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 nonprofit, 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 Scarlett and Fred:
How did the idea of creating Wellspring come to mind?
Scarlett answered, “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 added, “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.”
“We keep in mind what Jesus asks us to do – to build His kingdom here on earth,” said Scarlett. “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.”
“It’s all about instilling hope into people. People walk out of here feeling better than they did when they came in,” Fred explained.
Of all the things this organization has accomplished, what are you most pleased with?
“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,” said Scarlett. “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 noted, “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?
“We have many home projects we have to focus on now,” Fred laughed. “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.”
Scarlett added, “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.”
“Our families have always been very supportive of what we do, and we look forward to spending more time with them,” said Fred.
What is the future of Wellspring?
“Josiah and Abby are going to bring a lot of fresh ideas and energy into this ministry,” Fred explained. “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.”
“So am I,” said Scarlett.
Josiah and Abigail Spangler, natives of Greenbrier County, are the new co-directors of Wellspring of Greenbrier. The Spanglers are registered nurses and regular volunteers at nonprofit and faith-based organizations including Wellspring. The community is invited to attend an Open House at Wellspring (524 Nicholas Street) in Rupert on Wednesday, Nov. 30, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information call 304-392-2095.
UPDATE as of 11/21/22: Please note that the Wellspring of Greenbrier is postponing the open house scheduled for November 30, 2022 to a later date TBD. A publication will be sent out with new details.