By: Chace Vineski
AccelNow – Social Media Coordinator
When Renewed Brew Coffee Company founder and Bristol native, Winston Johnson, started his coffee shop earlier this year, his goals were different than that of your standard coffee house. Winston, who has been involved in vocational ministry for 30 years, had a calling from a higher power and that led him to start his own ministry. It all started around Christmas time 2017 when he founded Renewed Church, which is nondenominational, on East Center St. in downtown Kingsport. A few months later in April of the following year, in the same space as Renewed Church, he started Renewed Brew Coffee Co. It was set up as a Doing Business As (DBA) entity through the 501.c3 Renewed Church. Together he envisioned the Renewed brand would reach out to local and global communities not only spiritually, spreading the word of God, but financially.
Between Renewed Church and Renewed Brew Coffee, it was his wish to help with location organizations and global missions in areas of need. Every penny earned through the coffee shop goes to those missions whether it be from business profits itself or donations. It didn’t take long for others to embrace the same vision as Winston. The coffee shop is run entirely by a group of 12 volunteers. In fact, Winston himself is volunteering. The church, which currently has around 100 members on Sundays, is run by roughly 30 volunteers. Winston wanted his coffee shop to feel open to anyone and everyone. He didn’t want it to be known specifically as a Christian based place of business. Winston and the other volunteers welcome every person walking through the door like they would one of their members. Inside you will see a beautiful industrial looking, open setting that looks like it came straight out of an HGTV catalog. It’s a perfect place for people to socialize, have meetings or relax.
For the church members, he believes having the coffee house will give them more incentive to hang around the facilitiy outside of Sunday, which many churches have a difficult time with. Many of the volunteers started after finding out about the church through the coffee shop and they find themselves there often, even when they’re not working, which is exactly how Winston envisioned. When he’s not running the church or the coffee shop, he’s working in construction at Highlands Log Structures Inc in Virginia where he’s been since 1995 and is his main source of income. Some of the local efforts Renewed has contributed to include Shades of Grace and Kitchen of Hope. Their contributions to global efforts encompass missions in Costa Rica, where they sent over $600 worth of soccer balls to local children, and to a ministry in Haiti called Ragged Edge Ministry where they have provided roughly $1000 for chickens and chicken copes to create a sustainable source of food. Their Renewed coffee, which is fair trade and organic, is grown from many countries in which they’re involved in ministry work such as Costa Rica, Haiti, and Tanzania. So it’s not just great coffee you’re having, you’re giving people of need in those countries work. Renewed even started their own hashtag to get the word out. Fittingly, it is “#morethancoffee”.
The next step for the Renewed brand is to continually raise money for ministries. He plans to do this by eventually expanding locations and it will start with expanding their current location, on 213 East Center St. in Kingsport, TN, by making use out of part of the Model City Event Center right next door to them. This will allow them to expand their church to make room for the growing number of members and, therefor, add more services. Their current service is at 10:30 AM on Sundays.