History of the Cleft

Love at first sight

“My senior year in college, a friend came to my dorm room and asked if I’d go to the local downtown coffee shop with him. I really wasn’t a coffee person and I had to be at baseball workouts a little later that afternoon. For some reason I decided to go along and little did I know that that short trip downtown would take me on a journey I never saw coming.
I went down to that coffee shop almost every day my senior year. At first, it simply provided an atmosphere that made it easy to study. I wasn’t stuck in solitude in a quiet, lonely library. I could get my studies done while still being a part of the world, interacting with people. My bachelor degree is in Biblical studies and I was pursuing this degree for the purpose of pursuing missions. It was there in that little coffee shop that God began to show me what missions is all about.
I didn’t have to be bold. I didn’t have to be vocal. All I was, was there! And so were they, everyday! That’s all it took to begin building relationships—me being a part of their lives, and them in mine. Opportunity after opportunity was being presented to share and encourage people with God’s truth. I saw God changing lives over a cup of coffee again and again.”

Finding the path

Upon graduating from college, learning the coffee business was the aim. Being trained by a prominent coffee company and gaining the experience working within multiple coffee shops within the company helped prepare the foundation for the Cleft. Four years after graduating it was now time to pursue this great passion. The question remained…how does God desire to set apart a coffee house to fulfill the great commission? With that question asked God began to define a path that at first seemed so broad and open-ended, but soon became a very defined vision. Not only was God faithful to direct this kindled passion clearly, He provided the opportunity for the fulfillment of His vision. In the search of this path, God has begun taking the Cleft on a road less traveled! What is the Great Commission?:
(great commission Matt. 28:16-20—Scripture)
16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated.
17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

The road less traveled
What started as a question mark now stands with an exclamation point! God has taken two great loves-the pursuit of God and coffee houses and merged them to establish the Cleft. The Cleft is more than a coffee house-it’s an experience, an experience with God! God has opened the door for the Cleft to reach within and beyond the walls of its own coffee house. The Cleft strives to unite the body of Christ and provides the opportunity to impact countless lives across the globe through our “Impact the Nations” program. There is no doubt the Cleft has a global impact, but we realize the absolute necessity to reach out and fulfill the great commission within our local communities. The Cleft desires to help empower and assist the body of Christ in doing so. The nations being impacted begin with one person at a time, or we at the Cleft like to say-one cup of coffee at a time!