Purposeful java brewing

Starbucks too crowded for you? Drive further southeast on Highway 280 to a fresh new atmosphere and locally-owned Ekklesia Coffee House. It’s located in Chelsea, at the juncture of Foothills Parkway and Chesser Drive.

Notably, this is a unique spot for relaxing, enjoying free Wi-Fi access and having a light meal. And there’s coffee – iced or hot – and a cozy, welcoming atmosphere thanks to a smiling co-owner/operator, Casey Morris.

Ekklesia (greek) means: “The called out ones … a gathering place.” Unlike many similar chain businesses, Ekklesia Coffee House is “coffee with a purpose,” said co-owner Casey Morris.

Morris and partners Mike Ruttka and Owen Watkins began the business venture, along with a higher authority, in March 2008.

Morris, 21, has “come to rely on, grown closer to God,” his partner in the truest sense, during these months since opening.

“Who inspires you,” I asked Morris.

“My partners, Watkins and Ruttka lift me up, in business and family life.”

“You’re open for long hours. How do you find time to relax?”

“I work out, spend time with my wife. We keep Shabbat, the biblical Sabbath, from Friday evening to Saturday evening.”

On Aug. 2, a concert was held with five local bands playing outside the coffee house. Around 120 young people attended.

“Ekklesia is meant to be a refuge for our youth. Instead of hanging out in parking lots at night, they can come here and find fellowship in a wholesome environment,” Morris said.

Another concert is planned for Oct. 4 at 5 p.m., which will include live Southern Gospel music. Owners plan to maybe even grill out for customers. Community groups also meet at the coffee shop throughout the week.

Gladys Sherrer can be reached by e–mail at gsherrer@gmail.com.