Shepherd’s Closet reaches out to those in need

Published 9:54 am Tuesday, April 13, 2010

COAL GROVE — A shepherd is a person who takes care of his sheep. Ed and Jamilaih Gullett are street shepherds.

The couple has chosen to spend their lives taking care of the sheep that society has forgotten.

Together, they created Shepherd’s Closet, a nonprofit organization aimed at providing necessities for people in need.

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And they are guided by their own Shepherd, who goes by the name of Jesus Christ.

“We just looked around and saw the need,” Ed Gullett said of the idea, which has thus far been run out of the family home in Coal Grove. “We actually started out just helping people at Christmas time. We never saw it growing bigger than that.”

As it turned out, the need for assistance was even greater than the couple anticipated.

Now, after helping people pay medical bills and assisting others in obtaining clothing following a house fire, the Shepherd’s Closet is looking for a permanent home of its own.

“We want to establish a food pantry and be able to cook a warm meal every once in a while for those who need it,” Gullett said, adding that he also plans to provide his guests with backpacks filled with personal hygiene items, as well as a Bible. “We want to be able to step in and help if at all possible.”

Gullett grew up watching his single mother struggle to keep her family afloat.

He empathizes with those who could benefit from a helping hand.

He also recognizes that some people will abuse the couple’s generosity, but he’s following orders that make no sense to the average, mortal man.

“Will people take advantage of us?” he asked. “Sure. We know they will. But as Christians we are supposed to take care of each other.”

And that means not allowing the scammers to dissuade them from helping those who are truly desperate for assistance.

“We’re supposed to always be ready in another person’s time of need,” he said.

The Gulletts are members of Zoar Baptist Church on Marion Pike, where Ed, 32, occasionally serves as a minister. He is currently attending Landmark Bible College to earn his seminary degree and fills in as a pastor in times of need at several area churches.

“There are so many people around here who need help,” he noted, adding that Shepherd’s Closet’s ultimate aim is to be anonymous in its generosity.

“This is all for the glory of Christ,” he said. “If we put our names on it, it wouldn’t be for the right reasons.

“With the help of prayers, donors, volunteers, and whatever other help we can get, maybe, just maybe, we can make a difference,” he continued. “One thing I do know: it is worth a try.”

Shepherd’s Closet is currently organizing a golf scramble slated for July 17 at the Diamond Links golf course in Catlettsburg to assist in funding its mission of helping others.

Sponsors, participants and volunteers for the scramble, as well as anyone wishing to donate items for the needy, are encouraged to contact Gullett at (740) 550-2474.

He can also be reached by e-mail at or at the Shepherd’s Closet Web site at