The Branch began with a simple question: What does the community of Fairmount actually need?
Hi, we’re Fairmount Wesleyan and this is our dream for making the town "where cool was born" – cool again.
A little over two years ago Fairmount Wesleyan started to grow. We all started getting crowded in the sanctuary, so the decision was made to begin looking for land – we were going to build a church. Over the next year nothing seemed to fall into place; land we liked wasn’t available, land that was available had flood plain issues, a building that would have been nice was taken off the market… before we knew it was on the market.
During this year we all kept coming to church, getting a little more crowded, and doing “church.”
Our worship team kept leading worship...
Our Lead Pastor, Jeff, kept preaching messages...
...messages that challenged us. This led to us asking some tough questions of ourselves, questions about where our priorities were, and who we were really trying to serve. And then we realized… It’s not about us. We switched from looking for land, and instead started looking for what would help Fairmount as a community thrive.
What we knew and learned about Fairmount
Fairmount is a small town on the southern edge of Grant County in Indiana. Maybe you don’t think you’ve heard of it, but maybe you have. At the very least you’ve heard of James Dean, or read a Garfield comic. James Dean and Garfield’s creator, Jim Davis, called Fairmount home when they were boys. Phil Jones, the 48 hours news correspondent, also grew up here.
For people growing up in Fairmount in those days, this small community offered big opportunities.
Over the past decade and a half, Grant County has been hit hard financially. A major employer decided to move one of their manufacturing plants from the county seat to Mexico. Many people also lost their jobs during the near collapse of the auto industry as the nearby GM plant and other auto supplier plants decreased their workforce. Times got tough, and some people had to move on; others stayed and saw the economy fall. Today, Grant County has the highest rate of childhood poverty in the state of Indiana, and the third highest poverty rate overall.
What does the community of Fairmount actually need to thrive?
A community needs relationships to thrive.
A community needs self-sustaining people to thrive.
A community needs kids with big dreams and the encouragement to see them come true to thrive.
So we started looking around for a place where all this can happen, a place where anyone could come and feel comfortable. That’s when we realized we really don’t have a great community space in Fairmount. So our desire grew from just wanting to see our community thrive, to creating a space to make all this possible.
This is how the idea of what The Branch would be came to encompass all that it does.
Downstairs it’s a café, a comfortable place for people to come enjoy healthy food, good coffee, and rich conversations.
Upstairs it’s a community center, giving churches, civic organizations, and those interested in seeing Fairmount thrive a space to use to empower people personally, socially, and/or spiritually through classes and groups.
So our dream for The Branch is a big one… Which is why we need your help! We’re working on remodeling the building we’ve purchased, and have acquired the majority of the café equipment. But there is still a lot to be done.
We’re asking for $3,000 from the Kickstarter community. The funds raised by you will be used to purchase a new awning and window treatments to help us control temperature both upstairs and down. Your donation will help us turn this...
into a center for the community to be empowered to live the lives they want.
We've made it this far...
Now we need you to put the finishing touches on!
Stay tuned to see updates on what's going on behind the butcher paper at
Risks and challenges
The largest potential challenge would be unforeseen obstacles or costs associated with building renovation, furnishings, or scheduling with the proper inspections from government agencies such as the health department which would delay the initial opening date. Should any of these obstacles arise the schedule for reward deliveries will be adjusted accordingly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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