From the moment it was completed in early 2008, the home located at 8313 Clapps Chapel Road in Corryton, Tennessee was known as a house of ministry. Built by Richie Beeler, who was then the college ministry director at a local area church, the home became a regular venue for corporate prayer meetings, Bible studies, and other Christian gatherings, as well as being a safe place for young adults to spend time away from the noise of life in a loud and busy culture.
Though it was not then known just how effective a tool it would become, one of the distinct purposes for the house that emerged early on in its history was that of residential discipleship. The home became a place where young adult men would come to stay for periods of time to experience Christian discipleship as a lifestyle, not merely as tenants or boarders, but as contributing members of an authentic, vibrant household of faith. Some came as a preparation to attend ministry school or go to the mission field. Others simply wanted a place where they could truly do life with other young adult Christians. Still others came seeking a refuge and place of recovery from addictive and destructive lifestyles. Since 2008 there have been eighteen young men who have spent a season of their lives at the place that became known as The Porch, a name that was born out of tragedy.
In the spring of 2011 a spontaneous prayer movement broke out in the home, spurred by the untimely death of a young man in the community from a drug overdose. College students and young adults immediately began gathering at the house for prayer meetings, and the movement quickly exploded. At one point in the summer of 2011, there were groups of young men praying at the modest home in this small rural community for 35 consecutive nights. No texts were sent or phone calls made advertising a prayer meeting. People simply kept showing up. Because the summer weather enabled most of the gatherings to take place on the screened-in porch attached to the home, the location quickly gained the name “The Porch.”
Since that defining summer of 2011, The Porch has been a place of almost constant Christian ministry. An outside entrance to the screened-in porch is kept open 24/7 for those needing to pray or spend time in meditation or study. From continued prayer and worship gatherings, to Bible studies and fellowships, to residential discipleship of young men, ministry in this house has affected literally hundreds of young adults in the local area and beyond. During some seasons, it has not been unusual to see 30-40 young adults crammed into the living area of the 1,900-square foot home to pray, worship, or study the Scriptures. Many have gone on to Bible college, ministry school, the mission field, and even full-time vocational ministry. But just as important are the young men who have emerged to be teachers, doctors, accountants, law enforcement officers, and countless other professions to be ambassadors for the Kingdom of Heaven in the world.
To read about our ministry model and core beliefs, please visit our page titled THE VISION. To hear from those whose lives have been impacted at The Porch, please follow our story in the section below.