It was the surprise of a lifetime for Texas Pastor Jimmy Dorrell when he got a call from Chip Gaines.
Chip and Joanna had heard that because of highway renovations, Pastor Jimmy’s church would have to be closed, so the couple came up with an idea wherein, Magnolia Market would host the displaced church.
But the moment when the Texas Department of Transportation said it was going to widen Interstate 35, it spelt trouble for Pastor Jimmy and his flock.
Pastor Jimmy did not get perturbed by this news and even joked that the Texas DOT “is remodeling our place at no charge.”
However, the reality was that the three-five year project would essentially mean that the church homeless would become, homeless!
But things started to look up for Pastor Jimmy when Chip Gaines visited his office, he was familiar with the Church Under the Bridge from when he attended Baylor University.
“I admired Jimmy (Dorrell) from afar,” Chip Gaines explained. “Then about a month ago, I read about how the I-35 project would impact his church. I was sitting in my office one day, day-dreaming, thinking about making a commitment, and we reached out to Jimmy.”
Getting a call from Chip was a huge surprise for him, “It was clearly a surprise. I didn’t see it coming at all,” Pastor Jimmy said.
But it was a bigger shock for Pastor Jimmy when Chip revealed his vision of Magnolia Market hosting his church.
“He came over to the Silos, and we agreed it would make a great fit geographically,” Chip said. “We said, ‘Let’s do it,’ and shook hands on it.”
They struck up a one year agreement with Magnolia to use the Silos beginning in March 2019 free of charge, and if things were okay they could renew it again.
Magnolia Market attracts about 30,000 people weekly because it is a huge tourist attraction and even on Sunday when business is closed, people still come there in large numbers to take photos.
This would create a big opportunity for even more people to come worship with the homeless.