For those who are interested, the story of how the Curry House Posse developed into its present form is a tale of epic proportions that stretches across the globe and crosses the borders of three states.
For practical purposes, it all began in the Autumn of 2002 when Adam Coffman from Indiana, and Jeffery Gujjarlamudi from India crossed paths on the campus of Kentucky Christian University in the small town of Grayson in the Appalachian foothills. It was at this school that they slowly forged a friendship by sharing with each other the mutual struggles and experiences they each had endured as servants of Jesus Christ. Though they came from two vastly different worlds, they recognized in each other, the similarities that Christ had authored into their lives.
In those early days, the campus life at Kentucky Christian University was fraught with hidden perils and demonic oppression of all kinds. Thus it was that in a small corner of the guys’ dorm, Waters Hall, Jeffery and Adam began to fortify a place of refuge among the chaos and ruin that plagued the college grounds. In the midst of their work the two friends often found sustenance in that staple of college-life foods known to many as Ramen noodles. However, the pre-packaged spice packets that accompanied these sodium laden rations were ultimately unsatisfactory to Jeffery’s attuned Indian taste buds. And in a moment of divine significance, Jeffery remembered that his mother had imparted to him upon the day of departure from his homeland a small package of Indian Spices known as Garam Masala. Thus it came to pass, that sometime in the early spring of 2003 Adam and Jeffery received what can only be termed as a flash of divine insight, and combined Ramen noodles with Garam Masala and Chili Powder. And as the East met the West in that tiny pot of noodles, the gloom of their environment subsided briefly as the divine wind of change and revival blew in from the heavens.
Thus it was that an entire year went by which held many trials and adventures for the unlikely friends who labored under the darkening sky of a land lost in its own shadows. Tales of those times have been told elsewhere, but what is important to tell here, is that Jeff eventually imparted the ancient wisdom of curry-making to Adam, as it had been handed down from his parents Sam and Esther.
Eventually, now in another room of the same dorm, Jeffery brought forth a gift that had been carried to him by his parents upon a recent visit from India. This gift was a jar of Mutton Pickle, which is essentially a combination of fried pieces of lamb and tomato sauce preserved in an extremely potent mixture of heavily concentrated Indian spices. Just one small spoonful of Indian Pickle is enough to flavor an entire bowl of rice, which at this point had replaced noodles as the preferred form of carbohydrate. Jeffery would later share other jars of assorted kinds of Pickle (such as Tomato, Lime, Spinach, and Mango) that his mother had prepared for the growing number of people who began showing up to share in the food and fellowship that God had provided.
In the Spring of 2004, Jeffery and Adam met Kiel Nation, a young lad from the region of Lexington, Kentucky. During the next several months, and on into the following autumn, Kiel became the third member of the Curry House Posse which was at that time still in its infancy. It was at this time that Adam journeyed forth into the wilderness, as God had ordained that his time in the foothills of Kentucky was at an end. And so he set out for his homeland in Indiana, leaving Jeffery and Kiel to carry on the work that God had begun on the campus.
It was at this time as well that the Lord brought into their midst one Keith Doyle, a humble brother from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Keith moved into Jeffery’s room and the three brothers still left on the campus began to propel the sharing of food and fellowship to another level.
As the brothers, Kiel, Keith, and Jeffery began to meet and host more and more guys in the Waters Hall dorm; eventually the need arose to produce entire dishes of Indian cuisine. And so, in direct insubordination of school policy, the three would cook dishes of Vegetable Curry, Chicken Curry, Beef Curry, or variations of these and other ingredients each night throughout the week for whomever wished to come.
As a side note, Curry is a general term used to denote that ingredients have been cooked in a sauce of Indian spices. Common blends of Indian spices generically labeled as ‘Curry’ might contain coriander, cumin, chili powder, fennel seeds, cardamom seeds or powder, mustard seeds, turmeric, or several other variations of spices such as fenugreek, paprika, cloves, and cinnamon. Along with these spice combinations, onion, garlic, and cilantro are essential ingredients in almost every dish given the name Curry.
And for the next two years, the brothers continued the ritual of serving food in their rooms to those who came in search of food and fellowship. There were no regulations, no rules, and no expectations of any kind… only a desire to serve the Lord by serving others, and giving freely to others as Christ had freely given to them.
Engaged in many struggles these three brothers fought their way through a gauntlet of malicious principalities aligned against them. Yet through God’s provision they eventually graduated, and upon their departure from Kentucky Christian University, Keith went to live in Lexington, Kentucky, and Jeff and Kiel, now rejoined by Adam began attending Winebrenner Theological Seminary in Findlay, Ohio.
Throughout the fall of 2007, and the winter and spring of 2008, Jeff, Kiel, and Adam would voyage to the home of Gary and Janet Staats in Findlay a couple of nights a week where they would make Curry and attend the seminary. Because Dr. Staats and his wife are extremely hospitable people, they began opening up their house each Tuesday night for those at the seminary to come and enjoy the fellowship meal as well.
Alas, by the summer of 2008, the Lord had called these four brothers out of their homes in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio, and directed them to reside in a house which he had provided for them on the main street of Findlay. And so it is, that these four brothers, doing only what their Lord has trained them to do over the years, continue to cook food and invite whoever happens along to join them in camaraderie.
And so, in this way, “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” -Acts 2:42