1968, he continued his interest and calling to community ministry by assisting with several restoration projects to be used in community outreach (the old Nelson Mary School and an old church that was located next to the current C-N baseball field). It was at CNC that Jim was led to serve in youth ministry in Okinawa, Japan, as a Missionary Journeyman for two years. After seminary Jim was called into college student ministry at Cumberland College where he served for 9 years as Campus Minister. While there he helped found Mountain Outreach, a community home building ministry for people in poverty. Upon returning to CNC as Campus Minister in 1984, he helped found and direct Appalachian Outreach that same year and later in 1987 the Samaritan House. His awards include the Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award for Tennessee Higher Education, and the Algernon Sidney Sullivan, and Community Service Awards for Carson-Newman College. He serves on the boards of Tennessee’s Community Assistance Corporation, Izaak Walton League of Tennessee, Baptist Student Union/Baptist Collegiate Ministries Alumni National Network and Appalachian Outreach’s Advisory Board.

In 1974 Jim Wilson married Karen Williams Wilson, who received her nursing diploma from Kentucky Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in Louisville, Kentucky. She has served as a Ministry Assistant at First Baptist Church of Jefferson City for the past 23 years. They have two daughters Libby and Amanda who are graduates of Carson-Newman (as well as their husbands). Libby lives here in Jefferson City and served for several years as an elementary school teacher. She is married to Spencer Jones, an instructor in the Business Department of CNC and they have two children, Eli (age 4) and Noah (age 2). Amanda assists her husband Jason Taylor in youth ministry at the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Worland, Wyoming, and serves as the Creative Arts Ministry coordinator.


Jim Wilson was born on July 10, 1948 in Tyler, Texas (the middle child with two brothers and two sisters) while his father was a student at Southwestern Baptist Seminary. Jim grew up in southeastern Alabama where his father (who died in 1988) served as a pastor. Jim accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at eight years of age and was called into the ministry in 1967. Later the family moved to Thomasville, North Carolina where his mother served as a nurse and is now retired (92 yrs. old)  in Greensboro, N.C.  He is married to Karen Williams (has a degree as a registered nurse) who has been employed as a secretary with First Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Tennessee since 1985.  Karen and Jim have two daughters. Elizabeth, an Elementary Education 2000 graduate of Carson-Newman and University of Tennessee, is married to Spencer Jones, who works as an Instructor in Business at Carson-Newman). They have two children Eli (11/06) and Noah (3/09). Amanda, a 2004 Religions/Sociology graduate of Carson-Newman, is a secretary and is married to Jason Taylor, who is a Youth Minister at a church in Worland, Wyoming.

September 13, 2011 Testimony by Cindy Gamble

Cynthia H. Gamble, ME.d, LMFT, was born at Fort Hood, Texas, then moved to Greeneville, TN at age of 9 y/o when her father retired from the US Army as a Drill Sergeant of 20 years. Cindy graduated with a BA from Carson Newman College in 1978, worked for Ruby Tuesday Restaurants from 1980 till 1986, for SSC Service Solutions from 1986 till 2002. After completing her ME.d in Marital and Family Therapy from Carson Newman College in 2002 she worked as an Intensive Outpatient Therapist at CenterPoint AOD with Helen Ross McNabb from 2002 till 2005. 

Cindy owns Helping Heart Counseling & Associates which was created while she was finishing her Master’s through Carson Newman College, has worked full-time as a Marital Family Therapist with HHC since 2005 after obtaining her License with Tennessee as a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist.  As a Marital and Family Therapist, Cindy works with individuals, couples and families in many different areas to include Alcohol-Drug Addiction, Pre-Marital, Marital, Divorce, Blended Families, Psychological and Emotional Issues and Disorders, Trauma, Life Stage Adjustments, Financial Issues, and includes Faith Bases/Spiritual work as requested or needed by her clients.  Cindy also incorporates Hypnosis for many issues-disorders especially with Anxiety Disorders. 

Cindy is on the Board for the Tennessee Association for Marital and Family Therapist, volunteers yearly to facilitate the DivorceCare with her husband at Corryton Church, and leads-teaches the “Single, Unique and Whole” Singles Class at Corryton Church.

Cindy and her husband, Terry, have been married for 18 years, has a 26 y/o daughter and a 26 y/o stepson.  Cindy has been attending/member of Corryton Church since 1994.  Cindy has been a Christian since she was 9 y/o and has turned her life pain into a Life Purpose which returned her to Carson Newman in 1999 towards becoming a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist with God’s help to help other individuals heal.

September 6, 2011

Testimony by Marshall Todd Allen

I was born in Knoxville, TN in 1964.  Later in life, I began to drift away from following Jesus Christ, and yielded to temptations, and joined the World on the “broad road”.  The Holly Spirit of God would call out, Marshall, you know that you are in the wrong places with the wrong people at the wrong time.  Then the devil would whisper, Marshall, it’s ok.  My life began to take me down the wrong path, and I found my way to the Penitentiary. 

I have learned the hard way.  The only way to find real joy and happiness is to serve Jesus Christ.  For me, it requires that I devote full time to Kingdom causes (part time don’t work for me).  I must trust and obey, there is no other way.

Over a period of time I founded a Christian Service, called “Cross Talk Consultations In Christ”, where anyone may receive Christian Counseling.

August 30, 2011

Testimony by Bill Sampsel


Bill Sampel is 59 years old, and made the decision to claim Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at the age of 19.  Bill taught a Sunday School class for beginners for 7 years.  He has been married to his lovely wife Brenda for 43 years, and they are the parents of Two daughters, Lisa and Cristy.  They are the grandparents of Amy who is 13, and Amber who is 11.

Bill was a "Baseball Player" during his school years.  He is retired from the business world, and now spends quality time with his family.
His hobbies are:
  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • College Football
August 23, 2011 Testimony by Ronnie Jenkins

I was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee along with four siblings in a 900 square foot house with 3 bedrooms and only one bathroom. The house was small but we were a close family. My Mother was a very loving and giving woman. My Dad was a very strict and hard-working man. He also was very loving and giving but only showed it by working hard to make sure we did not do without the essentials.

I attended Bearden High School and graduated in 1967. I had met Linda, my beautiful wife, during my senior year and we married in 1969 on her birthday.

We have raised two great children; Scott and Laurie. Between them, as of this August, they will have given us 9 grandchildren.

We began attending Corryton Church about 25 years ago and it has turned out to be the best move that God has had us to make. It has been a grand journey; growing in the Lord with all of our family at Corryton Church.

August 16, 2011 Testimony by Frank Rector

I had a cold evil heart.  I had been robbed of my youth.  I was born and raised in Crossville, Tennessee.  There were 12 children in my family.  I had my first drink of alcohol at the age of 8, and was taught how to drive a car at that same age. 

At the age of 11, I was sent to jail for running away from home.  I had seen a movie about hobo’s jumping on trains and so I tried it. 

I wanted things my parents couldn’t give me, so I began to steal stuff, which caused me to be put in jail.  At one time my school principal had me evaluated at a mental hospital, because he thought I was a chronic kleptomaniac.  That was fine with me because it kept me from being sent to the reform school.  I learned to play people early. 

I began experimenting with recreational drugs at the age of 12, and by 1971, I was doing acid, and other hard drugs.  Three months after I turned 18, I went to prison.  I went to the walls the main prison in Nashville, Tennessee. 

For the next 25 years, I was in and out of prison 6 times, a total of 21 years.  During 5 of those years, I was a junkie.  I did not miss one day without sticking a needle in my arm.

I got out of prison for the last time June 19, 1988.  The first thing my parole officer asked me was. “When are you going back?” 

In October of 2000, I backed into a car and left the scene of an accident.  I started running from the police at that time, and made my home in the woods living like an animal.

To find how this story ends, plan to attend the KFL luncheon October 25, 2011, and listen to “The Little Hobo” tell his story.
  Play   Stop Rewind FFWD August 9, 2011
Testimony by Renonda Kirk

Renonda Kirk and her husband, Shane, reside in Knoxville, Tennessee. She is a member of Corryton Church where she serves high school girls in the Student Ministry. She is a member of Bible Study Fellowship where she serves as a Children’s Leader. Professionally, she has been a court reporter for fifteen years. And currently she is raising her two boys, Caden and Lincoln.

She enjoys reading, music, spending time with her family and friends, missions, and mostly studying God’s Word, which has transformed her life.
August 2, 2011 Testimony by Christi Selvidge

Having moved from Michigan as a young child, Christi has lived in Knoxville most of her life.  She married her wonderful and handsome husband Mike (he made her put this in here).  They have two children and have attended Corryton Baptist Church since 1990.  They love their church, the staff and church family.  Most of all, they love serving their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

July 26, 2011 Testimony by Shereece Troutman

I was born into a loving Christian family and raised on a farm in Grainger County. I had loving parents and both sets of loving grandparents. It took me several years to really appreciate growing up in the country, on a farm! I learned very young in life that prayer works, because I remember praying for years for a brother or sister. When I was 10, I got a brother! I became a Christian at 11 and continue to daily work on being a Christian. My childhood was wonderful and very sheltered. In my early 20's I made some life changing mistakes (sins). As usual, the Lord helped me thru it and as always has continued to shower me with blessings. One life changing blessing during that time in my life, I became an R.N., which has allowed me to care for and meet many people.

In 1983, I married a wonderful man, whom I had grown up with and inherited a beautiful step-daughter. In 1984 I was blessed with a wonderful son and again in 1986, I was blessed with a wonderful daughter!

A personal goal of being able to travel has been fulfilled because of my husband, career, employer and church. A life changing mission trip to Venezuela in 1999 and a few years later to Belize occurred because of my church - Corryton!

There are many important events that happen in our lives and there is not enough time to tell about all of them, but I must tell you also about my oldest and dearest friend. We have been best friends since the first day of 7th. grade (the day we met) and as Christians, we hold each other accountable.

In the last several years, I have turned my hobby and love for photography into a small business. (I love doing wedding photography)!

In the past year, I have become passionate about foster children and their needs!!!

My favorite Bible verse is: Romans 8:28

My version: The Lord will always let something good come out of something bad - if you will let him!!!

July 19, 2011 Testimony by Beth Stewart

Beth Stuart’s story began as the youngest child born to a Baptist pastor and his wife in Detroit, MI. Her maternal grandpa was the youth pastor in a large Baptist church who later ran a summer church camp for teens. Her earliest memories are of special family times and missionaries from around the world staying in their home as they visited  supporting churches in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. Having this strong Christian heritage has been a source of strength and dependence on God’s Word that has guided her through the life challenges that have shaped her into the woman she is today. Beth gave her heart to the Lord as a young girl and has been on an adventurous journey loving and seeking Him since then. This journey has taken her to Missouri for Bible college, preparing to be a missionary. While there she met the love of her life, Gary Stuart. From there the journey took them to Oklahoma where Gary was a youth pastor for 4 years. She was an instructional assistant in special education classrooms while there.

The journey took an exciting turn and brought out her truly adventurous side as they spent 12 years in south-central Africa in the countries of DR Congo and Zambia. The journey took a turn into the beautiful as they moved to East Tennessee bringing with them their two sons, Logan and Lane. This leg of the journey has been marked by education and learning. She obtained her Master’s in Education degree and is now a special education teacher at Jefferson Elementary School. Life and the Lord have been teaching her many lessons about reliance on Him, forgiveness, healing, restoration, and miracles. She and Gary have just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary and know that He is the source of their lives. He is charting the course and is the GPS voice showing Beth where to place each step as she walks the journey.

July 12, 2011 Testimony by Tim Whittemore

Tim Whittemore is originally from Brentwood Tennessee, and a graduate from Brentwood High School and Tennessee Tech University with a degree in Business Management. He has lived in East Tennesse since 1997. Tim is married to Sherry and they just celebrated 13 years of marriage. They have two sons, Ben (7) and Brody (3). Tim dedicated his life to Christ as an adult. As he began to seek Gods guidance in his life, God lead him down a path of patience, perserverence, and faith as he began a different career. Tim is the owner/operator of the Chick-fil-A that is located on Chapman Highway. He and his family attend Corryton Church.

 Play Stop Pause July 5, 2011

Testimony by Warren Lane

“When everything else in life failed, God’s love lifted me.”

Warren Lane spent 10 years of his life in and out of prison, because of an addiction to drugs and alcohol.  One day while in prison, Warren attended church, and a man said to him, you have tried everything else, why not try Jesus?  That day he accepted Jesus Christ into his life and hasn’t been the same since. 

One year after his decision to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, Warren was granted parole.  Conditions of his parole required him to enter in-to a program called “Teen Challenge”.  Once warren completed this program, he worked on a dairy farm and was involved in a street ministry called “Christ In Action.”  Warren later attended “New Life Bible College,” located in Cleveland, Tennessee. 

Warren and his wife Mary, have one daughter, Miranda. They own and operate a “drywall-painting” business, and are involved with ”His Laboring Few”, which, is a Biker Ministry; Serving Jesus Christ. 

They are members of Covenant Life in Lake City, Tennessee.  Warren Lane is excited about sharing his testimony that explains how Jesus Christ has impacted his life.

June 28, 2011 Testimony by Janis Jones

I was born in Knoxville, Tn. and I am married to Jerry Jones.  We reside in Corryton, Tn. where we attend Corryton Church.  We have attended there for 23 years.  We have four children and seven grand-children and we are awaiting the adoption of one more.  I am a self-employed care-giver and I have been so very blessed by each one I have cared for.  God is good!

June 21, 2011

Testimony by Kristen Kitts

Kristen Kitts, woman of Faith, has a deep love for worship.  Kristen works as the worship assistant at Corryton Church, she also serves and shares her gifts in the choir and praise team.  In addition, Kristen started the churches dance team over 10 years ago, which performs in every seasonal musical.  Women as old as 60 and children as young as 10 are a part of this vibrant ministry.  Outside of Corryton Church, Kristen is blessed to be a member of the Southern Gospel Trio group, His Voice, which has allowed her to travel all over the US to share the Good News of Jesus through testimony and song.  Kristen also has a passion for women’s ministries and cares about seeing women find freedom in Christ.  She enjoys leading women’s bible studies and has served at many women’s conferences and retreats. 

 Kristen sings and dances for Jesus, because her experiences in life, positive and negative, draw her into a deep passion for knowing her God.  Through good times and bad, Kristen has learned that through the Word, prayer, faith and relationships, God can bring us out of whatever we’re going through and even use it for good, and for His glory.  Kristen and her husband, Brian, live in Knoxville, TN with their three girls, Kaylen-13, Olivia-9, and Faith-7.

 Jeremiah 29:11  11For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 Deuteronomy 31:8  "The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you, He will never leave you or forsake you, Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged!"

 James 1:2-3 & 12   2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  12Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

June 14, 2011

Testimony by Lonnie Gregg

I was born in a very poor, violent neighborhood to an unloving mother and an abusive father.

Due to abuse, I tried to kill my father when I was seven. Tormented and bullied at school by classmates, I eventually became very violent. I took up boxing and martial arts to defend myself. At graduation, I was Golden Gloves champion but was forced to go into the military to avoid prison.

After a miraculous encounter with the Lord, I ended up where my father always said I would be, in prison. I am a volunteer chaplain at Morgan County Prison and have ministered in prisons all across the United States.

June 7, 2011

Testimony by Dr. H. Dean Haun


·         Married to Pamela Staggers of Memphis, Tennessee

·         Three grown children and two grandchildren

·         Jonathan, and his wife Samantha, grand-daughters Addison, and Mason

·         Jordon (single)

·         Jennah and her husband Jordan Mendez


·         Trinity Theological Seminary, Doctor of Ministries, Expository Preaching, 1998, (Studied under Dr. Stephen Olford, Olford Institute of Biblical Preaching, Memphis, Tennessee)

·         Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Master of Divinity, Preaching Emphasis, 1981

·         Cumberland College (renamed University of the Cumberlands), Williamsburg, KY., Bachelor of Arts, Religion and Pastoral Counseling, 1977

Ministerial Experience

·         Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Morristown, TN, Nov. 2007 – present (2,400 members)

·         Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Jonesboro, GA, June 1999 – Oct. 2007 (8,000 members)

·         Senior Pastor, Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, Hermitage, TN, November 1992 - June 1999 (2,300 members)

·         Pastor, First Baptist Church, Sparta, TN, October 1989 - November 1992 (900 members)

·         Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, Alcoa, TN, October 1985 - November 1992 (700 members)

·         Pastor, First Baptist Church, Hallandale Beach, FL, June 1981 - October 1985 (400 members)

·         Pastor, First Baptist Church, Rhome, TX, (while at SWBTS), November 1979 - June 1981 (200 members)

Ministry to Israel

·         Southern Baptist Convention point person for Christians United for Israel

·         Member of the Board of Advisors, International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem

·         Christian Board of Advisors, Yad VaShem (Holocaust Memorial), Jerusalem

·         Founder of Baptists Standing with Israel

·         Led numerous tours to Israel

·         Was the featured speaker at SBC Middle-east Missionary Conference, Jerusalem, 2007

·         Preached at Jerusalem Baptist Church, 2007

Denominational Service

·         Currently serving on Executive Board, Tennessee Baptist Convention, 2008- present

·         Currently serving as President of the Pastor’s Advisory Council, Carson-Newman College

·         (Served on many different denominational boards and agencies)

·         Administration Committee, Georgia Baptist Convention, 2001-2007

·         Committee on Committees, Southern Baptist Convention, 1996

·         Committee on Boards, Southern Baptist Convention, 1998

·         Chairman of Executive Committee, Tennessee Baptist Convention, 1995

·         Chairman of the Board, Baptist and Reflector, 1995

·         Chairman of Christian Services Committee, 1994


·         International Mission trips to Russia, South America, Africa, Europe, Israel, and the Middle-east

·         North American Mission trips to Alaska and Canada

·         Numerous Revivals and Conferences


·         412 additions to the Church since 2008

·         Largest Lottie Moon Offering in Church’s History 2009, $147,000.00

·         Helped to start the new J. Harold Smith Pastors Training Center in co-operation with Radio Bible Hour and Carson-Newman College.  Classes began in October 2010 at FBC Morristown

·         Led Church to begin an evangelistic Dental Clinic, downtown Morristown, also housing the Christian Men and Women’s Job Corp.

·         Began the Men of Morristown Bible Study that has grown to over 150 men meeting every Thursday morning at a local restaurant in Morristown.

·         Currently leading the Church to build a 5 million dollar Children’s Building

·         Initiated and began a new Mobile Bus Ministry that ministers to the children and the poor in Hamblen County

·         Baptized 34 young men in August of 2010 from the Carson-Newman football team

May 31, 2011

Testimony Update by John M. Knisley

Since John originally gave his testimony before the KFL Luncheon, he has experienced a series of events far from home which clearly demonstrate God's hand not only on the life of a true believer but also on the lives of those he or she encounters in life.  John agreed to share his experience with us today since the originally scheduled speaker was unable to keep his commitment to speak.

John was born in 1943 as the fifth and final child of Rev and Mrs. S.D. Knisley in Wartburg TN. His dad was the Bi-Vocational pastor of a small church about 22 miles west of Oak Ridge and both his dad and mother taught school. His mother was a wonderful musician who taught all of her children a love of music, especially the old gospel songs of Fanny Crosby and BB McKinney. In 1952 at the age of 9, He accepted Christ during a two week Bible School/Revival , led by Hobart Ford from Mt. Harmony Baptist Church in Knoxville. He graduated from Central HS in Wartburg and from Carson Newman College in 1966. He was drafted into the service, went to OCS, later sent to Intelligence School, and then spent 20 months as an Intelligence Officer in Turkey. He has been married for the past 41 years to Beverly and they have two sons and two wonderful grand children. He is employed by and is part owner of an Architectural/Engineering firm in Knoxville called Hodge Associates. He and Beverly joined Central Baptist Church of Bearden in 1970, moved to Morristown in 1973, then back to CBC in 1977. He is a member of the choir, an ordained Deacon and a part time SS teacher in dept 6B. He has been a Christian for almost 57 years and says “The Longer I Serve Him the Sweeter He Grows”.

May 24, 2011

Testimony by Daniel B. Niceley

Professional Experience

Thorngrove Baptist Church, Strawberry Plains, TN June 2007 - Present

Minister of Education

·         Oversee entire educational spectrum of a 200 member Southern Baptist church, including pre-school to senior adults.

·         Aid in the development of spiritual growth in church members and teachers for the purpose of making disciples of Christ.                       

·         Oversee, select, and teach supplemental learning materials.

Northstar Church, Knoxville, TN (3 month contract) 2006

Education Developer

·         Develop and oversee the church’s small group ministry.

·         Taught church congregation a multi-part series on spiritual gifts.

·         Selected and trained teachers as well as motivated members to enroll in a small group.

·         Provided teachers with direction, assistance, teaching materials and curriculum as needed. 

Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church, Knoxville, TN 2003 – 2005

Assistant to Senior Pastor

·         Assisted Senior Pastor in virtually every area of ministry relating to a 1000 member Southern Baptist church.

·         Managed and streamlined pastor’s daily itinerary resulting in the most efficient use of his time. Collected, maintained, and processed all attendance and membership records to form many reports which are used in all areas of church life.

·         Complete management of a 100-room motel that adjoins the church property which is used to house 100 college age members of a para-church ministry.

  • Taught the college/career Sunday school class for four years and also served as an ordained deacon.

·         Served on the initial master plan steering committee which makes decisions as to future development of church property.

·         Assisted Growth/Youth minister in summer youth camp.

Integrity Machine, Inc., Knoxville, TN, 1998 - 2008


·         Hold a key leadership role for coordinating the start-up efforts of this machine tooling company.

·         Manage all daily operations with responsibilities for creating/implementing sales and marketing ideas/efforts, price quoting, purchasing, manufacturing, accounts receivable/payable, and production shipping.

Precision Enterprises, Inc., Knoxville, TN, 1994 - 1998

Partner / Vice-President of Operations.

·         Directed the manufacturing operational activities for this start-up tooling and engineering company focused on providing quality production parts to the automotive industry.

·         Evaluated manufacturing processes, identified areas for improvements in costs, labor, procedures, and quality, and maximized profits.

·         Monitored and controlled operating costs through scrap reduction, negotiating the purchase of

·         manufacturing materials, tooling, and packaging/shipping materials, and estimating/quoting jobs.

·         Personal efforts were instrumental in building the company's work force to 42 employees and generating revenues that exceeded $2 million (net profit of 62%) in 1997.

·         Initiated and guided the implementation QS 9000 quality assurance system to enable the company to work with large volume accounts.

·         Supervised all production operations to ensure compliance with established line safety, tooling, quality, and budget guidelines. 

·         Maximized production efficiency through effective planning/coordination of materials.

·         Scheduled production activities with regard to adequate shift coverage and product flow objectives.

·         Applied leadership abilities in training employees, building focused, productive work teams, and updating the staff on new procedures/policies.

·         Handled administrative duties such as accounts payable/receivable, cost accounting, and payroll.

  • Selected/coordinated purchase of CNC machines and gained experience with CNC programming, operating conventional lathes and milling machines, and Microsoft Word and Excel.

U.S. Department of Transportation, Knoxville, TN, 1987 - 1993

Accident Research Specialist.

·         Investigated accident scenes, compiled data, conducted interviews with vehicle occupants, and analyzed the data in order to inform motor vehicle manufacturers about areas needing improvements and potential safety hazards.

Computational Mechanics Corporation, Knoxville, TN, 1985 - 1987

Office Manager / Computer Programmer.

·         Managed all office responsibilities including payroll, accounts receivable/payable, and

·         cost accounting; handled computer program development duties.

·         Worked with government contracts/proposals/technical reports, and interacted with military, government, and NASA establishments.

Education / Training

·         Luther Rice Seminary, Atlanta, GA. May 18, 2007.

·         Master of Arts in Christian Studies

·         Grace Fellowship International, Pigeon Forge, TN

·         Certified in Spirituotherapy/Exchanged Life Counseling

·         Carson-Newman College, Jefferson City, TN

·         B.S., Business Administration

·         KGK CNC Programming School, Atlanta, GA

·         NASS Accident Reconstruction Training School, Oklahoma City, OK

Activities / Hobbies

I have taught various small group home Bible studies for the purpose of educating and equipping Christians to live the Christian life. These groups, which usually consisted of approximately 10-15 attendees, focused on Christian theology, discipleship, and practice.

I also enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, water-sports, and drag racing. I am an Eagle Scout and former Mr. Knoxville bodybuilding champion. I have been married since 1984.

Online Sermons/Lessons

·         A sermon titled “Five Phases of the Christian Life” is available at

  • Also on Canadian radio under the “blog” section, several of my lessons can be downloaded.
May 17, 2011 Testimony by Jim Young

Jim and Pam Young are from Crossville, TN.  Jim is 45 years old and has been married for 25 years.  They have 2 boys, Drake, the oldest, graduates from the University of Memphis this May as an architect; Brent, the youngest, is a freshman at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College.

This is the first few paragraphs of Jim’s testimony:

I am an alcoholic.  I know what it is like to burn with a desire to drink that is so overwhelming that family, jobs, and friends mean nothing compared to liquor.  I know what it is like to wake up at 2:00 a.m. with the burning in my stomach that can only be relieved by drinking about a pint of liquor and going back to sleep only to wake up a few hours later, burning again.

I had been drinking for the past 16 years.  At first, I would drink about a pint a day, but never before 5:00 p.m.  After a few years, I would drink a fifth of liquor every two days, but never before noon.  After a few more years, I would drink a fifth every day, but never before breakfast.  After ten years, a half gallon every two days.  My family, my life, and my body began to fall apart.

At that point I had been married for 15 years and had two sons.  One was 13, and one was 11 years old.   I slowly began to lose everything I had worked for:  my house, my family's belongings…most of which I destroyed in drunken outrage.  Five more years of hell on earth went by.  I don't think my wife and kids hated me, but I know they hated being home and loathed me.  I spent about $4,000 a year on liquor, a low estimate of $65,000, which would have easily paid my house off.  We also had to live in tents for six weeks because of my alcoholism.  I don't know why, but my family still stuck by me.

I also know the joy and excitement of complete deliverance from the power of alcohol addiction and never cease to praise God for such deliverance.   I couldn't stand the way I was living, but I didn't think I could make it being a Christian and living for God.  But God had a different plan for me, and my testimony of how God's power of love and grace impacted my life started on March 7, 2006….

May 10, 2011

Testimony by Chaplain David Trempe

Chaplain David Trempe, a biblical spiritual paramedic!  When a single mother loses her child, he’s there. When a company experiences the tragic loss of an employee, he’s there. When a couple is on the brink of divorce, he’s there. For the child whose home is juvenile court, he’s there.  A spiritual paramedic for the lost and broken, the one-time minister no longer pastors a local Presbyterian Church, because “being in the pulpit every Sunday wasn’t transforming the hurting in our city.  Chaplain Trempe's car is marked as the royal chaplain car so when he stops at a  traffic light other drivers roll down their windows to get his attention. Pumping gas, a young man walks up to him and asks for prayer despite his disbelief in God’s existence. Trempe, 46, makes sure he cups a hand or gives a pat on the shoulder and says: “If I can serve you in any way, you let me know. Just know we are here for you. Grace be to you.

His Royal Chaplains service began in 2004 after an encounter with a woman who lost a child.  “She didn’t have any family or anyone to turn to, and I didn’t feel comfortable just offering comforting words and then just leaving,” Trempe said. “After I left, I had to turn my car around and go back,” he said and that was the coronation of the Royal Chaplain Corps. He ministers wherever his feet go. He leaves behind cards with his contact information.  He’s always adding to the services of the Royal Chaplains. He hopes to incorporate an etiquette-style training program for youth as well As a canine therapy program.  He surrounds himself with a network of chaplains who volunteer their time for the mission of Royal Chaplains Corps.  Trempe said the 25 volunteers are pastors or have been in ministry in the past. Because Royal Chaplains is a 24-hour service, Trempe said he is able to call on the volunteers to fill in the gaps when he is unable to meet with someone.  Donations to the nonprofit ministry allow Chaplain Trempe the honor to serve various communities for disaster relief, restorative training for teens and parents during critical times. Assistant Chief Deputy Robert Sexton of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said Trempe’s gift from God is invaluable.  As a volunteer chaplain for the Sheriff’s Office, Trempe ministers to anyone in need including officers, families and inmates. “He shows a great amount of empathy for others as they struggle with life’s burden,” Sexton said.

“He’s able to restore peace and calmness in times of turbulence.  “It’s not about converting anyone,” Trempe said. “It’s about showing the love of Jesus Christ and treating everyone like royalty and with respect, hence the name of the ministry. “I don’t believe people reject Christ; they reject the way we have packaged Him — with a large consumer mindset and an entertainment paradigm. Our based Culture is transcending into our churches instead of the opposite.  “Once a person is quickened by God's grace, they can’t help but be drawn to know more about Jesus Christ.  ”After losing a brother, his father and grieving a divorce, Trempe said he’s been there, asking the same question others do: “If God exists, why so much pain and suffering?,  “Most don’t want to be just heard. They want to be understood,” he said.  After the loss of his father, as a teenager, Trempe said it was a friend’s dad who offered a human touch and prayed for me. “I will never forget what that man did,” Trempe said.  He goes into corporations, juvenile court, police departments, and hotels and along the streets, offering God's grace through Christ’s compassion. And then there are the dozens of phone calls he makes daily to offer an encouraging word and say a prayer for people.  Now married with seven children, Trempe seeks refuge and replenishment from his wife, Michele, and his children.


Devotion and family worship time is how Trempe starts and ends each day.  The past 19 months. Chaplain Trempe has been restoring the 1898 chapel at 5902 Kingston Pike in Knoxville, Tn. 37919 which is the command center for his ministry.  Dr. Trempe is also completing his second doctoral degree in nouthetic field traumatology at Erskine Theological Seminary in Due West, SC. When asked, “Why did you leave the comforts of a guaranteed salary to risk this idea of chaplaincy?” Trempe simply replied, “This is a calling on my life.”
May 3, 2011 Douglas Burroughs

Douglas Burroughs was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1973.  He attended Carter High School, graduating in 1991.  He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Carson-Newman College in 1995, and a Master in the Art of Teaching degree in 1998.  He graduated with his Educational Specialist degree in Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University in 2003.  He has taught for fourteen years in secondary education in Sevier and Hamblen counties.  He accepted Christ at the age of fourteen.  He is a member of First Baptist Church in Morristown, Tennessee where he is active in the orchestra and music ministry.  He is the lead vocalist in a local Christian band, Modern Day Psalms.  He and his wife, Deedra, will celebrate their fifteenth wedding anniversary this year.  He is the proud father of Blake and Teagan Burroughs.

April 26, 2011

Ralph Reagan

Ralph Reagan went from reform school for truancy to prison for a series of crimes.  In and out of prison for 20 years; living a life of frustration, hopeless and turmoil; unable to find a legitimate job.  Recidivism was a way of life for Ralph Reagan; that is until he reached his lowest point ever.  While in prison, Ralph finally noticed God's hand reaching down to him.  Ralph spent 30 days in solitary confinement reading God's word.  Today, Ralph is helping others find what he found.  Ralph was born and raised in Crossville, TN. where he also raised havoc for many years.

April 19, 2011

Testimony by Richard E. Brittain, Jr., D.D.S.


  • Powell High School - Powell, TN - graduated in 1973

  • University of Tennessee - Knoxville, TN:

  • Bachelor of Arts - Math major - graduated in 1976 with honors

  • University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences - Memphis, TN:

  • Doctor of Dental Surgery - graduated in 1979 with honors


  • Practiced dentistry for 17 years - retired from dentistry in 1997

  • Born again on January 18, 1998 - entered full time Christian ministry

  • As of March, 2011, still in full time Christian ministry:  

  • Director of Inner City Ministry for First Baptist Church of Powell, TN

  • Pastor of Grace Community Church in Western Heights area of Knoxville, TN

  • Continuing education in the area of biblical counseling

  • Preaching and teaching every week, usually in the inner city


  • Single

  • Member of First Baptist Church of Powell, TN - active in ministry

  • Mensa member

  • Love to read and study

April 12, 2011

Testimony by Scott Galyon

Scott grew up in Seymour, TN where he played football, basketball and baseball at Seymour High School.  He signed a football scholarship to play linebacker for the University of Tennessee during his senior year.

Scott played at the University of Tennessee from 1992-1996 where he led the team in tackles during his junior and senior years and was voted Team Captain during his senior season.  During this four year span Scott helped to lead the Volunteers to a 38-10 record finishing with a victory over the highly touted Ohio State Buckeyes and their Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George.

Scott was then selected by the New York Giants in the 6th round of the 1996 draft. He played for four years with the Giants.  Scott was voted Special Teams Player of the Year in his second season and helped to lead the Giants to an NFC East Championship as a nickel linebacker. In 2000, he signed with the Miami Dolphins. In 2001, he was the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award for athletes who are able to overcome adversity. He played with the Dolphins for three years before retiring at the end of the 2002 season.

Scott then moved back to Tennessee in 2003 and worked as a volunteer coach with his high school team, the Seymour Eagles, before eventually working with Novartis Pharmaceuticals for three years.  He joined the FCA staff in December of 2007.

Scott currently serves as the Lakeway Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes Representative.  He has worked with FCA for three years and serves in Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen and Jefferson counties.  He is married to Chasity who is also from Seymour, TN. They have two children Elijah and Gracie Mae.

April 5, 2011

Testimony by Dr. Bill Conklin

Dr. Bill Conklin is a psychologist in private practice in Morristown, TN.  He attained his Bachelor’s Degree from John Carroll University and his doctorate from Wright State University.  For nearly 16 years before going into private practice, Bill worked in a local community health center.  Current professional interests include positive psychology and the treatment of mood disorders through mindfulness practices.  Bill is excited to be collaborating with the University of Tennessee’s Psychology Department in its research on positive psychology.

The fifth of five children born into a Roman Catholic home, Bill was committed to his faith in Christ from an early age.  His spirituality fueled his service through his profession and through community service.  Bill has served various community organizations including:  Hamblen County Health Council, Regional Health Council, Hamblen County School’s Health Advisory Board, Daily Bread Community Kitchen (local “soup kitchen”), Ministerial Association Temporary Shelter (homeless shelter), Morristown-Hamblen Community Profile, Angel Food Ministries, and Habitat for Humanity.

Bill is a member of First United Methodist Church in Morristown.  There he has provided leadership in his Tapestry Sunday School Class and has coached Upward Basketball.  Bill is a happily married to Sharla and is the proud father of three children, Sydney, Macy and Drew.

March 29, 2011

Testimony by Mike Scott

On January 15, 1962 I was born into this world in Knoxville, TN about 15 months after my sister.  Unfortunately, my parents’ relationship ended in divorce just before I started elementary school.  Though divorced, both parents raised me in a loving environment filled with close relationships with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  Mom remarried when I was 9 years old and within 4 years or so, my half brother was born.  Though I always wanted to live with my father, it didn’t happen until after my high school graduation in 1980.  My father had finally returned to Knoxville in 1978, going to work for Clayton Homes, after having moved to Pennsylvania, Kansas, South Carolina, Arkansas and Alabama not long after my parents divorce in 1968.  How pivotal these few events have proven to be in my life and growth as a man.

From a religious perspective, I grew up in a pretty strict religious environment, one in which thinking for yourself was discouraged and certainly not welcome.  I did grow up being taught solid values and morals, but for several reasons, it just didn’t seem like the right fit for me personally.  Once divorced, my father was virtually shunned from the ‘church family’ as well as a significant strain on some family relationships as well.  As a young child, I simply couldn’t understand why someone I loved so much was being treated so poorly.  When my opportunity finally arrived in 1980 to move in with my father, I jumped on it, and that is when I pretty much threw the towel in on religion.  What I grew up with simply was not going to work for me as an adult, and I guess you could say that I was almost afraid to do anything (go to another church, faith, or house of worship) as anything other than what “momma” or “granny” endorsed, was not only forbidden, but it was even labeled as false prophecy.  So, as a college freshman, I began to live my new life with my new freedom, which included a strong commitment to the party life.  Though my father didn’t push me down the party path, he didn’t question much I did, and we simply had a good time together, sort of trying to make up for the years we lost being apart so much. 

I was the first person in my family to attend college, so I didn’t want to disappoint.  The freshman year went well at UT (good grades and study habits) but things went downhill fast the following year.  I never got into heavy drinking or anything (and never did drugs or anything) but I was far more committed to having fun than I was to making good grades.  In early 1983 I met my first wife, who was basically a young and attractive woman, who was extremely lost and very unhealthy emotionally and spiritually.  I wasn’t smart enough to realize that a “fixer upper” wasn’t the best choice.  However, our relationship continued, and 90 days before my college graduation, she informed me if her pregnancy.  Just prior to that, I had given much consideration to ending the relationship, then things changed quick.  The stress of a heavy college workload that last quarter was enormous, and when she told me the news, my heart sank.  How could I disappoint my family and myself like that?  I was supposed to be the one in the family that did things ‘right’.  I was your typical ‘good guy’, but I was a classic example of no matter how ‘good’ you are, if God isn’t at the center of your life, things just don’t work out well.  I graduated from UT in December 1984, went to work in February, and my beautiful daughter Candace entered my life on April 2, 1985 and yes, I was scared to death!  Her mother and I didn’t marry until July 1986 and we moved to Savannah, TN where my son Tyler was born in August 1987.  Our relationship ran it’s course and ended in divorce just before Tyler’s 2nd birthday.  My wife had proven to me that her main interest was in having a good time, and being a wife and mother simply didn’t fit into her equation.  So, one of the biggest days of relief in my life came when she agreed to me having exclusive custody of both children.  Within 6 months I had moved back to Knoxville, as I really needed the support of my family in raising the children. 

Shortly thereafter is when I think God began working on me, and I thank him often for the life he’s given me since then.  In March 1990, about 9 months after the divorce, I met my wonderful wife Karen.  Though neither of us were living as Christians at the time, I knew in my heart that she was a wonderful woman.  She was kind, loving, mature, and beautiful and the fact that I was raising 2 young children (2 and 4) by myself didn’t scare her off!  What a sacrifice she made when she married me in January 1991.  Here she was, moving to Knoxville from Alabama, with a ready made family, helping me raise these two children, who so desperately needed a mother.  The children had won her heart quickly and her love for them was all I needed to feel like I had made the right decision. 

As the children grew, so did new challenges and problems.  Once the kids reached middle school, situations arose that clearly screamed at us both that if our kids were going to grow up as healthy and productive young adults, we had better make some serious changes in our lives.  We realized that it was our responsibility to provide a better environment and circle of friends.  That’s about the time some friends invited us to attend a Valentine’s dinner at Corryton Church.  I remember well walking through the door that first time, thinking to myself “my mother and grandmother would have a fit if they knew that I was standing inside of a church”.  Karen and I both quickly realized how desperately we needed not only to have our children in church, but also how badly we needed “us” to be in church too.  I had gone for about 18 years without having any form of spiritual life, and I thank God all the time for the grace he extended to me and my family with us getting involved in church when we did.  We currently have two of the most well-adjusted, Christ-loving children a parent could hope to have, yet it scares me to think of what would likely have happened if we hadn’t made our life changes when we did.  Our kids could easily have gone down the wrong path, and I’m so thankful that they’ve chosen to be the people they are now.  Obviously, church isn’t the answer, but it’s a great place to start.  It took me a few years to truly find Christ and give him the steering wheel of my life.  My relationship with Christ has given me a peace in my life that I never dreamed of.  My life certainly isn’t perfect, but it’s extremely blessed.  Without Christ, I certainly wouldn’t have the strong marriage I have today, nor would my children’s lives be blessed as they are.  Though the ups far outweigh the downs, living as a Christian does bring about pain and sacrifice, sometimes closer to you than you can imagine.  Today both of my parents love and respect me, yet neither of them really embrace the things about me that I’m most proud of, all of which stem from my relationship with Christ.  He gives me strength daily and has blessed me with a wonderful circle of friends.

March 22, 2011

Testimony by Ivan Harmon

Ivan Harmon has devoted much of his life to public service, having served as a member of the Knoxville Board of Education, Knoxville City Council, and Knox County Commission.

Ivan moved to Knoxville after serving in the Army and being employed in the Food Services industry where he was promoted to store manager. He immediately became involved in his community while raising his family. He is an avid sportsman and was encouraged to become involved in the Parent Teacher Organization from folks familiar with him through his volunteer work in coaching, quickly becoming the President of that organization.

Ivan was first elected to public office in 1985, seeking a seat on the Knoxville Board of Education after serving as the President of his local PTO. Ivan served for approximately eighteen months before voters choose to close the City of Knoxville school system. Ivan was elected to the Knoxville City Council in 1989, and was reelected in 1993 and 1997. In fact, Ivan was the first Councilman from the Third District ever to be reelected by the people. While a member of City Council, Ivan served as Chairman of the City Stormwater Committee and upon the completion of his final term of office, Ivan went to work for the City of Knoxville in the Stormwater division to continue to make a difference in that arena.

Wishing to continue to serve the public, Ivan became a candidate for the Knox County Commission in 2002 where he was elected and served two terms.

Ivan served on the Finance Committee, Board of Zoning Appeals, 911 Board, and the Knox County Beer Board while a member of Knox County Commission.

Ivan is a long-time member of Wallace Memorial Baptist Church and is the former President of the Christian Business Network, and is a member of the Norwood Kiwanis Club.

Ivan has either served or continues to serve on the Board of the Young Williams Center, the Knoxville Volunteer Rescue Squad, Knoxville Green, and the Love Kitchen.

Ivan and his wife, Jane, have three children: Amy Harmon Cummings, Scott, and Steven, and four grandchildren.

March 15, 2011
Testimony by John Maxwell
Born in Springfield, Massachusetts February 6, 1967.  He accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior November, 2005.  John is the manager of a grocery store in Knoxville, TN, (Chicken City).  He is a single divorced parent of three children, Vince (15), Sean (6) and Daniel.  John is an active member of his church (Corryton Church).
March 8, 2011

Testimony by Grace Saia Phillips

I was born January 5, 1953 in Helena, Arkansas (just 6 minutes before my identical twin sister, Joanne.)  I was raised in an Italian Catholic home where we went to church “every time the doors were open.”  I attended a Catholic school through the 8th grade, then graduated from public school in 1971.  I graduated in 1975 from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas with a BA degree in Spanish.  A girlfriend and I moved to Knoxville in 1975 with a couple who had become our spiritual mentors in college.  It was through this couple, Don and Linda VandenBerg and a college Bible Study group they conducted that I learned more about God’s simple plan of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ, and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior.  I met Roger Phillips in 1985 in a Singles class at Calvary Baptist Church on Kingston Pike, and we were married April 18, 1986.  In 1994 we moved from west Knoxville to the Corryton/Luttrell area and began attending Corryton Baptist Church, where we are still active members.  We both sing in the choir and help out in various other ministries and missions projects. I worked at South Central Bell/Bell South/AT&T for 32 years before retiring on December 18, 2009.  The Lord has truly blessed me all my life, and I am very grateful for His mercy and His guidance, and especially for His unspeakable gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ and the opportunity to live for Him every day.  I can’t imagine living life without having a personal relationship with God.

March 1, 2011

Testimony by Roger F. Purkey (CPA - retired)

Education • Tennessee Technological University • Bachelor of Science in Accounting, 1971

Experience • Roger has over 37 years accounting experience with emphasis in HUD apartment audits, tax planning, estate planning and administration, business sales and purchases, individual, partnership and corporate tax. Roger is also a member of the firm’s audit committee.

Professional • Joined firm in 1972 • Received CPA Designation in 1973 • Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants • Member, Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants

Community • Member, Board of Advisors, First Tennessee Bank, Morristown • Member, Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary Club • Co-Founder, Co-Chairman, Morristown Leadership Prayer Breakfast • Member, First Baptist Church
February 22, 2011 Testimony by Shannon Washam

Shannon Washam grew up in Luttrell, Tennessee.  He was one of four children born to H.P. and Zella Washam.  He was surrounded by a large family filled with love and many fun moments that characterized the rural farm life.  Shannon’s family lived a busy life, growing up in a large farming community.  However, there was never a shortage of love in their home.  Shannon was blessed to have a wonderful Christian example in his parents who showed the love of Christ to others.

In 1985 with an invitation from a good friend, Shannon made a visit to Cedar Ford Baptist Church in Luttrell where he soon found his identity in Christ and began a wonderful journey with the Lord as a Christian.  In 1987 the Lord opened the door for him to attend Carson Newman College where the Christian growth continued and a vision became clear that his life had been shaped to be a servant to others.


While attended CNC, Shannon met his sweetheart and wife to be, Jean Ann.  In 1991 they were married and moved to Louisville Kentucky.  During his years as a resident of the good state of Kentucky, he had the privilege a good career as a family service worker for the Kentucky State Government and as a house parent for Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children.  With the growing interest in sharing the Gospel in his heart, he began to pray for the Lord to open a door for personal evangelism.  In 1997, Shannon heard an answer to his prayers when he was selected as the Director of Appalachian Outreach Ministries at Carson Newman College in Jefferson City, TN.  After 7 wonderful years of ministry, He became the Director of the Baptist Center at Western Heights in Knoxville, TN, where he currently serves.


Shannon has committed his life to Jesus as a servant of the Lord for many years.  Through this work He has found many opportunities to share Christ and meet needs.  The Baptist Center has been a source of inspiration to the inner city of Knoxville since 1953 when it opened.  It now serves the community with ministry programs including a five day a week after school program and 19 Bible study groups each week.  With the leadership of the Lord the ministries continues to grow during the years that Shannon has served as the Director of the Baptist Center.  He is blessed to have the support of hundreds of volunteers as they join with 150 Knox County Baptist Churches to do the work of the Lord in Knoxville.


Shannon is also blessed as a proud parent of two precious children, Emma (age 10) and Seth (age 9).  In addition to a his current activities as Director of the Baptist Center, he also serves as Interim Pastor of Washington Pike Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN., as well as attends Carson Newman College as a student in the Masters in Applied Theology degree program.

February 15, 2011

Testimony by Terry Barr

I was born September 26,1948 and grew up in a small Mississippi Town in the delta. I graduated from High School and attended one semester of college before joining the Army and going to Vietnam. I married my first wife while in the service but it only lasted until I returned home from Vietnam.

After the divorce, it was back to college and married again, then to Memphis with a job as an air traffic controller. Then back to Mississippi, and college majoring in criminal justice with a wife and 2 little girls.

While still in college, during my final semester before graduation, (with a degree).  My life really took a turn for the worse. 

I found myself in Prison for murder and, and facing a life sentence.  After some time served and through the appeals process, I was released from prison. And then moved to Memphis, Tennessee.  I couldn’t follow the conditions of my release and was returned to prison.  At this time my wife leaves me and gets a divorce.

Finally I was released from prison and moved to Nashville, Tennessee and lived with a woman I was not married to.  So what next, you guessed it, prison again, this time with a life sentence as a habitual criminal plus 24 years. Through all this there was my share of drugs, booze, women, etc. and no room for God. I would use Him when I got locked up and then leave Him there when I got out.  So from a promising career in law enforcement to prison and back out and back in and back out and back in to where I am now.

Presently, I am working on my 3rd life sentence; only this one is the one I’ll never finish. God gave me an eternal life sentence the last week of December, 2000 while I was locked up in what is known as the hole at Morgan County Regional Prison. I have been out for almost 9 yrs. now and am a member of FOCUS prison ministry, Kairos prison ministry, Bill Glass Prison Ministry, Teen lock down on the outside, and am a licensed and ordained minister. I go back into any jail or prison that I can to take hope to the men there where there is no hope. 24 years in prison can change a man, but so can God.

February 8, 2011

Testimony by Brandon Cate


The early years of my life are fairly normal for most children.  I have had the opportunity to understand some peoples struggles being from a divorced family.  But I did not have the difficulties that others, being that my parents supported me and my sister as we followed the path that God has created for us.  I graduated from Sevier County High School in 2000.  From there I furthered my education focusing in the area of accounting.  As I was finishing my 2nd year at a community college God began moving in my life in such a way that sent my dreams spinning out of control.  For starters the classes that I had enrolled in were canceled and with in a few short weeks I lost my job.  It was a very difficult point in my life that sent me searching for the only person that could make my life any better.  God provided a wonderful opportunity on February 9, 2003.  At Beech Spring Baptist Church in Kodak, Tn, I accepted my call into ministry.  It was one of the most important days in my life.  From this point I enrolled at Johnson Bible College focusing on my training for full time youth ministry.  While I was working on my under graduate degree a wonderful events took place, the opportunity to become a Chaplain for Northview/Kodak Volunteer Fire Department.  This event allowed me to give to my community in a way that I never dreamed possible.  After graduation I enrolled at Southern Theological Seminary focusing on Pastoral Ministries.  On February 1st, 2008 I was hired as the first full time Youth Pastor of Beech Springs Baptist Church, where I am currently still on staff.  On May 29th, 2010, I had the wonderful joy of marrying my lovely wife Tracy Wells Cate.  And currently we are enjoying marriage and ministry together.
February 1, 2011

Testimony by Kirk Kirkeminde

Kirk Kirkeminde believes he looked the devil in the eye and said no.  

“I told him to get out,” he said. “I was ready to die or be killed. That’s a drug addict’s mind. If they’d turned me loose that day, I’d either be in a grave, a prison or a mental institution today. But I asked God to give me one more chance.”

He got his chance. Seven years after he sat jailed in chains under a suicide watch, Kirkeminde, 54, walk the cellblocks of the Cumberland County jail again as a chaplain and minister to fellow methamphetamine addicts.

“Every time I go through and I hear those doors shut, a chill goes up my back, because I know what’s in there,” he said. “That’s a sound you never forget, but these people in there need to hear what I’m going to say. We’ve got a plague all around this mountain. We’ve got too many people out here dying and going to hell because we keep our mouths shut.”

The investigator who had hunted Kirkeminde ordained him this summer as a pastor. The county sheriff testified at the ceremony.

“Not too many years ago, if we’d met in this building one of us could have been laying here dead at the hand of the other,” Cumberland County Sheriff Butch Burgess said. “But now I can see God working through him.”

The sheriff and his top lieutenant, Gary Howard, remember Kirkeminde as one of the county’s biggest cooks - a man who made meth two or three times a day with an arsenal in reach and laid claim to the strongest crank on the Cumberland Plateau.

“They say cooks don’t quit, but he’s a unique guy,” Burgess said. “He talks to these inmates on a level that we can’t.”

Howard, a pastor and son of a preacher, opened his pulpit at the Old Fashion Independent Baptist Church to the man he’d chased. The ceremony brought both men to their knees in each other’s arms.

“It’s kind of hard to read the Scripture when you can’t see through the tears,” Howard said. “Seeing Kirk at that pulpit and knowing how many people he’s touched reminds us why we do what we do.”

Tweaking, peaking and crashing, Kirkeminde started cooking methamphetamine in the mid 1990s, about the time the drug crept north from Southeast Tennessee. He’d tried other drugs before - alcohol, marijuana, cocaine - but nothing that gripped him like meth.

He estimates he made the drug hundreds of times over the next 10 years - a time once thought to be the average lifespan for a meth user. Sometimes he felt Satan at his side.

“I’ve done it every which way,” he said. “I didn’t just go get a pint of iodine, I’d get 3 or 4 gallons. I cooked the kind that made you tweak and peak, if you know what I mean. I looked like death on a soda cracker. You don’t realize what a life like that does to you until it’s over.”

He remembers days and nights without sleep, spent watching for cops hiding in the trees and waiting with gun in hand for the raid he expected at any moment.

“I’d have come out of that trailer with two guns blazing, and my problems would have been over,” he said.

The cooking ended in June 2003 when officers arrested Kirkeminde with 4 grams of meth during a traffic stop. He agreed to treatment as part of a plea deal and showed up at the local rescue mission two nights later, ready to put on a sorrowful face and cry a few fake tears.

Something happened on the way to the altar.

“All that time, those little wheels were spinning in my head on how to get out of this,” he said. “But while I was on my knees, I asked the Lord, ‘If you’re who you say you are, just take this from me.’ That’s what God can do. He can take a drug addict everybody’s given up on and give him a new life.”

Kirkeminde said he tried meth just once after that night.

“It got me high, but it made me miserable,” he said. “I threw the rest of it away. That was the last time.”

He hasn’t looked back. He stayed clean, found a wife, earned two degrees from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College - and gained more than 100 pounds along the way. He laughs, cries and prays with those who stand where he stood seven years ago.

“It’s really hard because I know where they are,” he said. “Sometimes they just don’t want to hear, and I’ve been there, too.”

Kirkeminde says he’ll never give up on anyone. Just this month he helped baptize 40 inmates. All it took was a Bible, a garden hose and a horse trough.

“Anybody can be saved,” he said. “God didn’t give up on me, so I’m not giving up on anybody else.”
January 25, 2011

Testimony by Cliff Adkins

Cliff Adkins was born on May-15-1964 in Holden, WV. He is the son of Rev. Roy and Louise Adkins of Whitman, WV. Cliff grew up in church singing at an early age with his sisters. After graduating high school, he joined the United States Air Force where he served honorably for the next seven years. After his military service, he came back to his home town and worked for his dad as manager of Roy's Bible Bookstore in Chapmanville, WV. He then met Robyn "his best friend from seventh grade", and they married having three children. He sung the baritone, and some lead parts, with his Father-In-Law the late Conrad Cook and his group the Calvary Echoes. During the next number of years, he served many roles for the group while being trained by Conrad to take over when and if the time ever came that he went home to be with the Lord. On June-29-2004, Conrad went home to be with Jesus, and Cliff had to take over the leadership role for the group after changing the name to the New Calvary Echoes. He is honored to take on such a position while keeping the family group on the battlefield for Christ. He states that he feels like Joshua did when he had to take over the leadership role after Moses went home to be with the Lord. Cliff has also assumed the writing of the group's gospel music while still singing Conrad's songs too. He has a college degree in the medical field from South College and also a Doctorate of Music degree from the Emmanuel Baptist University. Cliff takes care of the groups business while also taking on his newest work "preaching the gospel. Cliff was ordained on April-12th-2009 at his home church by Rev. John H Rutherford Senior Pastor of Faith Fellowship in Charleston, WV.


January 18, 2011
Testimony by Rev. Danny Neal

42 years old

Pastor of New Beginnings Baptist Church
I have been truly blessed and happily married to my high school sweetheart Jeanna for almost 24 years. We have three beautiful children; Jessica our oldest daughter who is18 and attending college this year, Daniel our son who is 16 and a sophomore in high school, and our youngest daughter Jaci who is 7 and in the second grade.
I was raised in church as a child. My parents made sure we attended church.  Not only did we learn biblical truths from church, we were taught at home.  My parents believed God’s Word about training up a child.  We would read a book from the bible and then my mother would give us tests.  We moved to the Marbledale community when I was eight years old.  My family decided to join the church when I was nine years old.  The pastor asked us about our salvation and I said I was saved.  I was baptized knowing for certain that I was not saved.  For ten years I lived a life of fear. I knew if Jesus returned or if I died I would not go to heaven, but hell would be my destination.  I remember getting up in the middle of the night to look out of my window thinking Christ was coming back.  I was terrified.  I was active in church. I was singing in the choir, doing usher duties, and my wife and I were even helping with the youth program.  Me? I was a lost man doing church work.  God was gracious and kept dealing with me about my lost condition.  I wanted to be saved, but I wondered what everybody would think.  I finally got rid of my pride and on the last Sunday of October 1987 I came forward and asked Jesus to save me and be Lord of my life.  What a journey I have been on!  Since my conversion, God has allowed me to experience His blessings as well as hard times.  It was during one of these hard times at our church that God called me to preach.  I did not run from this call, but I did allow the circumstances in my life and church to overshadow the calling God had given me.  Again, God was gracious and merciful.  I continued working for the Lord in the church. God allowed my wife and I to become the youth leaders.  In the midst of all of this, however God never stopped calling me to preach.  My wife, being much more astute than myself, let me know that I had been preaching for a long time.  I just never admitted it.   On March 30, 2008, I finally surrendered to His calling.  My life has not been the same since.  After months of preaching at various churches and other revivals and functions, God has called me away from my home church to start a new congregation.  We have been meeting in my home for a couple of months and we are looking to move to a more permanent place.  We have been through some rough times and we have experienced the joy of serving God.  Through it all, God has been with us and God has been good to us.  I get up each morning just wondering what God has in store for me that day.  He never fails me.  I can’t help but praise Him.  Why?  Because His mercy endures forever!
January 11, 2011

Testimony by Allen Leath

I was born on Valentine's Day, 1965.  Not sure why that's even worth mentioning.  Every holiday or special day, I'm sure, has ten's of thousands of birthdays on it.  But it never fails when someone hears that my birthday falls on Valentine's Day, everyone thinks it’s so sweet.  I guess, but really, I had nothing to do with it.  Contrary to what some may think, I was not born with an instrument or a microphone in my hand.  That being said, I don't really remember my life without music being a huge part of it.  I was born here in Knoxville to Carroll and Wilma Leath.  Dad was a product of Mascot and mom from Luttrell.  For several years, dad was a Church of God preacher at a small local church that was so small that he done the preaching, singing, and even took up the offerings!  Mom played the piano and sang, kept the books, shuttled people back and forth to church.  I witnessed servant-hood at the roots from an early age.  Picking and singing gospel songs soon became a huge definition of who I was.  That would prove to be a detriment later on in life.  In 1986, at the age of 21, I married 17 year old Tabatha Loveday of Knoxville (a city girl!).  We grew up together, now, if the Lord tarries, we'll grow old together.  The day after Thanksgiving, 1987, a little red-haired girl named Amanda was born, and changed our lives forever.  Almost 6 years later, our family was completed when son Deric arrived in April, 1993.  Two years later, I started my own pest control company, East Knox Exterminating, where I still work today.  It was also that year, that I truly accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior.  In September, 2005, I felt the call of the Lord to take His music beyond my comfort zone, to wherever He led me.  Cross 4 Crowns quartet was formed.  The group has had 8 consecutive single releases that have charted nationally.  In 2009, Cross 4 Crowns was nominated top 10 for Horizon group of the year...won that year by my dear friends, The Crist Family.  Our little red-haired girl, Amanda, is all grown up now, with husband, Lennie.  Deric is a 3rd generation senior at Carter High School.  My lovely wife, Tabatha, has returned to school....and me?.....I'm just one blessed man!

January 4, 2011

Testimony by Leonard (Lennie) Blaine Lawson, Sr.

Leonard Blaine Lawson, Sr. (Lennie) was born on November 17, 1956 in South Charleston, West Virginia to Max and Barbara Lawson. Max began his career with Chevrolet as a district manager the same year Lennie was born, and Barbara was an educator in the classroom and on public television for most of her career. Lennie has one brother, Max Wendell Lawson, Jr., who is a board certified cardiologist practicing with Parkway Cardiology and at Methodist Hospital in Oak Ridge, TN. The family moved to Greeneville, Tennessee when Lennie was 14 and when his father became the local Chevrolet dealer. Lennie was a starter on the Greeneville High School basketball team and played #1 on the tennis team. He graduated 33rd in his class of 240 students. Lennie is a 1978 cum laude graduate of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he received a degree in Business Administration/Marketing. Lennie married his high school sweetheart, the former Terri Nelson, and they have been married for 32 years.   Lennie and Terri have 3 children: Blaine (27), Abby (25) and Audra (23) and one grandson, Kannon (2).

Lennie has been a member of Asbury United Methodist Church since 1971. He has dedicated his time and services to his church by being a lay speaker, a ten-year member of his church choir, a Sunday School teacher for the past 8 years and has mentored the youth in his church by serving as a Christian Youth Counselor for  13 years.  Lennie has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees.  He also sings and performs in a contemporary worship band where he plays the guitar and piano.

Lennie participates in many local civic and community organizations.  He has served as the past president of the JayCees and the Greeneville Exchange Club.  He is a current board member of the Greeneville Parks & Recreation Department, where he has served for 10 years.  He has participated as a head basketball coach in the City Boys & Girls Youth League for13 years.  He is a past chairperson and current member of the Laughlin Hospital Foundation Board of Directors.  He has organized and promoted Christian Music Concerts for the Greeneville Youth Ministries.  Lennie is a former board member of the Youth Action Committee Teams for the Greeneville-Greene County Partnership (Chamber of Commerce).  He is also a graduate of the Greeneville-Greene County Leadership Development Program.  Lennie is a frequent speaker and performer at  area churches, business groups, and various civic organizations.

               Lennie the owner of Gateway Ford, Lincoln, Mazda, Inc. located in Greeneville. He also owns Lawson Collision Repair Center and Consumer Auto Finance Company, all located in Greeneville. Lennie has been a Chevrolet Dealer, an Oldsmobile dealer, a Mitsubishi dealer, a Toyota dealership partner and his family has been involved in the car business since 1932. He was a founding director and chairman of the Bank of Greeneville.  Lawson is also the creator and host of a daily radio talk show, “My Car Guru”  which is produced and broadcasted from WJCW, AM 910, the talk radio station for the Tri-Cities market in upper east Tennessee. Lennie has been a fixture on talk radio since 1999.  The show focuses on such automotive topics such as understanding current technology, buying, selling, negotiating, financing, maintaining and repairing vehicles in today’s market.

               Lawson was selected as an Automotive News “Innovative Dealer” in the October 4, 2004 issue due to the success and uniqueness of his radio talk show. 

               In Lennie’s spare time, he enjoys road cycling,  writing and performing music, “gentleman” farming, supporting the Tennessee Volunteers and most importantly, spending quality time with his wife and family.