This feature has been requested by the Spring/GemFire community at large.
1. The Spring/GemFire Field Engineering team has posted questions like this one to SocialCast requesting a way to bootstrap GemFire with a Spring ApplicationContext JVM-based process, and in particular with Spring Data GemFire XML namespace configuration meta-data, using Gfsh. The response referenced none other than the GemFire Initializer, but also talked about creating a custom Gfsh command in support of this first approach.
2. GemFire customer, Bank of Montreal, has designed a way to bootstrap a Spring ApplicationContext inside a GemFire Server JVM process using a GemFire Initializer component.
The approach used in number 2 is the focus of this feature request. I have filed a separate ticket (#49561) in GemFire's issue tracking system (Trac) that covers the first approach.
Either way, a user of Spring and GemFire will be able to use either approach to start a GemFire Server using Gfsh and bootstrap a Spring ApplicationContext inside the JVM process. The first approach bootstraps GemFire with a Spring context configuration inside a Spring-oriented JVM process where as the second approach bootstraps a Spring context with GemFire native configuration (e.g. cache.xml) inside a GemFire-oriented Server-based JVM process.