Guest / Limited Access /

Beginning on the mean streets of Manhattan and migrating to the serenity of the Texas prairie, 43 Christian families are living together in a bold experiment on a 500-acre farm north of Waco, Texas. Many Christians talk about overcoming American individualism through Christian living. But the residents of Homestead Heritage go beyond talk.

This intentional Christian agricultural and crafts community blends Pentecostal fervor with Anabaptist simplicity and accountability. The group is divided into the Brazos de Dios residential community (named after the river that runs through its property) and Homestead Heritage, the umbrella organization under which they do all their work. Brazos de Dios residents are not Amish or even Mennonites, although they have forged close ties with traditional Anabaptists. Rather, they are Christians from many different walks of life engaged together in a modern-day experiment in radical discipleship.

The Homesteaders' unadorned dress and plain hairstyles draw whispers in supermarket aisles: "They're from Homestead Heritage." And their handmade furnishings draw thousands of marveling visitors to their craft village.

Outsiders also flock to the farm's festivals every year to experience life as it was 150 years ago: breaking the sod with horse-drawn plows, growing enormous vegetables naturally, grinding grain into flour in an old-fashioned gristmill, making "chocolate" ice cream using carob instead of cocoa.

Not all visitors to Homestead Heritage have a clear idea what lies behind the living-history farm and craft village. With heavenly food, handmade chairs, and gorgeous quilts for sale, some just become loyal customers of Homestead products.

But the biggest crowds at Homestead Heritage turn out for this ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedBiblical Illiteracy by the Numbers Part 1: The Challenge
Biblical Illiteracy by the Numbers Part 1: The Challenge
How well do American Christians know their Bibles? Hint: not well.
TrendingMark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
Mark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
"I do not want to be the source of anything that might detract from our church’s mission."
Editor's PickA Word Can Be Worth a Thousand Pictures
A Word Can Be Worth a Thousand Pictures
Why the pulpit—and not the screen—still belongs at the center of our churches.
Comments
Christianity Today
Where Community Is No Cliché
hide thisFebruary February

In the Magazine

February 2005

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.