Chip and Joanna Gaines Open Up Magnolia Market to Help Members of a Church in Need

Chip and Joanna stepped in to help out their community.

October 15, 2018
By: Amanda Mushro

Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines opened Magnolia Market in their hometown of Waco, TX so fans of their hit HGTV show could shop all things Chip and Joanna inspired. Now the couple is opening up the sprawling grounds of Magnolia Market to a new crowd—the members of a church who have recently been displaced.

The Church Under the Bridge is a congregation that meets and worships beneath a highway overpass in Waco. The church is open to anyone in the community and also offers free meals to the members—many of whom are in need, homeless, and don’t feel welcomed at other churches. However, recent construction of the highway has made it impossible for the congregation, which is around 200-300 people, to hold their services. That’s when Chip and Joanna stepped in.

Chip reached out to the church's pastor, Jimmy Dorrell, after learning about how the construction, that will take several years to complete, would impact the members of the congregation. Chip offered up the Silos at Magnolia Market as the new place for the church to worship and help the community.

"I was sitting in my office one day, day-dreaming, thinking about making a commitment, and we reached out to Jimmy,” Chip told the Waco Tribune-Herald. “He came over to the Silos, and we agreed it would make a great fit geographically. We said, ‘Let’s do it,’ and shook hands on it.”

According to Chip, he became an admirer of the ministry when he was a college student at Baylor University, and he and Joanna were happy to open up Magnolia Market to help out the congregation.

“It was clearly a surprise. I didn’t see it coming at all,” said Pastor Jimmy Dorrell after visiting the Silos at Magnolia Market, where hundreds will now meet each Sunday. “It was amazingly quiet, with no 18-wheelers above.”

For the next year, the Church Under the Bridge will meet at Magnolia Market and that is when Dorrell says he and the Gaines will discuss if this new location is a good fit for everyone. But for right now, Dorrell is grateful for the opportunity to continue his ministry in Waco thanks to Chip and Joanna.

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