In need of a caffeine boost? Then look no further than Jehovah Java, downtown’s newest coffee shop that gives customers a pick-me-up as well as its workers. Opened by Be the Bush Ministries Crisis Center (BTB) founders Christopher “Caleb” McCall and Danny Lyons, Jehovah Java is a place for BTB members to work during their reform from drug abuse.
The business operates in the former Health Nut store and will offer similar services. Sharon Holmes, former Health Nut owner, leased the building to McCall and Lyons and helped them prepare to open their business. They offer coffee from Hope Coffee Co., which grows beans in Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras, as well as Louisiana, Teen Challenge and partners with a mission-based group out of Estonia.
Team Challenge is a network of Christian faith-based organizations intended to help those with substance abuse or self-destructive behavior. McCall and Lyons were in the organization and met on their way back home.
“When you buy a cup or a bag of coffee from us, you’re actually supporting local missions and world missions. We’re almost touching the globe – Europe, South America and the bottom half of North America,” McCall said.
McCall added that the coffee will be excellent, in the cup or bagged.
The coffee shop will sell similar items to the Health Nut, such as sandwiches and non-GMO and gluten free breads. The store also has an organic salad bar and offers soups, breakfast sandwiches and waffles. They also offer protein shakes and juices.
McCall and Lyons purchased a new espresso machine for the business too.
“Our goal is to have a great cup of coffee in town and be cheaper than Starbucks,” McCall said.
Jehovah Java goes beyond a corner market; it, as its core, is a faith-based business aimed at helping men who are hunger for change. All of the workers will be BTB members or staff who are looking to be safely integrated into society and learning how to work while being rehabilitated.
“We needed something to have the guys in a safe environment for work therapy days,” McCall said.
McCall explained that many of the men looking for a new way of life where parasites on the community, just as he was when he was an addict. They weren’t exposed to work environments or able to learn a trade while under the influence of drugs. Having the members work in a controlled environment means McCall, Lyons and their staff can control what skills are taught during work therapy, what they are exposed to and how members react in a social environment.
About four BTB members, including a BTB staff member, will be running the shop on a rotational basis.
About 50 people attended the ribbon cutting and hear McCall’s story about his drug-riddled past and how he turned his life around through Teen Challenge and faith in God.
“I never knew what it was like to be a man,” McCall said at the business’s ribbon cutting on Monday, Dec. 3. “[Teen Challenge’s work therapy] program taught me how to be a man, how to get up, make my bed and go to work.”
The name Jehovah Java comes from the Bible verse Genesis 22:14, “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.”
Jehovah Java is located at 116 S Spring St. Their hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Sharon Holmes feels ‘blessed’
After seven years, Holmes made the decision to close Health Nut on Feb. 1, 2018. She wanted to retire and was ready to lease or sell the business. She explained she had many offers, but none of them were right until McCall came along.
The Health Nut was a faith-based business and has Genesis 1:29 under the mural on the interior of the business. Hearing McCall’s story, his mission and his faith, Holmes knew Jehovah Java was the Health Nut’s future.
“These boys come in, they are like my children,” Holmes said about the BTB members and staff. “I am the one that is blessed with them.”
She left in all of the store’s equipment, including dishes and silverware, for Jehovah Java to use. She is helping run the cash register during their first full week and will be in the store on and off.
Her advice to McCall and Lyons is to “Keep God first,” she said.
Do this, and like Bible verse Philippians 4:13, they can do “all things through Christ,” she said.
About Be the Bush Ministries
BTB opened in September 2018 after two reformed addicts decided they wanted to make a difference in their home county. The center is phase one of two or three phases for drug reform and is partnered with Teen Challenge. Men who enter the program are vetted and moved into one of the programs homes on Lakeview drive while they go through the reform process.
While in the homes, they are expected to remain completely sober off drugs, cigarettes and alcohol and devote themselves to the cause, including classes, chores, worship and work therapy.