We often hear, “I grew up fishing at The Greenbranch with my Dad “. It seems that from the very beginning, the Beard family knew that this land was indeed a special place and was meant to be shared with others. Treasured memories and new beginnings seem to be part of the very nature of the landscape of this family-owned land. As a small business, we have the amazing experience of starting our business plan based on an actual vision from God. In 2003 I had just completed a surgery where doctors found stage 1 cancer and another surgery quickly followed. While still in the recovery stage and away on a church, ministry trip, the vision came. It was a “new beginning” that combined both surprise and excitement with emotions of being overwhelmed and fearful.
The vision was a simple one. I saw the property in its original state. We were currently living in what we now call the “Main House”. Then it was as if the vision moved into fast-forward speed. In the vision I now saw the Main House as if the roof was removed. People were everywhere, upstairs, downstairs, inside, outside. End of vision. In the vision the property looked the same with just two exceptions: it seemed as if hundreds of people were everywhere and there was a small cottage down by the lake and this was to be our new home.
While I was away on this trip, Jim met with a college student in our church he had been mentoring. Talk of graduating soon and a trip to Japan was followed by a request. “We thought we might get married in Japan, but now we want to get married at The Greenbranch.” They wanted to get married in 3 weeks. The wedding would take place in our yard, approximately 200 people would attend, and they would rent a tent for the reception! Jim was not sure how he was going to tell me about this soon-to-be wedding request and I was not sure how I was going to tell Jim about the vision of people everywhere. The morning I returned, Jim shared with me the details of the meeting. I just looked at him in amazement and then shared what I had experienced. Needless to say, the vision now made sense.
During the next year, Jim & I prayed! Such a major commitment in time, money and our future, was not to be entered into lightly. We began to visit other wedding facilities in Texas and across the country. Talking to other wedding facilities and vendors helped to clarify a building plan and priorities of starting this new business. Our first year of business, we actually did it for FREE. It seemed that all the young couples in our church wanted to get married at The Greenbranch. We continued to pray and ask God to confirm that we were doing the right thing. He did so with each wedding and so the adventure began. Furniture and personal items were stored, tents moved in for the receptions, plans draw for a future reception area, continuous building over the next 7 years, all combine to form The Greenbranch as it stands today. The vision is now complete in every detail. Even our little cottage by the lake, just right for Jim, Darlynne and the grandchildren is proof that “all things are possible with God.” Matthew 19:26