August is National Coffee Month

Coffee Houses in Lebanon and Cleveland are Making a Difference with Social Ministries

Inman Coffee offers hand-pulled coffee and live music.

According to a Gallup poll, about two-thirds of Americans adults drink at least one cup a day of coffee with the average being almost 3 cups a day. Thankfully, it’s an enjoyable habit with research showing that moderate coffee drinking may be good for your health.

Although those are good reasons for The Salvation Army to have two thriving coffee shops in the Kentucky Tennessee Division, it’s not why they exist or why they are flourishing.  The answers to those questions are more complex and interesting.

Inman Coffee was founded in 2011 in Cleveland, Tennessee. The Roast was founded in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 2013.  Both serve as social ministries of The Salvation Army.

What exactly is a social ministry? Well, that’s kind of complicated, too. In a nutshell, it’s a ministry that follows the teachings of Jesus whose own mission was social outreach and service to others. Jesus demonstrated such service and instructed others to do the same. A social ministry means being ready to serve and love your neighbor – people of all ages in any situation or context – wherever they may be.

Neither local Salvation Army Corps had a community center of any kind. There was no place available for them to do ministry, so the local corps decided to create one.

Inman Coffee and The Roast are non-profit coffee houses.

In Cleveland, The Salvation Army decided it could utilize Joel Rogers’ experience operating a coffeehouse to minister to the community in a new way.

“I founded Inman Coffee in the fall of 2009.  We proposed the program with The Salvation Army and got approval in late 2010, then it hit some delays but finally it opened in October 2011. We average serving about 4,000 people a month. So doing the math of 12 months a year for six years, that’s a lot of people,” Joel Rogers said.

Yes, it is – 288,000 to be exact.

“I had just graduated from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee with a degree in Ministry. I was looking for a meaningful ministry. I’m from North Carolina and had done a smaller scale coffee house ministry there.  Obviously, we love coffee and we love that we are able to open up the world of coffee to others and educate them about the process of coffee, too,” Rogers said.

The “we” he refers to, is his wife, Cheryl Rogers. She is the coffeehouse manager, while Joel Rogers focuses on the ministry part of things.

“In August 2009, I came to my first Salvation Army Bible study and just fell in love with the people. Inman Coffee started out with a very humble beginning. Cleveland has little activity going on for students except Wednesday and Sunday services.  We wanted to be a consistent safe place for people. I’d rather them be here for support than at a bar,” Rogers said.

Inman Coffee offers a large variety of beverages – including hand-pulled coffee, Cuban coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte, chai, and cocoa – but there’s something beyond the great tasting coffee that has people coming back for more.

All proceeds of The Salvation Army coffee houses fund projects and services provided to those in need.

“We focus on young people and leadership training. We’ve had over 100 students in our Leadership Program which focuses on life skills, job skills, personal development and service to the community. Our goal is to empower young people to make positive, God-honoring choices that will last a lifetime. We have live music and just had our 474th act this weekend. Once a month, we have a free coffee tasting. We show them what it takes to bring coffee to them from the nurturing of the plants, to the workers involved in the harvesting.  When they buy their coffee from us, they are changing lives,” Rogers said.

The founder of Inman Coffee has big plans for the future, too.

“Our dream long-term is to grow this coffee house ministry well past the boundaries of Cleveland.  We want to set this up in a way that can be easily duplicated. It’s a subtle ministry.  We can love on our people when they come in. They don’t have to be pounded over the head with a Bible to know the love of God. That’s the culture we’ve set up. It’s not up to us to know how deep the relationships will become. We love them as Jesus would love them when they come here,” Rogers said.

Much like Cleveland, Tennessee, The Salvation Army in Lebanon, Tennessee, did not have a community center to do ministry.

The Roast offers live music and other social activities.

“Our Lebanon Corps team is four to five years old. We wanted to create an alternative, something to do besides hangout at McDonald’s, Walmart or a bar in Wilson County. We didn’t need another chapel or building, we needed an alternative to drinking alcohol and an alternative to the bar scene. We are located near Cumberland University and the bars really target that age,” Sargent Tom Freeman said.

So, in April 2013, The Roast opened.

“We are a bit different from Inman Coffee.  We’re really a different model. We are a ‘pay what you can’ coffee house. We have a suggested price. One person will give you more, another will pay less, but it works out,” Freeman said.

Another difference is that Inman Coffee is open every day of the week as a full service coffee house, while The Roast is open two evenings a week.

“We’re volunteer and soldier led. No one is paid. We’re open Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to midnight.  We have a huge variety of people come in from high schoolers, to college students, to families.  We get folks who are regulars and they come after work. We’ve seen many friendships form, which has been awesome. We’re loving it,” Freeman said.

In addition to having coffee, espresso, smoothies and Italian sodas, The Roast offers some unique ways to entertain and minister to others.

The Roast offers a quiet place to chat with friends. Photo by Jana Pastors.

“We have a ‘Cup for the Wall’ where people can write some encouragement or a blessing or a mini-prayer, and when someone isn’t able to pay, they can get the cup of coffee and the message. We’ve had live music, karaoke, and open mike; often they’ll bring a buddy with a guitar. We have Canvas Night, where for $5 we supply a small canvas, acrylic paint, trays, and brushes. We have board game nights, too, where we encourage families to make it a night at The Roast. ” Freeman said.

Watching the popularity of The Roast increase has been rewarding for Freeman.

“The Salvation Army provides something pretty amazing here. I say ‘Look what God’s doing and join him.’  We looked at our team of volunteers and what their passions are and built things from there. Raechel Freeman, she’s my wife, and part of the team that brought the vision together,” Freeman said.

When asked about the impact of The Roast on the community, Freeman conferred with his wife and said: “The Roast is The Salvation Army’s community outreach that helps bind together generations, whole families. When The Roast’s not open, it’s outreach time. We have prayer groups and a young adult worship group from several different churches. Whenever other groups come in, they say this was the best meeting ever. There’s so much prayer going on in the building. It’s a binding agent for churches to come together and to work together. We are a safe space to make meaningful connections and friendships while keeping open to the Holy Spirit,” Freeman said.

The Roast and Inman Coffee are great places to catch up with friends and make new ones. Photo by Jana Pastors.

To make things even better, both coffee houses use only Free Trade (The Roast) or Direct Trade (Inman Coffee) certified organic coffee beans. Fair Trade standards are regulated by Fair Trade USA, a non-profit third party. Direct Trade standards are determined and regulated by the coffee bean roasters. They visit the coffee farm regularly to determine the quality of the coffee and to make sure all standards are being met.

“Coffee trade is large and there is an incredible amount of abuse. We took time to partner with a roaster who only gets coffee beans in Direct Trade.  We aren’t just looking out for people here; we are helping young families in Ethiopia live a better life. Our coffee is helping people literally around the globe,” Rogers said.

When it comes to social ministry, the ministers of Inman Coffee and The Roast are fulfilling Jesus’ hopes in a local and global way. What a perfect way to enjoy National Coffee Month.

To learn more about Inman Coffee, visit at 437 Inman Street, West, Cleveland, Tennessee, call (423) 305-6945, email Joel.Rogers@uss.salvationarmy.org or visit www.facebook.com/inmancoffee and www.inmancoffee.com.  You can order coffee for delivery to your home through the website shop.  The shop’s motto is “when you support Inman Coffee, you are supporting life change for incredible individuals both here and around the world!”

To learn more about The Roast, visit at 216 S Maple Street, Lebanon, Tennessee, call 615-784-9555, email tom_freeman@usw.salvationarmy.org or visit www.facebook.com/TheRoastLebanon/ and  www.salvationarmytennessee.org/wilson-county/the-roast/.

Motorcyclists Find New Way to Spread the Gospel

Captain Patrick Richmond Successfully Completes Division-wide Motorcycle Tour

The Division’s motorcyclist team with the Whole World Mobilizing flag in Nashville, TN.

There are many reasons why people ride motorcycles.  At the top of some lists are camaraderie and adventure.  Captain Patrick Richmond of The Salvation Army of Danville, Kentucky agrees with those reasons and adds a few more motives.

When Richmond decided to organize and lead a motorcycle ride around The Salvation Army’s Kentucky Tennessee Division, he said his goals were fourfold:  “To spread the gospel of Jesus Christ; to fellowship with other believers; to carry The Salvation Army flag across this great division and to pass it on to the Carolinas.”

On July 10, Richmond was presented the “Whole World Mobilizing” Flag by Captain John Sikes and Advisory Board Member Robert Huffman of The Salvation Army of Clarksburg, West Virginia, representing the Maryland West Virginia Division, as part of the General Andre Cox’s initiative to “Mobilize the Salvation Army.”

Captain Patrick Richmond stops to photograph the Cross and motorcycles with the beauty of Lake Junaluska, NC.

Richmond documented his 1981.0 mile journey on his Facebook page and began it with a prayer that he would be able to touch many lives with the teachings of Jesus Christ. If the thousands of views he has received on his Facebook posts in the past week are any indication, Richmond’s prayers have been answered.

“God is so good. I’m excited for the seeds that have been planted for Christ’s love through this tour,” Richmond said after completing the tour.

Richmond traveled from his home in Danville, Kentucky to Bristol, Tennessee on July 10 to begin a 4-day ride that would take him to nine of  the communities served by the Division – Bristol, TN, Ashland, KY, Lexington, KY, Louisville, KY, Owensboro, KY, Paducah, KY, Memphis TN, Nashville, TN, and Chattanooga, TN. Each stop gave the delegation a variety of opportunities to minister including a mobile food unit, a thrift shop, a children’s day camp, and even the road itself when they prayed for people involved in traffic accidents.

“Even at every gas station, God put people in our path to pray with them and share the gospel. In Kentucky, a diabetic homeless man nicknamed Kentucky and his dog wanted food.  Thanks to a gift we received in Frankfort, we were able to give him cinnamon loaves that met his dietary needs. These moments of being able to bless and encourage made it a trip worth taking,” Richmond said.

Captain Patrick Richmond with the motorcycles on the KY TN Divisional Motorcycle Tour.

Roger Fowler of Jackson, Tennessee, joined him in Bristol for the entire journey. Three additional bikers Jeremy Warf,  Tony Bellis, and Melvin McMonigal.– joined them in Louisville.

“I’m excited for the relationships that have been grown and fostered through this and the fellowships that have happened. God truly blessed me on this trip,” Richmond said.

His daily Facebook video post’s all included a message asking viewers to pray for him, the other travelers and the people they met and ministered to along the way.

Near the end of the tour, the bikers faced a dangerous stretch of road known as Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap, North Carolina.  It has 318 curves in 11 miles and is known as America’s number one motorcycle and sports car road.  The road is bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest.

“My anxiety was through the roof but God is good and his grace and his peace is overwhelming,” Richmond said after completing the stretch of road that contains a “Tree of Shame,” a monument made of bike parts from those who have crashed their motorcycles along the Tail of the Dragon.

Captain Patrick Richmond enjoys fellowship with 40 day campers and staff at The Salvation Army of Owensboro, KY.

“To me personally, it meant a lot for me to share my passion for motorcycling and to marry that with my passion for the ministry and my passion for Christ. Some of the people we met on the route may not have known Jesus Christ but they know motorcycling.  This ride gave me the opportunity to explain how I relate those two subjects together. That blesses my heart tremendously,” Richmond said.

“For the communities, I hope it was a new experience to see that bikers don’t have to be rough and tough. Bikers can also be Christians and enjoy the open road,” Richmond said.

When the tour began in Bristol, Major Art Fultz joined Richmond on his first Facebook video and described the tour as a “creative initiative.” He also expressed that he wished he had a motorcycle instead of just a 12-passenger van so he could join in the adventure. Richmond joked that Fultz could always join as a chaser, an automobile that follows behind and acts as a type of buffer with other vehicles when necessary for safety.

“Captain Carl Melton was our chaser – he and his five-year-old, Carly. She was a great co-pilot according to her Daddy,” Richmond said.

Captain Patrick Richmond enjoys a meal with fellow biker, Roger Fowler, and their chasers, Captain Carl Melton and his daughter, Carly.

Although Richmond said the journey was sometimes uncomfortable with asphalt and engine heat combining to create temperatures over 100 degrees, along with sunburns and cracked lips, he would do it again in a heartbeat.  In fact, he’s already planning a motorcycle tour for next year and invites interested folks to contact him at patrick.richmond@uss.salvationarmy.org .

“We continue to share on Facebook how life-changing this experience was for us and how to do this next year and allow other people to experience this. Any discomfort was worth it because the ride fulfilled our goal of carrying the gospel of Jesus Christ to people who may not otherwise have heard the message,” Richmond said.

On July 13, Richmond presented the flag to Captain Robert Long of The Salvation Army of Orangeburg, South Carolina. With that task completed, all of Richmond’s goals were met and as he rode his motorcycle home, he felt blessed knowing that God was with him every mile of the journey.

Coast Guard Day is August 4th

Jeremy Warf’s Coast Guard Experience Now Serves The Salvation Army

Jeremy Warf proudly served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 2010 to 2014.

For a man who hasn’t yet reached the age of 30, Jeremy Warf has a world of experience few would expect to find in one so young. Since January 2015, he has served as the Volunteer Coordinator and Emergency and Disaster Services Coordinator for The Salvation Army of Louisville, Kentucky, but for four years prior to that could be found most days on a coastal patrol boat in the Atlantic Ocean or on one of the many islands in the region as he served in the United States Coast Guard, a branch of the United States Armed Forces.

“I was based in Miami, Florida. I traveled all around the Caribbean. I did counter drug interdiction and migrant interdiction,” Warf said.

Warf entered the Coast Guard soon after graduating from college.

“I got my degree in Emergency and Disaster Management from American Military University in Manassas, Virginia. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, then I met a man who was in the Coast Guard and I looked into it.  I’d thought of joining the military and I’d always loved the water. So I joined,” Warf said.

On August 4th, we celebrate the 227th anniversary of the formation of the Coast Guard. On that day in 1790, Congress created the Revenue Marine at the request of Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton headed it with the purpose of enforcing tariffs at seaports.

During the next two centuries, the Coast Guard morphed into a multi-mission service unique among the military branches. It has a maritime law enforcement mission with jurisdiction in domestic and international waters and a federal regulatory agency mission.

“I was attracted to their very broad mission. Migrant interdiction relates to detaining individuals trying to come into the country illegally.  Mostly the individuals were from Haiti, South America and Cuba. Counter drug interdiction is essentially catching drugs that were trying to be smuggled into the United States.  My main job was being on a patrol boat. I was a cop on the water with 11 guys on an 87-foot-long boat,” Warf said.

The missions of the crew included search and rescue support and marine fisheries enforcement in addition to the tasks of combating drug smuggling and illegal immigration.

“The water is like an endless highway. Most of the drug trafficking was from South America. They used the Caribbean Islands to refuel and look like they were on a fishing trip.  They would load a boat with cocaine, marijuana and other drugs and hop up to the islands and then attempt to make it the 47 to 49 miles to Florida. It was our job to counter that activity,” Warf said.

Sounds like dangerous work to the average person but to Warf, he said it was all in a day’s work.

“They give you a lot of military fighting training. We always tried to go into something with an advantage. Sometimes that meant calling in additional boats and the police force,” Warf said.

Jeremy Warf now proudly serves in The Salvation Army of Louisville, KY, as the Volunteer Coordinator and Emergency and Disaster Services Coordinator.

What Warf remembers most about his Coast Guard years are the people he worked with and the people he encountered with his migrant interdiction responsibilities.

“Being in the Coast Guard taught me so much.  It was hard work and I learned how much men and women in the service give up in regards to time with their families, missing birthdays, holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Regarding immigration issues, being in the Coast Guard opened my eyes that these people are trying to get into the country because they don’t have a job and their families are starving. They would pay smugglers to help them get into the U.S. just so they could have a better life. It made me realize how lucky I am to have been born in the United States. It was a very humbling experience doing the migrant interdiction,” Warf said.

While part of the Coast Guard’s efforts are to help to support our country’s legal migration system, their primarily focus is the humanitarian responsibility of preventing the loss of life at sea – not an easy task when many migrant vessels are unseaworthy and dangerously overloaded.

“In the Coast Guard, we have the ability to board any U.S. vehicle.  Sometimes we did random boarding and would come across migrants.  Sometimes individuals would sneak into cargo containers they knew were destined for the U.S. It was a really sad thing. Sometimes we would encounter rowboats or inflatables or other types of makeshift rafts with entire families on them from Cuba.  Once we encountered a family of four on a giant piece of hollowed out Styrofoam with a tarp and a broomstick for a mast.  They got caught in a current and had only had seaweed and kelp to eat since their second day in the raft,” Warf said.

Seeing people in such dire situations that were predicated on extreme poverty changed Warf’s perspective on life.

“Before joining the Coast Guard, I was worried about first world problems that were materialistic and selfish, like getting a new vehicle or an x-box.  What I witnessed in the Coast Guard was a reality check,” Warf said.

When his enlistment time was up, Warf said he knew it was time for a change.

“With my degree in Emergency and Disaster Management and my Coast Guard experience, my wife encouraged me to apply for a job with Emergency and Disaster Services Division of The Salvation Army. I had learned what I had set out to learn at the Coast Guard, my obligations had been fulfilled, and The Salvation Army seemed like the perfect fit,” Warf said. His wife, Jillian, was an employee of The Salvation Army in West Palm Beach, Florida, when he was in the Coast Guard.

Part of what attracted Warf to The Salvation Army was the wide variety of duties the organization has – from disaster relief, to anti-human trafficking efforts, to children’s programs, to food distribution, to rehabilitations centers.

“The Salvation Army is very similar to the Coast Guard in that they also have a broad mission.  No matter what island I went to, they knew The Salvation Army. If I was helping with a disaster, we would always inquire after we gave assistance, ‘Where are you going to get assistance after we leave?” They would usually respond, ‘The Salvation Army.’ The Coast Guard and The Salvation Army are so closely knitted together,” Warf said.

A map shows the vast Caribbean territory covered by the U.S. Coast Guard of Miami, Florida.

“I applied for a position that was available in Louisville and now I’m Volunteer Coordinator and Emergency and Disaster Services Coordinator. My wife transferred to The Salvation Army in Louisville. It’s been nice because I’m from Louisville originally. I loved Florida, the Coast Guard, and traveling. I learned something new about culture and people every place I visited. I loved the mission we had of helping people in the Coast Guard but it’s really nice to be back home,” Warf said.

While Warf said he sees many similarities between the duties in The Salvation Army’s Area Command Building where he is located in Louisville and the duties he performed while in the Coast Guard during a time of disaster in Haiti, there are also differences.

“One thing I saw that was different in our reactions here in the U.S. to a disaster was that in the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti that destroyed people’s homes, which were mostly made of clay and straw, the people did not start rebuilding immediately like we do here. They were more worried about the next meal. Rebuilding was not imaginable to them. They had lost hope in the long term future. Another big difference I see between here and there is the gratitude is greater there. They are so thankful for the bottle of water or the food or the bible you give them. They are just so thankful,” Warf said.

The feeling of gratitude is something near and dear to Warf’s heart.

“I am so very thankful the Lord led me to the Coast Guard. God put me exactly where I needed to be and showed me what I needed to see,” Warf said.

While he is no longer in the Coast Guard, Warf still finds many connections to it and The Salvation Army.

“There’s a lot The Salvation Army and Coast Guard work very closely on. We have a Coast Guard Station here in Louisville.  It is very community based. It is big military but still community is one of their core values. They’ve painted the Corps building here. They volunteer with our Angel Tree at Christmas time. They have volunteered in our kitchen and served meals.  The Sector Ohio Valley’s mission here in Louisville is to keep the Ohio River safe. They aide the navigation of the coal barges and help lead them to safe water. Occasionally there are oil leaks and they make sure ships are in good working order. We have lots of boaters in the river and they make sure the boats are safe. They also help with search and rescue and do marine environmental protection,” Warf said.

For him, the military isn’t just about guns and war; it’s also about keeping our society safe in countless other ways. For all those reasons, he happily celebrates his past with the Coast Guard and salutes the hard-working men and women serving in the Coast Guard on every day and on Coast Guard Day on August 4th.