Why does the business premise of the starfish and the spider intrigued me?  Israel demanded a king.  The nation had been a group of loosely connected states that were connected by the Books of the Law which was their core principles.  Judges led them and these men and women were anointed by the Lord and brought forth to lead the people back to the Law.  They did not make laws.

 Every movement of God has been initially driven by small groups of people driven core, Scriptural principle that emboldened them.  These men and women were willing to give their lives for the principles they saw in the Scriptures.  Martin Luther never wanted to leave the Roman Catholic Church.  He wanted to reform the church.  However, the principle of Salvation through grace that he preached unleashed a group of people inflamed with a passion that changed not only The Church but the world.

The Jesus Movement was an organic movement that developed in the 1960’s.  There was no leader.  These men and women were united around the core value that the church had lost the power of the Holy Spirit and God wanted to restore His rightful place in the church.  Whether you agree with their theology, or not, you must agree that their insistence on in-depth study of the scripture, literal interpretation, unity of the body and allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, has changed the church forever.  The praise and worship in the Church as a whole has changed to include singing the scriptures embodies in more contemporary melodies.

 Throughout the history of the church, there are examples of this starfish-like movement.  When the church becomes centralized and stagnated with bureaucracy and swerves from its core values, God raises up a group of committed people who stir the institutions back toward Scriptural principles.

In addition, to this, it closely represents the organizational structure of The Special Gathering.  There are five different corporations, each with its own board of directors, program director, budgets and programs.  These five corporations are divided by geographic locations.

                      A.   South Carolina

                      B.   Jacksonville

                      C.   Volusia (Daytona and DeLand)

                      D.   Brevard (North and Central Brevard)

                      E.    Indian River (South Brevard and Vero)

Our core values are evangelism and discipleship of mentally challenged people.  We are passionate and totally focused on our core values.   The sixth corporation is our mother organization, The Special Gathering, Inc.  Its primary responsibility is to see that the Core Values embodied in each corporation’s Management Instructions are followed.

                 1.  Additionally, we share a bookkeeper.

                 2.  Inc. is responsible for the printing and distribution of CP.

The Executive Director of The Special Gathering, Inc., Richard Stimson, is not a CEO or president of any of the corporations but the pastor.  He has often said that he needs the programs, more than they need him.  15% of each budget goes to support The Special Gathering, Inc.  The executive director sees himself as a servant.