Ben and Erin Napier, the Christian stars of the new HGTV show "Home Town", have revealed that fellow house-renovation duo Chip and Joanna Gaines have served as close friends and mentors to them.
"Chip and Joanna have been absolutely lovely mentors to us," Erin Napier told Fox News.
"We're in this really weird adventure, this same crazy journey... We're all doing our different thing, and our separate thing but it's not something like we can call our parents and ask for advice...because they've never been there," she added.
Like "Fixer Upper", "Home Town" has already scored big with viewers. Fox notes that the new show, which debuted March 21, had the second highest-rated series premiere in the network's history after "Fixer Upper."
The similarities don't end there. Like Chip and Joanna, Erin and Ben, who live in Laurel, Mississippi, a town of about 20,000 people, are dedicated to their hometown and preserving its way of life. According to the HGTV description of "Home Town", Erin and Ben "love their small Mississippi hometown, especially the old historical houses."
"Using found materials and old textiles, they're keeping the character of these classic homes but giving them modern and affordable updates," it continues. "From Erin's imaginative hand sketches to Ben's custom handiwork, this couple is bringing homes back to life and making sure their small town's future is as bright as its past."
Erin told Fox that she and her husband bonded with the Gaineses because they have similar values.
"We care about home and we care about, you know, showing people in America that...home is the most special place in the world, wherever that home is for you," she said.
And, like Chip and Jo, Ben and Erin aren't afraid to talk about their Christian faith. In fact, on her blog, Erin devotes an entire section to her faith. In an earlier blog post, she revealed that Ben served as the pastor of Laurel First United Methodist Church until 2014, when he resigned from his position after God called him to devote his time to the family businesses.
"The signs from our Father who loves us have been so brazen and honest and clear in these last weeks," Erin wrote at the time. "I wish I could have this clarity and communication with Him forever, but I know it waxes and wanes with the seasons of our life. But tonight, I feel ready for anything."
Today, the Napiers remain active members of their congregation and, like the stars of "Fixer Upper," strive to put God first in all they do.
"God has been so very good to us: not because of the show, not because of the way our town is blossoming-those are fruits, but not the blessing itself," Erin wrote in a March 22 blog post "The blessing is this: He's given us clarity of purpose, He's given us passion, and He always puts the people and things in our path we need at the very moment we need them, and not a moment before. The ground is always there for the next step when we have the faith to keep walking without seeing it will be there to catch us.
What greater blessing is there than that?"