"A few months after I met Gwen Ford, she invited me to be a guest on
weekly television program called I Believe. She highlights
unusual ministries on her program, and Spirit and Truth Fellowship of
Knoxville seemed made-to-order. The episode that included my interview
aired for the first time on Wednesday, Febrary 22 at 7:00 PM
This station is channel 48 over-the-air and reaches a fairly wide
cable audience in all of the counties surrounding Knox County.
I helped Gwen on this a few other occasions by doing some voice-overs
for her show, including several Spiritual Moment segments."
Parenting Expo, Knoxville, TN
"On Saturday, Febrary 25, Sheila and I spent the day at the
Knoxville Expo Center telling people about Spirit and Truth Fellowship
of Knoxville. The event was a Parenting Expo sponsored by local radio
Our primary message at this event was the
children's church program, called
and also the
Kid's Café. We were also announcing a church event
called a 'Forgiveness Service' that we were planning around
a new Christian movie that was soon to be released in theaters
titled October Baby.
Sheila and I started preparing for the Parenting Expo several weeks
before the day of the event. We designing print brochures to hand out,
ordered pens to give away with the church name on them, and purchased a
small quantity of Thirty-One diaper bags for the church to
give away in a drawing. We had the bags embroidered with the church
name and logo. I also put together two movies, one to show pictures
from our past Science Café events, and one to advertise the
Both of us took the day off work on Friday so we could set up the
church's booth at the Expo Center. We arrived early on Friday morning
with breakfast in hand. I was excited to learn that I could drive my
truck indoors almost right up to our booth to unload. I had never
driven around inside a large building before. It was fun! We used
a different layout for our booth than anyone else by moving our table
to the back of our 10-by-10-foot area and eliminating the separation
between us and the passers-by. We laid down rugs that the church
bought for the children's programs to help create a warm, inviting
area. We put up our signs and got everything ready except my laptop
and DVD player that we used to show videos in the booth.
On the day of the event, we had pretty good booth traffic. I enjoy
talking with people, so it was an fun day for me that went by quickly.
We took pictures with many of the costumed characters roaming the show
floor. Richard and Carrie Fischer (some new friends of ours) joined
us in the booth for a while, but they also walked the floor to talk
with other attendees about their pro-life ministry. At the end of
day, the four of us packed up the booth and loaded everything into
the truck. When all the work was done, Richard and I spent a few
minutes being silly for the camera."
"Sheila and I met Richard and Carrie Fischer through Gwen Ford's
ministry. On the same day I was in the studio to record the interview
for Gwen's television show, Carrie had been there earlier to also
record an interview. I was unaware of the Fischer's pro-life ministry
when I shared with the production assistant what I knew about the
October Baby movie, but she made the connection and introduced
us. Shortly after this, we invited the Fischers to participate in the
Forgiveness Services we were planning, and they invited us to go with
them to an upcoming speaking engagement they had in Seymour.
On the morning of Sunday, March 18, we met the Fischers at the
Seymour First Baptist Church. We helped them set up a booth in the foyer
area and also worked with the sound booth staff to get Carrie mic'd
and Richard's video camera positioned. We also helped them to man the
booth and pass out literature before and after the church service.
I learned during our time together that Richard had spent many years
as a member of a Messianic Christian congregation, and a few weeks
after this we got a chance to experience our first Passover Seder with
them. In the last picture below, Richard is posing proudly with his
Before we left the church, Pastor Bruce Yates stopped by the booth
and spoke with me. He may have remembered me from the
National Day of Prayer
service to which we were both invited a few years earlier.
He did ask if I was the pastor of a church, and I told him about
Spirit and Truth Fellowship of Knoxville and its mission."
Science Café at Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN
"Towards the end of 2011, I read in the newspaper that
Ijams Nature Center had lost some government funding, and I felt
led to inquire about renting space from them for Science Café
events to resume in 2012. Unknown to me, they had previously
operated a monthly Science Café event, and they were
interested in reducing their commitment but wanted to keep the
program going. It seemed to both groups that our goals were a good
match for each other, and we began to have our Science Café
meetings there in March."
Easter Church Service at Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN
"The first time I met with the staff at Ijams Nature Center
to talk about our interest in holding our Science Café meetings
there, they raised the possibility that Spirit and Truth Fellowship
of Knoxville might also be able to rent space for church services on
Sunday mornings. We selected a few dates and rented their meeting
room on a trial basis. On Easter Sunday morning, April 8, we held
our first church service at the facility. However, even before that
date, we felt good enough about this decision that we tentatively
agreed to enter into a rental agreement for a weekly church service
to begin at the end of May. The church sent out a few thousand
mailers to announce the Easter service and other services to
"Sheila and I had the opportunity to attend an early screening of
the October Baby movie, and since the beginning of the year we
had been planning to hold at least one Forgiveness Service to minister
to women who were afflicted with guilt from a previous decision to have
an abortion. We advertised this event at the Parenting Expo in
February even before we had selected a time and location. We ended up
offering this special service on two dates, April 29 and May 6,
and I preached a two-part sermon series on forgiveness:
'Bound by Anger' and 'Bound by Guilt'.
Our singers for these services were Marinda Magoon and Patrice Kalinowski.
Richard and Carrie Fischer joined us for both of these services, and Carrie
was available to stand in proxy for the discarded baby so a grieving
woman could ask her child for forgiveness and be set free from her
guilt. At the end of the second service, Carrie prayed a blessing
for anyone watching the service on video."
Weekly Church Services at Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN
"On May 27, we began to hold a weekly church service for
Spirit and Truth Fellowship of Knoxville at Ijams Nature Center.
The service time on Sunday is from 9:30 AM until 11:00 AM.
Each week, we have to set up the meeting room for church and tear
it down, but this process is relatively easy because the tables,
chairs, and sound system are very close to the room, and an Ijams
staff member is there to set up the room divider for our
Kid's Place area. The ease of this arrangement helps me to
know that our meeting here is part of God's plan, a tangible
sign of God's opening the door."
Sermons Preached at Spirit and Truth Fellowship of Knoxville (2012)
"I was invited to appear as a guest on a morning talk radio show
on Joy620 AM WRJZ hosted by Bob Bell. I arrived at the studio about
6:30 AM on Wednesday, August 1 and was joined by three ladies from
Deeeper Still Ministries, which provides post-abortion counseling and support.
I felt privileged to be introduced to their ministry this way, and I
shared with Karen Ellison (the organization's founder) about the
October Baby Forgiveness Services we held at the church a few months
earlier. We were live on the air from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM.
These pictures were taken after our portion of the program."
"There is One Thing You Lack"
"On many occasions, I have been in service at a Spirit-filled
church where the gifts of the Spirit were in operation, and I both
witnessed and participated in prophesy and in tongues and interpretation
for the edification of others, but never like this.
During the morning worship on Sunday, September 30,
I was playing guitar and singing at Spirit and Truth Fellowship of
Knoxville when the presence of the Holy Spirit came over me strongly.
I began to speak in tongues, and behind it was an interpretation
directed at me. The Holy Spirit commended my obedience to God's
command to continue to hold these church services even though very
few people have been coming. I was in tears, speaking and not knowing
what words would come out next, listening intently since these words
were now for my edification. Then, to my utter astonishment, the words
took an unexpected turn: THERE IS ONE THING YOU LACK. My mind raced
quickly. What could it be? What I have done wrong? How have I failed
God's instruction to me? My heart sank and my head fell in shame as
I waited for the Holy Spirit to tell me the fault that was all mine.
The next few seconds seems like an eternity. Then, the words began
to come forth. WHEN YOU SPEAK NOW, NO ONE LISTENS. BUT THE LORD
SHALL FILL YOUR TONGUE. My downcast spirit was suddenly and
completely uplifted! God does the most incredible work with such
inferior materials, and I am an eager clay ready to be molded by
the master potter. His will be done!"