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Spend a little time with Pastors Jeff and Kristie Kerr and you’ll instantly feel like family. They’re wired for hospitality and can make even the newest of faces feel valued and cared for. That same warmth and welcoming spirit is built into the DNA of the church they started in 2015, Homestead Community Church.

Homestead is a place where “everyone has value, everyone has a responsibility, and everyone works together for a cause bigger than themselves.” They treat everyone like extended family, and it shows from the moment you walk in the door of their newly remodeled building in downtown Farmington. It was originally built in 1880 on the corner of 3rd Street and once was home to a local bank.

Jeff and Kristie have lived in Farmington for 15 years and have been eyeing the property for quite some time. They hoped to acquire the building before launching the church, but got nowhere in initial discussions with the owner.

They settled on renting space from a nearby Methodist Church who allowed them to use the building throughout the week and store equipment and materials on site. “We could have Bible studies during the week. We could do mid-week services, which a lot of church plants are unable to do. We were able to operate as a fully-functioning church right away,” Kristie recalls. Even so, the facility lacked the aesthetic quality they were looking for in the initial vision of a church called “Homestead.”
It enabled the dream of a homey atmosphere to be lived out in the people of the church, not the building itself. As Jeff puts it, “We had to figure out ways to communicate the feel of the church without relying on the venue. It really forced us to strengthen the community of the church.”

During this time they started a building campaign and eventually gave a purchase offer to the owner of the downtown property. He countered with $300,000, matching the initial goal of their building campaign, and they paid for the building in cash. Pledges totaled $560,000 and allowed them to start renovating in late 2019.

When COVID-19 first hit, they had one month remaining on their lease with the Methodist church. They decided not to renew and took advantage of the shutdown to go all-in with renovating. At the same time, they maintained their warm and welcoming atmosphere with online services and family hymn sings from the Kerr household.

After a year of hard work and a number of Jeff’s humorous progress updates online, they opened up the building in June 2020. The building is open to the community throughout the week, including high school groups who have been using it as a place to study. Jeff reiterates, “You don’t need the venue to create a good community. A welcoming, loving community of people is really what people are looking for and what they’re drawn to.” Homestead finally has a home, but its heart remains focused on people.