• Last modified 439 days ago (May 11, 2023)


Staff writer

When Merle and Michelle Flaming purchased their home at 1729 Upland Rd. in September, the acreage included a cottage that is thought to be one of the first at Marion County Park and Lake.

The Flamings lived in the cottage for two months while renovating the house that sits just north of the former Kingfisher’s Inn.

The cottage includes an expansive view of the lake along with a comfortable living area, bedroom, and bath.

A side counter in the living room holds a microwave, small refrigerator, and basic supplies.

“What are we going to do with this now?” Michelle wondered after they moved into their house.

The couple already had a ministry called Kingdom Cove, through which they established the Turquoise Table in Marion. So, they decided to extend their ministry to include a retreat for pastors and missionaries. They call it The Cottage at Kingdom Cove.

The Flamings already owned a dock directly across the road from the property. Guests can use the dock however they wish. The couple plan to have kayaks available in the future. They also provide boat rides.

Michelle offers breakfast at the house if guests request it. They have had three guests so far, and all took her up on her offer.

The Flamings own a successful heating and air conditioning business, and in 2021, decided to dedicate their resources to serving God.

“The Lord is doing amazing things,” she said. “We are just His servants.”

Cottage history

The Flamings were told that two friends originally bought two side-by-side cottages. One man eventually owned both. In 1988, Allen Coxen bought the cottages. He tore one down and built a new house.

Interestingly, Merle installed heating and cooling units in the new house in 1989.

Pastors can use the cottage free of charge for several days, and missionaries who need a temporary place to live can stay there for an extended time.

Reservations can be made by calling (620) 381-3085.

Last modified May 11, 2023