Shalom & Flourishing in Stanford, KY – Jess Correll

In this episode, John sits down with Jess Correll, a friend, mentor, partner, and client of John and Ashely’s. Jess and his wife Angela have brought Redemptification to their town of 3,500 people in Stanford, Ky. Through their efforts, they have created a farm to table restaurant with their partner, Chef William B. Hawkins, called the Bluebird Cafe. Also, Angela created and launched Kentucky Soaps and Such which manufactures and sells Soaps and Creams made from goats milk. The store also sells other spa products as well as Kentucky-made artisan foods and handcrafted pottery and jewelry. The need for great hospitality in this small town inspired them to renovate and create the Wilderness Road Guest Houses and a Micro Room Hotel to share biblical shalom and hospitality.  

Jess is a founding member and has served as President and Chairman of First Southern Bancorp since 1987. He is Chairman of the Board and CEO of UTG, Inc., and also serves on the boards of Friends of the Good Samaritans in India, National Christian Foundation, The River Foundation and the Centre College Board of Trustees. Angela Correll is a selling author. Her works include the three part book series titled Grounded, Guarded, and Granted.

Insights & Inspirations

  • They say so many of the miracles happen on mountains and around meals. And we say, fellowship happens at the table. And we’ve seen that one restaurant can transform a community if it’s a unique expression. [John Marsh]
  • You know, these new buildings they’re all the same. I don’t care if you go to California or Kentucky. They’re all the same, but you take buildings that are 150, 200 years old that we repurpose, renovate, they just have so much more character than the new buildings.  [Jess Correll]
  • Yes, you know, when you do a new building, it’s 70% materials and 30% labor. And when you do a renovation, it’s exactly the opposite. It’s 70% of labor, and 30% of materials… [Jess Correll]
  • God blesses us with resources, so, a good friend of mine, Todd Harper said that we need to spend money in a way that would be a blessing to people. He says that will put you with people rather than separate you from people. [Jess Correll]
  • ..what you helped me do is begin to understand margin and the power of your approach, telling me all the time to keep this in mind, “steady plodding leads to prosperity, but hasty speculation to ruin”, and it’s powerful. [John Marsh]
  • At the bank (First Southern National Bank), we try to get folks to give first, save second and spend third. [Jess Correll]
  • Let me ask you this, on one to ten scale, what kind of a business guy do you think you are? He said eight or nine, and he was a pretty good businessman. I probably agree with you. I said, Well, let me ask you this, “How would you rate yourself as a father?” and he said  “Whoa, that’s about a four.” I said, Well, how about as a husband? He’s said Whoa, that’s even worse. And then I said, How about a follower of Christ? [Jess Correll]
  • Doug Ditto, he says “Who you’re with is more important than what you do”, and I tell kids that are just starting out or just out of college. I say, go to work, don’t care about what you earn, go to work at a place where you want to be like the leaders there. [Jess Correll]
  • Of partner Jimmy Rousey he said, friends are like elevators, they take you up or take you down.. [Jess Correll]

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