“They Didn’t Come There to Be Seen”: Why Chip & Joanna Gaines Discreetly Attended a Different Church This Sunday


Though “Fixer Upper” has come to an end, the legacy that is Chip and Joanna Gaines live far beyond the bounds of HGTV and our television screens.

The devout Christian couple is known for their generous spirit and constant willingness to help those in need, especially when it comes to expanding Kingdom impact. While they do so with a quiet and humble spirit and no intent to draw attention to themselves, Chip and Jo seemingly can’t help but make a media splash with their neverending list of good deeds.

The Gaineses are most recently making headlines for offering a temporary home to the displaced Church Under the Bridge in Waco, Texas.

When the church dedicated to the homeless found out that their usual meeting place under an I-35 overpass would be unavailable due to a freeway expansion, the former Fixer Uppers were quick to offer their Magnolia Market Silos as an alternative location.

The Church Under the Bridge began with just a few homeless people studying with pastor Jimmy Dorrell back in 1992. Today there are between 200 and 300 attendees.

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“I’ve known about Jimmy and the way he’s been selflessly serving this community for a while, since back when I was in college,” said Chip, an alumnus of Baylor. “A few months ago, I read about how the I-35 project would impact his church, so we reached out to discuss his options and ultimately, to see if there was a way we might be able to help.”

With their Silos being a public attraction that is closed on Sundays and only four blocks from the bridge, it seemed like the perfect solution.

“I’ve always admired Jimmy from afar, so when we both agreed that the location of the Silos made sense for Church Under the Bridge, I knew we wanted to be part of the solution for this congregation,” added Chip.

Accompanied by the beat of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” church attendees marched from their “under the bridge” meeting place to Magnolia Market at the Silos this Sunday for their very first service.

Chip and Jo also quietly attended to greet church members. According to local news, they stayed for the duration of the service to show their support. The Gaineses heard congregants share powerful testimonies at the Silos, with one woman even telling her story of Jesus delivering her from prostitution to follow Him.

“I was really pleased because they were really humble,” said Pastor Dorrell. “They didn’t come there to be seen. I even had to ask them to come up before the church and speak. They were very courteous and thankful.”

Construction on I-35 is projected to last three to five years, and the Gaineses have currently offered their Silos location for one year. However, it’s possible Magnolia Market may become a new home for The Church Under the Bridge for the duration of the project.

“We may get to the stay the whole time,” said Pastor Dorrell “We sure hope we do.”

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Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.