Meet the Disciples
Get to know the Disciples at The Union Gospel Mission. Click on the names below to “meet” the Disciples. Get personally involved by Adopting A Disciple.
- Emmett Allgood
- Harold Galloway
- Joshua Hailey
- Fred Katschke
- James Lawrence
- Josh Olichwier
- Lloyd Sealey
- Larry Setliffe
- Charley Smith
- Randal “Yogi” Sims
- Philip Taylor
- Ron Wolf
Favorite Bible Verse: Galatians 4:9 — But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Work Skill: Warehouse Worker including picking orders, inventory and stock management; Material Handling and Forklift Operator; Truck Driver.
Emmett grew up in New York, living with his aunt and three other women. With no supportive male influence, he dropped out of school before graduating and moved out on his own.
Life was tough. He ended up moving from program to program— Teen Challenge, Salvation Army, Endeavors and Chattanooga Community Kitchen— before landing at The Union Gospel Mission. Through it all, Emmett has demonstrated his heart for serving others. “
“The Union Gospel Mission is different,” Emmett shares. “It strengthened my relationship with Jesus and made me realize that God has a purpose for my life.”
He now feels humbled and believes that his life experiences have given him a new vantage point. His goal is to do mission work in the United States where he can help minister to others about Jesus Christ.
Favorite Bible Verse: John 14:6 — Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Work Skill: Mechanic, Construction and Maintenance; Landscaping; Heavy Equipment Operator
Originally from Virginia, Harold has made Chattanooga his “home” since 2008. A skilled diesel mechanic, construction worker and contractor, he has been called “the best mechanic this side of the Mississippe.” Harold humbly states, “There’s just about nothing I can’t fix.”
Harold admits having a problem with alcohol. Despite his many skills, the bottom fell out in 2008 when he lost his job and his home. There was not way to go but up.
“I was raised in the church,” he says, “but I wasn’t living for God. The Union Gospel Mission helped me learn about God and get me back on the right path.”
A graduate of the G.R.A.C.E. Discipleship Program, Harold is learning the skills to change his life for good. His dream is to get a decent job and a place to call “home.” Until then, he uses his talents to help with maintenance and repairs at The Union Gospel Mission.
Favorite Bible Verse: Philippians 4:11-13 — Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Work Skill: Customer Service and Retail Sales; Computer Literate; People Oriented
At only 22, Joshua is the youngest man at the mission. Unfortunately, homelessness is nothing new for him. His mother, a drug addict and alcoholic, passed away when he was only 15. His grandmother, also an alcoholic, took him in. She died later that year.
His father, who had been absent most of his life, took Joshua to Nashville and the pair moved from hotel to hotel. When his father was jailed for theft, Joshua moved into a homeless shelter for teens. He graduated high school and started college but bad choices landed him back on the streets.
In 2006, Joshua became saved when one of his supporters walked him to Jesus. “I owe God,” Joshua says. “He came after me. I need to tell others what I learned about God.”
Now, at The Union Gospel Mission, he has dreams of finishing college and someday fulfilling his goal of teaching.
Favorite Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 11:32 — But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Work Skill: Kitchen help; Landscaping; Cleaning Services
Fred was living with his girlfriend and working as a cook and manager at a fast food restaurant when everything changed. His girlfriend’s brother decided it was time for Fred to move out and he was on the street.
Thankfully, a friend brought him to The Union Gospel Mission and he’s working to get his life back on track. More importantly, he’s working to get right with the Lord.
Fred is one of the students of the G.R.A.C.E. Discipleship Program where Bible study and memorization fill their days. He is also enrolled in Tennessee Temple University’s Distance Education program.
Fred has an opportunity he thought would never come—to go back to school. “I would like to be a preacher, or at least work in a church,” Fred says softly. Now with the opportunity through The Union Gospel Mission and God’s sovereign provision, that dream may become a reality.
Favorite Bible Verse: Joshua 24:15— And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Work Skill: Security, Labor, Supervisor, Food Service, Film and Computers
James has a wide range of experience—from independent filmmaker, to security guard at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, to live-in handyman at a church and, finally, working at McDonalds.
Issues with his family brought him to Chattanooga, and, when he lost his job, car and home all in the span of one week’s time, James found himself at The Union Gospel Mission. He now serves as the mission’s Night Manager.
James graduated from The Union Gospel Mission’s G.R.A.C.E. Discipleship Program in 2006. In May 2010, James started taking classes through Tennessee Temple University’s Distance Education program. He plans to complete his degree in non-profit administration.
Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 28:7— The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
Work Skill: Construction: Carpenter, Plumber, Flooring, Siding, Exterior
Josh compares himself with Jonah. After he turned his back on God, he found his life spiraling downward.
“I learned that you can’t escape God,” he smiles. “He’s going to find you.” An experienced carpenter, plumber and construction foreman, he got married and fell away from the church. Two years later, he was divorced and alcohol became his “idol.”
Ironically, Josh’s most recent job was running a homeless mission in Northwest Indiana. He saw firsthand where his life was headed if he didn’t change.
Friends and a caring pastor helped put him on the right track, Josh made the journey to Chattanooga and came to The Union Gospel Mission. He credits God’s power and The Union Gospel Mission for helping him stay sober. A quick-thinking and industrious man, he finds many ways to pay back the blessings by using his construction skills to help out at the mission.
Favorite Bible Verse: Isaiah 34:4-5 — And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.
Work Skill: Warehousing Specialist; Forklift Operator; Inventory and Order Fulfillment; Shipping and Receiving
At the tender age of five, Lloyd witnessed his father murder his mother. Life dealt him another blow as he was shifted from relative to relative, endured beatings and felt abandoned. Thankfully, he spent a good deal of time with his grandmother who taught him “everything a child should know about God.”
Lloyd got a job and apartment but started using drugs. He realized his life was going downhill and joined the Army, where his job was to write condolence letters to the families of deceased soldiers. The reality of his writings touched his heart.
Years later, Lloyd is still trying to reestablish his life as a civilian. He has been working and training with a local company as a warehouse specialist. His goal is to land a permanent job, save enough money to get his own place and then give back to “his brothers”—the “family” he never had—at The Union Gospel Mission.
Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 73:25 — Whom have I in heaven but thee?
Work Skill: Security
After over 22 years of working as a security guard, Larry found himself unemployed. Three jobs later and again without work, he was forced to sell his small home. He lived for months in his car, usually parking in the Wal-Mart lot. A security guard befriended Larry and offered him a job.
Things were going well until he “blacked-out” while driving to work one morning and had an accident. He lost his job and low-rent apartment. Once again, he was on the street and came to The Union Gospel Mission.
Larry graduated from the G.R.A.C.E. Discipleship Program and enrolled in Tennessee Temple’s Distance Education program. As a saved man, Larry believes that God has a purpose for his life and he’s ready and willing to serve.
Favorite Bible Verse: John 10:29 — My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Work Skill: Laborer
Charley lived in Boston where he worked as a cook and dishwasher for Outward Bound. In 2004, he came to Chattanooga to bury his sister and decided to stay.
He got a job but got into drugs, lost all of his money and was arrested for writing bad checks. With nowhere to go when he was released, he lived in “Tent City” for a year. Bad choices followed and he ended up in jail again.
By the grace of God, Charley came to The Union Gospel Mission three years ago. “It’s surprising how God lets you know He’s in your life. It’s a comfort,” smiles Charley. He now has a stronger relationship with God and thankfully says, “I’m no longer alone.”
Charley has health issues that prevent him from full-time employment. Through medication and the steady support of The Union Gospel team, he is able to be a productive member of the “family.”
Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 139:1-10— O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Work Skill: Cook
A native of Chattanooga and surrounded by bad influences since childhood, Yogi was expelled from high school and never went back. He got involved in drinking and drug dealing and knew he was on a path leading to descruction.
In 2008, he realized he was “tired” of his life. He walked to tThe Union Gospel Mission and immediately accepted Jesus.
For the last two years, Yogi has given back to the mission by cooking for the men he now considers his “family.” Now instead of going nowhere, he’s helping provide a home-like experience for his brothers at tThe Union gospel Mission.
In May, 2010, he graduated from The Union Gospel Mission’s G.R.A.C.E. Discipleship Program. He is putting his life back together and no longer fears for his future.
Favorite Bible Verse: James 1:2— My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations
Work Skill: BA Business Administration; Financial Management
A native of Chattanooga, Philip worked his way through college. His mother died during his junior year at the University of Kentucky, and his step-father needed help. Philip returned to Chattanooga to care for him. He transferred to Chattanooga State and continued his education. When his step-father passed away, Philip became homeless and came to The Union Gospel Mission.
Now with a degree under his belt, Philip is searching for a job in finance. He has a history of working at medical facilities and volunteers for local non-profits when he’s not helping at the mission. He longs for a mentor who will help open doors for his career.
The Union Gospel Mission has helped Philip deal with the blows of life. He now knows to lean on God and run to the Bible to face the hurdles that block his path.
Favorite Bible Verse: John 3:16—For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Work Skill: Thrift Store Worker/Management; Truck Driver
Ron admits that he has lived a full life. He grew up on a farm in rural Indiana and learned the meaning of hard work. Over the years he owned three semi-trucks and ran loads cross-country. He settled down for 19 years in Austin Texas and bought a sandwich shop. He also cooked and worked at a restaurant and nightclub.
Three years ago, he moved to Chattanooga when hard times and health issues led him to live with friends. Eventually, they brought him to The Union Gospel Mission to stay.
Ron loved helping when the mission had the facility in downtown Chattanooga. “I did all of the laundry and helped with the check-in,” he states. His dream is to manage a thrift store for The Union Gospel Mission.
His faith has grown and he now feels closer to God. Plus, he has found a home and a family.