On tonight’s episode of HGTV Home Town, we all got the chance to meet and fall in love with Laurel’s newest neighbors, Charlie and Melissa Tuner.
Charlie was called into ministry from the time he graduated college and the Turners have had their fair share of hometowns over the past 17 years, but they’re excited to be laying down roots in Jones County.
“We’ve always had a desire to put roots down somewhere and get to know people longer than just a few years.”
The two were college sweethearts and their journey quickly began immediately following college as Charlie began Seminary in Memphis, TN. The Turners moved six times over the past 17 years with their family growing along the way, and they took on each new city as if it was their home all along. We know it can be challenging and uncomfortable to move to an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people, but the Turners made a point to invest in every community they were placed in. We think there’s something to be learned from their willingness to just jump in and make the most of every hometown they claimed over the years.
Melissa jokes that they get a 3 itch for newness and that they are just gypsies in this world. "We're good at adapting to new places and settling quick."
Eventually, they got back to their true roots. Family has always been their priority, and after they experienced a series of unfortunate events, they found themselves craving family over spontaneity and newness. The now family of 5 moved to Michelle’s hometown of Hurley, Mississippi to be close to her parents.
They shared that their time at home was a much needed refresh button, but they knew this wasn’t a permanent stop. They did know that going forward, it was important that they stayed close in proximity to their family wherever they moved to next. After taking a teaching job in Hattiesburg, Charlie was quickly discovered by Ellisville Presbyterian Church, a small, historic staple to the Ellisville community that has been around since the 1830s. The once thriving church was in need of newness and energy and Charlie was the perfect fit. Charlie now pastors Ellisville Presbyterian Church and their family is offering revitalization to this historic church just as the Home Town crew did for them with their home.
In 2013, Melissa launched Alma Louise, a children's book that she writes and illustrates all from her home. It's special to her as it's named after her grandmother and she quickly found passion in creating stories for families to share together. The books were immediately a hit and she's been creating more over the years. Through her books, she realized just how important community involvement is.
"I write and illustrate children books. I do it all from my house, but I wanted something to do to be around people so that's why I started teaching part-time again. It's just enough to give me that community involvement that I long for."
When they moved to Mississippi she knew she wanted to do more to invest in this new community. Melissa got a job teaching part-time at a local private school in Laurel and she's using that to help satisfy that longing for that community involvement, while still giving her plenty of time to spend with her family and her writing.
Just like the Tuners have always done, they are plugging into this new community and they are excited to be making Jones County home. Michelle and Charlie both have a passion for teaching and ministering to those around them, and we are so thankful that our community has gained this talented, enthusiastic, and passionate couple.
Help us in welcoming our newest neighbors, the Turners!
Shop the entire Turner collection here