The Silos at Waco are Central to a Winter Storm Fixer Upper Story

March 29, 2021

The UMC Connectional system, a local church with a strong community involvement and social media presence and a Pennsylvania couple’s hope of bumping into Chip and/or Joanna Gaines come together to provide assistance and relief to someone still struggling with damages caused by February’s severe winter storm.

As residents of the Lone Star State did their best to deal with last February’s record cold temperatures, power outages and the broken pipes and other residual damage left in its wake, many of our sisters and brothers across the U.S. were inspired to reach out and offer assistance. The stories of struggle broadcast by national news outlets so touched the hearts of Dan and Patti Hinkle of York, Pennsylvania, that they requested that a special love offering be received at their home church to “help those in Texas who are suffering from the effects of the storm.” The people of Fairmount UMC in York, Penn – a church that averages around 45 in worship each week – generously responded and $1,310 was received in the special offering.
Since the Hinkle’s already had a mid-March trip to Waco on the books to visit Magnolia Market at the Silos (ice and snow are no deterrent for folks from Pennsylvania – especially when there’s that small chance of meeting Chip and Joanna), they decided to deliver the money received in the offering in person. After doing some internet research on the United Methodist Churches in the area, the Pennsylvania couple decided to give Central UMC a call because they “could tell from their website and social media that the church had strong community involvement,” according to Mr. Hinkle. On the Sunday of their visit to Waco, they drove out to Central UMC and presented the $1,310 to Rev. Bob Rainey, senior pastor at Central UMC.

Rev. Bob Rainey, senior pastor of Central UMC in Waco, Texas said it was a blessing to see the fruit of the UMC's Connectional system upon presenting the generous offering received by Fairmount UMC in York, Pennsylvania.

“Upon meeting the Hinkle’s and receiving the Fairmount congregation’s extravagant generosity, we immediately began to search for the best way to use the money,” Rev. Rainey reports. “I contacted Mrs. Isabel Lozano, the principal of our Waco ISD adopt-a-school partner Kendrick Elementary School, to see if any of her families needed assistance.
“Principal Lozano relayed that a member of her facilities team could really use some assistance,” Bob continued. “She is a widow who suffered with COVID in October and then had 10 pipes burst during the winter storm. And then, in an attempt to keep her pipes from freezing, she accidently burned a hole in her wall. She did not have the money for repairs and she still did not have running water in her home.” 
On March 17, Pastor Rainey relayed that he had the pleasure of presenting her with the check from the good folks of York, Pennsylvania. He also stated that he has been in contact with the Hinkles and Fairmount UMC to keep them updated on how their generosity is helping those in need here in Texas. “It has been a blessing to see the fruit of being a connectional denomination, witnessing compassion for others, and serving a loving God.”


Editors Note: As of this posting, we have not been able to confirm if the Hinkles met Chip or Joanna, but we do know that they considered their trip very successful.

If you have a narrative to share about how you, your church or small group has reached out to your community in love to assist those in need and/or advance our mission/WIG of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, please email it to