Welcome to Homestead Hospitality House. Let me tell you a little about ourselves.
Rhonda and I formally got together during a choir tour through Florida while in college. I often tell people, “I knew she was ‘the one’ the second day we were together” on the bus. Unknowingly, that beginning became a microcosm for our lives – music, serving God, traveling, enjoying the company of others and learning to relate with them in the context of church ministry.
We married in June, 1977 and immediately began serving in local churches in Alabama then Tennessee while finishing our schooling. Cedar Heights Baptist Church, Cedar Falls, IA was our first full-time church ministry focusing on the areas of worship leadership, Christian Education, teaching and evangelism. We both enjoyed discipling and mentoring others. After four years of personal and ministry growth and the birth of Nate (1986), the Lord directed us to Calvary Baptist Church in Anaheim, CA.
Our love of music, of reaching and growing others, and of ministering God’s word continued in this new ministry. Over the next two decades, Jenna (1992) was born, the church grew and struggled, many relationships were formed, and lots of lives were touched. Rhonda found great satisfaction in developing mentoring relationships with women at the church and deep friendships with women at work.
After about 10 years at Calvary, through a series of God-directed events, I began to seriously explore my own relationship with God and found a deep longing for Him within. This re-ignited longing led me on a journey of discovery and struggle, learning and unlearning, heights and depths while remaining faithful to the ministry at CBC. I earned a PhD centered on Christian Spirituality in 2006. Seeking only to follow where Jesus was leading, I resigned from this pastoral ministry of 22 years in 2010 and became part of a spiritual formation team. My ministry included coaching and retreat work primarily focused on ministry leaders. 10 months later our house sold after only three weeks on the market and we headed for Tennessee where God directed us to a new home.
We once dreamed of establishing a B&B for ministry leaders having experienced the challenges of ministry life ourselves. But, that dream seemed to die due to its cost. As we began looking for a new house God directed us to this traditional, Southern-style home. And, the dream resurrected! We happily tell people, “This house is a gift from God…and a result of California equity.” It is from this place that God is using us for a ministry that impacts individual lives locally and globally. Though not quite a B & B while at the same time much more than a B & B, Homestead Hospitality House provides a warm and welcoming setting for quiet times with God. And, we get to express compassionate hospitality for those in need of care for their body and soul.
The name Homestead House was birthed from two sources. First, we were inspired by a painting of Thomas Kinkade’s that resembles this house entitled “Homestead House.” Though he thought he would do a series of paintings of Southern mansions, this was the only one he painted. We had purchased this painting almost 25 years ago since it reminded Rhonda so much of the South. Now we can see its real purpose.
Thomas Kinkade writes:
I’ve long wanted to balance my artistic account by celebrating some of these great palatial estates, starting with those located in our own country. Hence Homestead House, first in my Great American Mansion series. Nanette and I recently toured the deep South, seeking examples of the grand plantation style. Homestead House, with its stately Doric columns and imposing facade, framed by lavish magnolias and live oaks hung heavy with Spanish moss, is the very essence of what we found. Here is an estate that would have delighted Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler.
Well, we’re not quite all that, but this real Homestead House is pretty special!
Second, the word homestead can mean “a place where a family makes its home,” or “the home and adjoining land occupied by a family.” We thought this was an appropriate title for a place where members of the family of God gather for encouragement, spiritual nourishment, and communion with the Father.
Come stay with us sometime. Or, if you know someone in need of a place to unwind, find peacefulness, or enjoy solitude with God, send them our way. This place is designed for you. We’ll pamper you in God’s love. We’ll help you unpack your “stuff” if you desire. We’ll minister to you body and soul. Come and see.
Keith & Rhonda