From Checkers to Elijah’s Harbor

Joe and Pati Gatas were on the fast track. Owning 25 Checkers Franchises and COO of 25 Burger King and 47 Pizza Hut restaurants was just a small part of their portfolio of enterprises. But God had even bigger plans for this dynamic driven couple.

Joe and Pati were key members of Open Bible Baptist Church in New Jersey. Pastor George Riddell and his wife Desiree were invited by Dr. Tom Farrell as guest at Elijah’s Harbor Christian Retreat. Along with four other couples in Ministry, George and Desiree had a week of fellowship, rest and retreat.

“I was speaking with Retreat owner Mike Jackson about the future of The Harbor. Mike was looking for a couple to take over the retreat. I immediately thought of Joe and Pati, but was conflicted because the Gatas family is very important to our church.”

But George knew God was speaking to him about Joe and Pati and met with them to discuss. Joe and Pati visited the Harbor and the Jackson’s knew God had sent these folks to take over the daily management of Elijah’s Harbor.

Joe and Pati sold their dream home in New Jersey and hired a moving Company to bring everything they owned to Greeneville, Tennessee. And in fact, even their son and daughter in law received a job offer in Greenville, SC and moved their whole family too. Most of the family is now located in the beautiful Smokey Mountains of Tennessee and South Carolina.

Joe does not waste time. He went full throttle from day one and has taken the majestic Jackson Mansion and guest homes to new levels. Take a look at the new web site to get an idea of what things are looking like! Joe and Pati are gourmet chefs and treat Elijah’s Harbor guest to 5 star meals as a part of the new full service packages available. Recently Dr. Tom Farrell conducted a LEAD Advance with Les Olila. After enjoying the cooking and hospitality of Joe and Pati, Tom stated “The Harbor is like staying at a 5 star resort with 5 star meals in one of the most spectacular settings in the world. The value is second to none available anywhere in the world!”

Joe and Pati have the biggest number of bookings from the Spring to Fall of 2015 in Elijah’s Harbor history. But, there is still room for our old friends in a guest house or mansion suite. The new bed and breakfast offering is very popular or enjoy a newly decorated guest home with full kitchen and 3 to 5 bedrooms with all the use of the main property.

Nata and I are thankful to God for sending Joe and Pati to The Harbor. How else could a world class business couple end of leaving all they had going to come to our mountaintop and serve God’s men and women. Surely, God has His hand on The Harbor and now the Gatas’. Note: Nata and I are still on the property in one of the guest homes and will look forward to seeing you soon!


Mike Jackson

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