|CHURCH TO SELL YELLOW Delis, OTHER PROPERTIES AND RELOCATE|
CHURCH TO SELL YELLOW Delis,
OTHER PROPERTIES AND RELOCATE
The Vine, Christian Community Church, owner of the Yellow Deli restaurants and the subject of some
controversy here over the past few years fords unorthodox style, is selling almost all of its businessess and
properties here and plans to relocate the majority of its in New England One church elder
called it "a major shift in the church's direction." Eder Gary Gilbreath said that approximately 70 of the
church's 100 members will leave this city over the next year for a mision outpost in Vermont or for
planned missions in New York City and Boston. Three Chattanooga Yellow Delis will close, as well as
restaurants in Dayton, Trenton, Georgia, and Mentone, Alabama. The Yellow Deli restaurant and church
in Dalton will remain open.
The spokesman said the church is relocating its members, most in their late teens and 20's because it
has found more enthusiasm toward its ideas in Vermont than it has found in the Chattanooga, area. Mr.
Gilbeath explained the reason for the move as a "general feeling dud the Lord a directing us to other
places, some of which there are people who have never heard the name of Jesus." "Bit it just a saturated
Bible belt town down here." "People are just dull with it " "I grew up like them and I was just a
hypocrite," said the Trenton native "The message we have to share is meeting for more response in
Vermont than it has here " 'Me people there have said to us, 'We want you to come up here and show us
what you are doing and show us how to live and help us' "In people are more likely to say
'You're OK but we really have no use for you.'"
He said the church's experience with the Areopagus an McCallie Avenue was representative of the frustrations the church's members have met "We never felt the Areopagus lived up to what we thought it could be." "We hoped it would be a Christian center where people would come together and share the spirit" he said. "It has met with next to no response." 'Me lager Christian community has had no interest in participating," he said. "We want to go where people are really wanting what we have " 'It seems like the people of Chattanogga are not really intrested in what we are hying to do.*
The church has been the subject of much controversy during recent yews. Newspaper articles have described the restaurant operations as forcing church members to work long and grueling schedules with little or no pay. Critics have also accused the church's elders of seizing the personal property of new members and wielding autocratic power in using it for the church's purposes.
During last August and September, the church held public meetings at the Central YMCA in an effort to meet with intrested persons and improve As image. However, as one member of the community admitted, the church has shuck a low profile during recent months. The decision on which church members go to Vermont and which stay in the Chattanooga am or at Dalton will be made after open discussions, said Mr. Gilbreath.
He said council of elders, which has final say on all matters affecting the church will again have the final word.