Spirit and Truth Ministries
This web page is a photographic history of Spirit and Truth Ministries.
You can click on any of the pictures to see an enlargement (the large
picture is displayed in a separate window). The pictures are
organized by year. Before each group of pictures, David Spakes tells
about the item or event.
Launched Spirit and Truth Ministries
"During my first year as an
I was presented with a
sum of approximately two-thousand dollars. The giver stated that they
wanted me to use the money for God's work, but at first I greatly resisted
the offer, saying that the money should be given to a church instead of me.
The persistance of the giver was a burden to me, and I prayed a great deal
regarding this matter. One day as I was reading my Bible, these words
from Acts chapter 4 leaped off the page at me and seemed to me to
be the answer to my prayer: 'from time to time those who owned lands or
houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the
apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need'
I determined to start a nonprofit organization and use part of the funds
to provide financial assistance to needy individuals. I was motivated by
the desire to have the financials be in the public record that explained
how this gift (and potentially other gifts in the future) would be used.
This money did not belong to me, but it belonged to God!
"Introduce You To the Family"
"When Spirit and Truth Ministries became a legal entity on
August 6, 1991, one of the ministry activities that we
determined to engage in was to produce tracts to explain the
Christian faith and to lead people to a decision to accept Jesus as
Savior. The first opportunity to do this came when I was leading a weekly
event in Harriman, Tennessee service during the Fall of 1991. Copies
of this tract were handed out to the people who passed by on the sidewalk
and who sat listening in their cars parked across the street."
Singing at Carr's Chapel Church of God, Cookeville, TN
"Spirit and Truth Ministries had begun to purchase some musical
equipment and instruments for the purpose of promoting Christ through
gospel music. On Saturday, July 18, my mother, Ruby Lea (the other
officer of the corporation) and I went to a singing
service held at Carr's Chapel Church of God. This event was
significant for Spirit and Truth Ministries because after the
service, Ruby expressed a strong desire to practice more songs and
to be prepared to sing more frequently. The gospel music outreach
would be a primary activity of Spirit and Truth Ministries for the
next decade and beyond."
"Jesus Is Here"
"During the Spring and Summer months of 1992, Spirit and Truth
Ministries produced a tract for distribution at the campus of
Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville where I was a student.
The purpose of this tract was to inform new students about Christian
student organizations on campus and to encourage students to attend one
of the local area churches while they attended college. I met
individually with the leaders of each of the Christian student
organizations in existence at that time to speak with them about
what we planned to do.
Since it appeared that producing tracts was going to become a regular
activity of Spirit and Truth Ministries, the ministry purchased a
computer and the software needed to design the tract. In August, we
obtained the services of a local print shop to produce a large number
of copies, and these were distributed at the beginning of the Fall
Singing at the Church of God of Prophesy, Dyersburg, TN
"I became acqainted with James Lawson, an ordained minister
in the denomination known as the Church of God of Prophesy.
For part of the time I was enrolled at Tennessee Technological
University, I attended the local church in Cookeville, Tennessee
where he was the pastor. Not longer after I met him, the denomination
reassigned him to be the pastor of their church in Dyersburg,
Tennessee. Spirit and Truth Ministries provided some financial
assistance to the Lawson family for thier moving expenses. A few
months later, Spirit and Truth Ministries received an invitation
to minister in song during the Sunday morning service at the
Church of God of Prophesy in Dyersburg. The first picture below
shows the church building where we ministerd. The second picture is
of Pastor James Lawson and his wife, Brenda Lawson. In the last two
pictures, Ruby Lea is posing with the Lawson family on a dock at
Reelfoot Lake near Dyersburg."
Singing at Algood Church of God and Master's Health Care, Algood, TN
"I was introduced to the Algood Church of God by
one of my college friends, Tara. Her father played guitar for this
church, and it opened a door for Ruby Lea and I to sing and minister
at this church as representatives of Spirit and Truth Ministries.
The pastor, Curtis Roberson, is pictured below with his wife Rosa in
the living room of the parsonage, which was located on the same street
as the church. Pastor Roberson's mother lived at Master's Health Care,
a nursing home located about half a mile from the church. Through
our acquaintance with the Robersons, we were also able to minister to
the residents of the nursing home with gospel singing. For one such
occasion, we brought all of Spirit and Truth Ministries' sound equipment
and performed in the nursing home cafeteria."
"Spirit and Truth Ministries relocated to Seymour, Tennessee
after I graduated from college and found employment in South Knoxville,
and both Ruby Lea and I moved to Sevier County. Sevier County was
the home of Fred and Linda Elmore, a couple with whom we became fast
friends. Linda was excited about singing for the Lord, and she
voluteered her time along with Ruby Lea and I to form an organized
singing group called the Spirit and Truth Singers. Over the
next two years, we ministered in dozens of churches all across the
East Tennessee Valley."
"The Most Important Things"
"This tract was produced by Spirit and Truth Ministries for the
purpose of distributing to the crowd after singing performances by the
Spirit and Truth Singers."
"The Spirit and Truth Singers sang during both the morning and evening
church services on Sunday, November 6, 1994 at the Church of God of
Prophesy in Petros, Tennessee. Linda took the first two pictures while
we were setting up the equipment, and the next two pictures were taken
during the morning service.
In the last picture, we are standing on the front steps
of the church with Pastor Stewart Slone and his wife."
"These pictures were taken on January 15, 1995 at Rocky Branch
Independent Holiness Church of God in Walland, Tennessee where
Robert Jennings is pastor. In the first picture, I am standing
behind the pulpit holding a tambourine with Brother Jennings and
his wife Mary at my side. The pastor's daughter, Angel (shown
in the second picture playing the electric guitar), is one of the
most talented guitar players I had met up to that time. We met this
family a few weeks earlier at a singing held at another church where
we were ministering: they were known as the 'Angel' Band.
In the third picture, Ruby Lea, Linda Elmore, and I are playing and
singing in front of the congregation. We were invited back to sing
at this church several times during the next couple of years, and we
often participated as singers in this church's
Singing at Trinity Full Gospel Fellowship, Sevierville, TN
"The quality of this photograph is not very good, because it was taken in
the low light conditions. The Spirit and Truth Singers ministered during
the evening service in this small country church on March 11, 1995."
Singing at Rocky Branch Independent Holiness Church of God, Walland, TN
"These pictures were taken at a singing held on Sunday, June 4, where the
Spirit and Truth Singers was the featured group. In the first two pictures,
I am standing behind the pulpit testifying and singing, and the regular
church musicians are around me playing accompaniment. In the last
picture, Linda Elmore and I are standing forward of the pulpit playing
"These pictures were taken at the Mount Calvary Holiness Church.
The Sprit and Truth Singers, represented by Linda Elmore and me, played
and sang during this church service. In the last picture I am standing
with the Pastor, Keith Hunt."
Benefit Singing at Roane County Park near Harriman, TN
"The Spirit and Truth Singers were asked to sing at a benefit singing
held at one of the pavillions at the Roane County Park on May 27, 1995.
Linda Elmore and I drove for about an hour to attend and sing at the event.
The singing group shown in these pictures (the Ten Mile Singers) were
playing when we arrived. We saw them often at other singing events
where we ministered."
Singing at 7th Day Church of God Retreat
"In the fall of 1995, Ruby Lea and I traveled to Big Ridge State Park
in Union County, Tennessee to sing at a retreat of the 7th Day Church of
God of Knoxville. Linda Elmore had to stop singing with our group over
the summer, and this was the first event in which my mother and I
traveled alone as the Spirit and Truth Singers. These pictures were
taken in the lodge building where the entire group of retreating
campers were assembled. The singing was held on October 15, which I
believe was the last day of a week-long event."
Benefit Singing for Able-to-Cope Crisis Center, Petros, TN
"These pictures were taken at the Petros-Joyner School in Petros,
Tennessee. This was one of several benefit singings organized by
a man named Joey Farr, who is shown in a three of the pictures."
Singing at Cagle Terrace, Knoxville, TN
The Spirit and Truth Singers were invited to minister at a singing
event held on Friday, March 29, 1996 in the common area of
building B in the Cagle Terrace residence complex on Southerland
Avenue in Knoxville, Tennessee. The event was organized by one of the
residents, Pete Barnhill, an older gentleman who had a withered arm and
hand. I didn't know much about Cagle Terrace at the time, but since
then I learned that it is a subsidized apartment bulding managed by KCDC,
Knoxville's Community Development Corporation. All of the residents
of building B are elderly or disabled-and-near-elderly individuals. On
this date, Ruby Lea drove from her apartment in Sevierville to my
apartment, and then we drove up together to the event where we met
Pete Barnhill for the first time. We sang and talked about Jesus with
the residents who came down from their apartments to the common area to
attend the event. These pictures show the outside view of Cagle Terrace
and also the common area where the event took place."
"Your First Bible"
"This tract produced by Spirit and Truth Ministries was first distributed
to tourists in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee by placing it in some of the area
hotels. With approval of the hotel management, copies were provided to
cleaning staff in April at the start of the tourist season. When the maids
cleaned the rooms each day, they would put a copy of the tract inside the
Gideon Bible in the room if it had been taken by the occupant the day
Benefit Singing for Able-to-Cope Crisis Center, Wartburg, TN
"These pictures were taken at the Central High School in Wartburg,
Tennessee in June, 1997. In the first couple of pictures, Ruby Lea and
I are posing beside the trailer that we used for several years to carry
our musical equipment to the events where we ministered. Next, Ruby is
standing with one of the ladies that worked for the Able-to-Cope Crisis
Center who showed us where to set up. In the last picture are three
other ladies who also work for the crisis center."
"Every summer, the Rocky Branch Holiness Church of God would set up
this float somewhere in the area along Highway 321 between Alcoa,
Tennessee and Townsend, Tennessee for weekly singing events. It was
a ministry to tourists visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National
Park and to the local townspeople. We were privileged to be a part of
this work...the Spirit and Truth Singers had an open invitation to come
and sing at these events, and we did often during the 1990s.
(Go back to the year 1995 to see
pictures taken at the Rocky Branch
Singing at Anderson Avenue Church of God, Knoxville, TN
"These pictures were taken during a Saturday night singing event to
which Ruby Lea and I were invited. The singing was held on August 2.
Our testimony was that 'we came here for no other purpose except
to be a light for him and a signpost for him and just to point the
way to the one who saved me...saved my soul.' "
Singing at Rice's Bend Church of God, Flag Pond, TN
"Flag Pond is the last community in the State of Tennessee as one travels
the direct road from Bristol, Tennessee to Ashville, North Carolina.
It took us about three hours to drive to the little country church, but it
was such a blessing to us to meet the people and give our testimony during
this Sunday morning church service in August. Ruby Lea and I sang at this
church on several different dates in 1997."
Singing at Emory Gap Independent Church of God, Harriman, TN
"A preacher named Jimmy Pressley (first picture) with whom I had
been friends since 1990 became the pastor of the Emory Gap Church of God,
and almost immediately he began to call on me to preach in his church.
Each preaching appointment I received was also an opportunity for
Ruby Lea and I to sing together as the Spirit and Truth Singers.
These picutres were taken on August 17, 1997. After the pastor opened
the service (first picture), we would usually sing (second picture)
before I preached (third picture). In the last picture, we are standing
with members of the church to pray for one of the people attending the
Singing at Home Faith Mission, Knoxville, TN
"Home Faith Mission is the ministry of Anna Mae Denton. Her church
services at this time were being held in the historic WNOX Building
in Knoxville, Tennessee. In this picture taken in November, 1997 after
the singing, my mother, Ruby Lea, is standing beside Anna Mae Denton
(center) with some of the members of the congregation."
Singing at Jehovah-Nissi Church, Oak Ridge, TN
"The late 1990s brought many changes to our personal lives as I met,
courted, and married my wife, Sheila Ann Adcox. Sheila's father, Bill,
and my mother, Ruby Lea--both single--became lifelong friends and a
'couple'. They moved about an hour away from Seymour to the city of
Kingston, Tennessee, and this meant that we had fewer opportunities to
sing together. In these pictures taken in October, 1999, the four of
us ministered together as the Spirit and Truth Singers at a church near
Oak Ridge, Tennessee (about half way between Seymour and Kingston)."
Music and Singing for Revival at the Center of Hope, Knoxville, TN
"Sheila and I visited a new church that opened up in South Knoxville
near where we lived in Seymour. We met the pastor, Lisa Latham, and
talked with her for a while after the service. She asked for assistance
with music for an upcoming revival she had planned, and Spirit and Truth
Ministries responded by providing sound equipment for the duration of
the revival. Sheila and I attended the revival and sang, representing the
Spirit and Truth Singers.
The revival lasted four days, starting with two services on Sunday,
November 21, and continuing nightly through Wednesday, November 24.
The evangelist was Brenda Williams of West Palm Beach, Florida.
On one of the nights of the revival, the evangelist prophesied
to me and Sheila. The audio file below contains the recording of a
testimony I gave the following week at Emory Gap Church of God (below)
in which I talked about the prophesy."
Singing at Emory Gap Independent Church of God, Harriman, TN
"The weekend after Thanksgiving, Sheila and I drove to Harriman to
sing at Emory Gap Independent Church of God during the evening
service, Sunday, Nomvember 28.
During the first half of the song service, the pastor laid on hands on
and prayed for the members of the congregation, and he requested that
Sheila and I sing (several times) the song called He'll Do It Again.
It was a favorite song of this church."
Singing at Bible Fellowship, Seymour, TN
"Sheila and I ran into some old friends who told us about a
church start-up in Seymour called Bible Fellowship. We visited
the church for the first time on Sunday, March 12, and I was
invited to come back the following week and preach. Sheila and I,
representing the Spirit and Truth Singers, sang several songs
together, and she also sang solo.
After this evening, Sheila and I made a decision to attend this
church, and we became very active in it. As a consequence,
the traveling singing ministry of Spirit and Truth Ministries became
mostly inactive after this time, although other works of
Singing at Bible Fellowship, Seymour, TN
"On April 11, 2004, Ruby Lea traveled from her home in Kingston,
Tennessee to Seymour for Bible Fellowship's Easter Sunday service
so that we could sing special music together as the Spirit and Truth
Singers. In these pictures, Ruby Lea and I are singing a song called
'The Love of Christ'."
Singing for the National Day of Prayer, Seymour, TN
"These pictures were taken at the Kroger grocery store in Seymour,
Tennessee on May 5, 2005. A sister named Jan Scherer, who was
attending Bible Fellowship at the time, organized this midday gathering
of different churches as part of the National Day of Prayer. She asked
for assistance with music for the event, and Spirit and Truth Ministries
responded by providing sound equipment for the day. Ruby Lea drove from
her house in Kingston, Tennessee to join me there, and we sang together
at the event, representing the Spirit and Truth Singers."
Singing at Christ Covenant Full Gospel Church, Seymour, TN
"After Sheila and I visited this church one Sunday, Pastor Gary Crisp
called and invited us to return and sing at a special service on July 29
during which his son would be ordained as a deacon. Our friends
Doug and Marinda Magoon went and sang with us, and Marinda also sang solo.
In the last picture, Sheila and I, representing the Spirit and Truth
Singers, are posing with the pastor."
Singing at Rocky Branch Independent Holiness Church of God, Walland, TN
"These pictures were taken on July 11, 2009 at Rocky Branch
Independent Holiness Church of God in Walland, Tennessee where
Robert Jennings is still the pastor. Many years had passed since
the last time we ministered in this church. Brother Jennings is very
fond of 'Sister Ruby', and I was glad she was able to travel from
Kingston to participate in the singing.
Bible Study at SNAP Fitness, Knoxville, TN
"The Lord opened a door for Spirit and Truth Ministries to
conduct a summertime Bible study in a back room of the SNAP Fitness
gym in Knoxville, Tennessee. Weekly meetings were held from Thursday,
May 20 until Thursday, Auguest 26. The start of the Bible study
was announced in two local newspapers, on a printed flyer (shown below),
and through facebook.
The Bible study group was called 'Casting Off Weights'.
This choice was influenced by the Bible passage in
Hebrews, chapter 12, verses 1 and 2.
This choice was also influenced by my feeling that the group would
provide accountability to the members for sticking to their
individual health and fitness plans.
I created a Bible reading plan so all of the
members would read the same passages through the week and discuss them
during the group meetings.
The facebook badge below is a link to the Casting Off Weights
group page on the Facebook site (if the group were to become active
again, the badge will show upcoming events). The first picture shows
the front of SNAP Fitness where we held the Bible study. After that
is the flyer made to advertise the Bible study.
Next, you can see a copy of the calednar pages that attendees received
every week showing the Bible scriptures to read for the following week
with space provided for taking notes and keeping a log of diet and
exercise progress. After this, you can see a snapshot of the Facebook
page as it appeared on the first week of the study as well as after the
last meeting. The last five pictures below were taken at the final
meeting. Ruby Lea and Bill made the trip from Kingston, Tennessee to
be present for the last meeting."
Casting Off Weights
Create Your Badge
"Almost one year to the day since our previous visit, we returned to
Rocky Branch Independent Holiness Church of God in Walland, Tennessee
to participate in their second Friday night singing service on July 9, 2010.
Ruby, Bill, Sheila, and I came representing the Spirit and Truth Singers.
We were joined by Heidi Parunak, a dear friend we knew from two churches
we had attended together in the past. I had recently been reuninted with
Heidi through the Bible study at SNAP Fitness (above). Doug and Marinda
have been coming to many of this church's singing services since I
introduced them to the pastor and his wife, Robert and Mary Jennings,
who are shown below in the last picture. All seven of us sang together
on the last song, a 1950s-style song called 'Got a Reason'."
Launched Spirit and Truth Fellowship of Knoxville, Knoxville, TN
"For about a year, Spirit and Truth Ministries was active in
exploring the possibility of starting new churches. Our research
began in March, 2010 when Ruby Lea and I attended an IRS workshop
in Atlanta and the information presented there applied only to
churches and publicly-funded charities, not to a private operating
foundation like Spirit and Truth Ministries. Also, Spirit and Truth
Ministries paid for an attorney to become familiar with our present
organization and provide some insights that would help us lay out a
roadmap in the future. The primary advice he dispensed was to begin
by starting a single new church. This work proceeded to the point
Spirit and Truth Fellowship of Knoxville was chartered on
August 31, 2010 and planned its first church service for February,
2011. Spirit and Truth Ministries purchased and donated 51 folding
chairs to the new church to use for conducting church services and
activites at the church's initial meeting location at Crestridge
Apartments Community Room."
"Spirit and Truth Ministries attended an annual event called
God's Country on Friday and Saturday, November 25-26, the
first two days after Thanksgiving. The event is organized each
year by Gwen Ford,
pictured below wearing purple. This year, the event took place in a
historic church building that Gwen owns and operates under the name
The first six pictures below are from Friday
night, and the rest were taken on Saturday. I played guitar and sang
together with several people in attendance and with Ruby Lea. I also
preached the sermon for Saturday night."
Preaching at Lighthouse Christian Church, Dandridge, TN
"This church is located at a Christian Camp outside of Dandridge,
and meets on Sundays. The Pastor and his wife, Donnie and Lisa Pullem,
also preach regularly at God's Place. We met them at the God's Country
event, and I sang with Donnie. It was through this introduction that
we received the invitation to come. In the Sunday morning service
of December 4, I helped to play music during the congregational singing
and while the youth worshipped with interpretive dance led by
Lisa Pullem. I delivered the Sunday morning sermon, titled
The Most Important Verse in the Bible."
Singing at Children of Obedience Church, New Market, TN
"April 18 was the date of the very first service of
Children of Obedience nondenominational church. They rented the
historic church building owned by Gwen Ford, whom we met the
previous year. She called
to ask if the Spirit and Truth Singers could sing at this service
since the church had no other music planned for their first day.
We agreed to come in the late morning, and we arrived just as
Pastor Kevin Shelby was finished preaching his sermon. The only
picture I have from this event is a snapshot of the pastor I took
with my cell phone in the parking lot after service as we were
exchanging phone numbers."
Singing at the Sevier County Right to Life Rally, Pigeon Forge, TN
"New friendships opened an opportunity for community involvement
by Spirit and Truth Ministries. Carrie Fischer is an abortion survivor,
and she and her husband Richard are active in the pro-life movement.
Patrice Kalinowski is a singer and songwriter who had performed at
previous events of the Sevier County Right to Life organization. Patrice
received an invitation to sing at a rally on January 13 as described by
the newspaper article below. She and I set to music some lyrics composed
by Richard Fischer, and she asked me to sing the song with her at the
event. We all attended together, and I participated in the capacity of
representing Spirit and Truth Ministries. The song was called
'The Answer,' and here is a link to a
video of our performance.
After several speeches were
delivered and various performances completed, the audience marched
several blocks through the city of Pigeon Forge from the Country Tonite
theater to the Red Roof Mall. Sheila and I followed by car and took
pictures of the march."
Singing at the Sevier County Right to Life Meeting, Sevierville, TN
"Patrice Kalinowski was invited back to sing at the next event
of Sevier County Right to Life, and she asked me to collaborate on
another new song and accompany her again. The event took place at
the Sevierville Civic Center on April 18, and it was only after we
arrived that I learned that the purpose of the meeting was to judge
contestants in a high school oratory contest with topics on
euthanasia, stem-cell research, etc. Patrice composed lyrics and
partial tune for a song titled 'Just Let Them Live', and I finished
setting it to music. Here is a link to a
video on YouTube
that I posted so she could hear the result of my contribution
for the first time. I considered my participation as volunteer
work for Spirit and Truth Ministries."
"The Spirit and Truth Singers were invited to sing for an hour
at a benefit organized by Rev. Wendell Edmonds for a family that
had recently endured great tragedy. Morgan Ann Hall and her mother were
involved in a fatal car crash. Morgan survived with severe injuries
including fourteen broken ribs, but her mother did not make it. Even
with insurance, the family owed more than ten thousand dollars in
medical bills. At the event, Heidi MacLeod, Ruby Lea, and I sang a
mixture of songs played on the guitar and CD from 3:30 until
4:30 PM between two other singing groups. Below is a copy of the
Facebook page for this event, the schedule of groups for the entire day,
our list of songs to perform, and pictures of the event."
Spirit and Truth Ministries /