Building a new church, serving a new community

Remedy Church of God sets roots in Monticello

Ashley Hunter
ECB Publishing, Inc.

When Marc and Kairisa Magee moved down to Florida from Chicago, they were leaving behind more than just their families – they were leaving behind their entire world.
The young couple felt called, however, and were ready to chase that calling to wherever it led them – which currently is a little roadside church in the heart of Monticello.
In 2015, the Magee's moved to Florida, first taking root in Midway, which is located in Gadsden County.
Marc Magee began working for the State of Florida as a government consultant, while Kairisa Magee took a job in the circuit court system as a freelance court reporter.
Those careers, Kairisa says, put the food on the table – but was not the calling of their hearts and souls.
While Marc Magee was busy with his state job, he was also undergoing ministerial training to become an ordained pastor with the Church of God.
"When we moved down here from Chicago, [Marc] was like, 'I really think we need to take this job and move.' But everything we've ever known, our whole universe, was in Chicago," says Kairisa Magee. She describes the relationship between herself and her husband as a heart/brain dynamic – he follows his heart while she "runs the numbers."
Marc Magee was ready to move to Florida and pursue a new job, as well as the ministerial opportunity. Eventually, Kairisa says, she agreed.
"I was like, 'alright, God might be right...'" she laughs.
In July of last year, Marc Magee finally completed his ministerial training and was ordained – leading to the couple attending an Orlando conference for their denomination, where the two were appointed to serve and minister to the North Florida/Perry region.
At the time of their appointment, there was no one serving in Perry's district, and the church leaders felt called to place the Magees in that position.
"They wanted someone to fill in that area," explains Marc Magee.
To be closer to their jobs as well as their Perry church, Marc and Kairisa Magee moved their family to Tallahassee and commuted every Sunday and Wednesday to their church in Taylor County.
The regular drive from Leon County to Taylor County, Kairisa Magee says, was "quite a drive," and during a trip through Monticello, the Magees spotted an abandoned church building that butted right up against South Jefferson Street – an answer to prayer.
"When we saw this building, we just kinda fell in love with it," says Kairisa, adding that there are no other churches in the district – making Monticello open to them.
Several months ago, the building, located just south of downtown Monticello, had been closed after the former church that occupied it moved out, and by the time the Magees purchased the small, white church, it had been sitting empty for a few months.
"We thought it would be good to reach two communities – the Monticello community and Perry community. It was a good thing that we found this building since it is the halfway point between Tallahassee and Perry," says Marc Magee. "Our purpose is to help both communities, but have one building where everyone can come together and feel welcomed in one place."
Halfway between Perry and Tallahassee, the building was the perfect opportunity to allow the Magees to continue serving their Perry congregation, but also expand into a new community with a new outreach and ministry.
On the fourth Saturday of October, the Magees' church, Remedy Church of God, opened to the public.
The couple hosted a community meal and meeting session, introducing themselves to their new community over food and refreshments. During that evening, Marc and Kairisa Magee launched their new church, while also asking the community members who attended on suggestions for future ministry opportunities.
Now, the church is looking to implement their new ideas while also continuing renovations on their little church building.
"We've got all these ideas," says Kairisa, excitedly. "We want to modernize it, but I also love the integrity and look of the historic community."
The church is getting fresh coats of paint, with the young pastoral couple excitedly planning new ways to rejuvenate the formerly empty building.
In addition to preparing their church for their future congregation, the couple is falling in love with the Monticello community itself.
"The more time we spend here, the more we find that everyone is so friendly," says Kairisa.
When it comes to reaching that community, they have plenty of programs, activities and gatherings planned.
The Remedy Church plans to host monthly meet-and-greets, a young men's mentorship program, a girl's dance ministry, family movie, game and reading nights and youth evenings, as well as community plays and performances.
"We are just looking to do things to keep kids active and give the community stuff to do," explains Kairisa Magee.
"We just want people in the community to know that we are here to serve and be there for them," adds Marc Magee. As they are new to the area, so they are eager to hear from the people of Jefferson County on future programs they can do to help and support the community, which they now find themselves serving.
"This is our labor of love," says Kairisa. "When we clock out, we get to come here and do what we were really called to do."
While their full-time jobs support their family, it also allows them to not burden their church congregation with a need to assist the pastoral family financially.
"We wanted to be a church that offers a ministry that is not a burden to the community," adds Marc Magee, saying that he and his wife didn't want to pressure their churchgoers to feel the need to donate a large amount of tithe every week and support the pastors. "We want to be a blessing to the community, as opposed to being a draw on it."
"For the time, being, we want to pour out rather than receive," interjects Kairisa, with Marc adding: "We are looking forward to serving the community, serving people and seeing how we can help."
Marc and Kairisa Magee have five children between the ages of five to 15.
The two have known each other since high school and have been married for almost 10 years.
Despite leaving their home and family behind in Chicago, Kairisa says they do not miss the city life at all.
"I can't imagine living there now," she laughs, adding that her family is loving the southern weather and not having to handle Chicago's traffic.
Sunday morning children's church begins at 10 a.m., followed by the morning worship at 11 a.m.; Every Wednesday night, Remedy Church of God hosts a Bible study group that meets at 7 p.m.
Remedy Church of God is located at 685 S. Jefferson St., and can be reached by calling (863) 606-8499 or by connecting on Facebook at facebook.com/RemedyCOG.
"This whole thing has been one big faith leap and journey for us," concludes Kairisa Magee. "We're learning that there are forces beyond our control that have led us to this moment and this point. It's been a really cool time."