RUPERT (WVDN) – After 19 years of dedication and service, Fred and Scarlett Kellerman, co-founders of Wellspring of Greenbrier Inc., are retiring. Founded in 2004, Wellspring is a non-profit, faith-based organization that provides food, clothing, and other collaborative services to Greenbrier County’s economically disadvantaged, homeless, and/or transient populations.
In the words of the Kellermans:
How did the idea of creating Wellspring come to mind?
Scarlett Kellerman: “We felt called by God. After working for Covenant House in Charleston and moving to this area, I saw a need for a similar ministry in Greenbrier County to create a place where those in need could feel welcome. A home, a place, where you could take a shower, do laundry, eat lunch, have a cup of coffee and visit with your neighbor.”
Fred Kellerman: “Wellspring started with helping a few people we knew were in need. Initially, we started this ministry out of a car and never considered anything on a corporate level. Lewisburg United Methodist Church gave us some space to operate out of when we first started up, and eventually we stumbled upon the space we are in now.”
Scarlett Kellerman: “We keep in mind what Jesus asks us to do — to build His kingdom here on Earth. Giving food, drink, clothing, freeing those who are imprisoned by addiction and poverty. We do this for God and with His help. We could have never done this without the Spirit here.”
Fred Kellerman: “It’s all about instilling hope into people. People walk out of here feeling better than they did when they came in.”
Of all the things this organization has accomplished, what are you most pleased with?
Scarlett Kellerman: “We are happy that we have been an inspiration to other organizations that have sprung up in the last 19 years that have the common goal of helping those who are underprivileged in the Meadow River Valley. We’ve collaborated with many different churches and volunteer programs, such as Bethlehem Farm which has provided us a significant amount of help over the years with work teams that come from all over the country. Wellspring relies heavily on the work of our volunteers. The faith community, including Lewisburg United Methodist Church, has also played a large part in this organization by providing volunteers who make meals and help with many other projects.”
Fred Kellerman: “I really like how we have developed a variety of programs throughout the years. So much so that there are few services we don’t offer for those in need. It’s also a great sense of satisfaction to go around the county and see the construction projects we have worked on for others that are still standing to this day.”
How do you plan to spend your time after retiring?
Fred Kellerman: “We have many home projects we have to focus on now. Raising our dog, Harry, is surely going to be amongst our priorities as well. I’d also say we’re going to spend more time together, but that’s how we spend all of our time now.” (laughing)
Scarlett Kellerman: “Yes, we’ll be working on our home and seeing a lot of our family. We have missed out on a lot of family connections that we want to be more a part of now.”
Fred Kellerman: “Our families have always been very supportive of what we do, and we look forward to spending more time with them.”
What is the future of Wellspring?
Fred Kellerman: “Josiah and Abby Spangler are going to bring a lot of fresh ideas and energy into this ministry. Our new directors have the ability to continue Wellspring’s vision and enhance the work that we have started. I am excited about the future — I really am.”
Scarlett Kellerman: “So am I.”
The Spanglers, natives of Greenbrier County, are the new co-directors of Wellspring of Greenbrier. The Spanglers are registered nurses and regular volunteers at non-profit and faith-based organizations including Wellspring. For more information, call 304-392-2095.