Kerem Adonai seeks to share the gospel with both Jews and Gentiles, to provide messianic Jews with the setting for worship within the context of Jewish culture, and to assist Gentile Christians in exploring the Jewish roots of their faith.
In the spring of 2002, while attending CVCF (CVCF), Greg Ridenour was asked by his kinship leader, Teresa Elder, to teach a lesson for the kinship. Coincidentally (or not!), the date for the lesson was the very night of Passover. The timing of the lesson provided him with the subject: the New Testament significance of the Passover. A short time after the lesson, Teresa suggested that Greg inquire about teaching a Hebrew class for the church. Though skeptical that there would be enough interest, an introductory Hebrew class was offered in the summer of 2002. To his surprise, 21 students registered for the class. Follow-up courses in prayerbook Hebrew were offered during the fall, winter, and spring. It was in these classes that Greg met Cynthia and Candace Purvis, who would later become Hebrew teachers for Kerem Adonai (KA), and John Henderson, who served as KA’s first praise and worship leader.
Anita Brown, a member of the church Planning Committee, asked Greg if he would conduct a Passover for homeschooled children. The event was subsequently opened to the entire church. Coordinated by Janice McDonald, who would later become KA’s Special Events and Children’s Activities Coordinator, over 60 people attended Clarksville Vineyard’s first Passover in the spring of 2003. During the summer of 2003, Greg approached Pastor Don Jarrell about establishing a Messianic Jewish fellowship as a “specialty group” of Clarksville Vineyard. Our first meeting was on August 8, 2003. KA held its first service as a congregation at our celebration of Rosh Hashanah on Friday, October 7, 2005, when Greg was presented with a pastoral license from Grace Ministries International, Inc. by Don Jarrell and Landon Meadow.
KA began offering Saturday morning services on June 1, 2006 at 1191-A Ft. Campbell Blvd., a facility it shared with La Viña, another satellite congregation of Clarksville Vineyard’s Church Without Walls multi-site outreach. In May of 2009, KA moved to our current facility at 203 Providence Blvd., initially shared with two other CVCF congregations. On August 22, 2010, Greg Ridenour, Paul Gelep, John Pulliam, Susan Dillard, and Frances Schultz assumed the board positions of Grace Ministries International, Inc. Clarksville Vineyard blessed KA with a sendoff as an independent church plant. KA was graciously provided with an interest-free loan by an anonymous donor from the congregation, and anticipates repaying the loan in 2019.